Category Archives: French

Apricot & Rhubarb Galette

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Galette, it appears to be me, is simply a fancy-pants Frenchy-wenchy way of saying “tart”. This recipe is adapted slightly from the cherry galette Smitten Kitchen cookbook I bought my sister for her birthday. I’m sure this would work equally well with all manner of stone fruit; peaches, nectarines, plums et cetera!

In making this tart I managed to make the amateur error of halving all the pastry ingredients bar the water, which is possibly the worst thing to include too much of! Fortunately I managed to save it and just had an extra large tart. I mean galette. Which is no bad thing in my book! This pastry could be used for any manner of sweet tarts/pies.

Pastry

Ingredients

110g plain flour
55g ground almonds
½ tsp salt
½ tbsp granulated sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
110g butter, straight from the fridge
60ml cold water

Method

Sieve the flour, almonds, salt, sugar and cinnamon into a large bowl. Add the butter in 1cm cubes and rub in with your hands (or one of these bad boys) until the largest blobs are the size of a pea. Stick in the fridge for five or ten minutes before adding the water, a third at a time, stirring in with wooden spoon or spatula until one large clump forms. The quicker you work the better. Wrap in cling film and stick in the fridge for at least an hour.

Tart

Ingredients

1 lot of pastry
30g ground almonds
1½ tsp flour
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp granulated sugar
15 butter, softened
¼ tsp almond extract
¼ tsp vanilla paste
1 large egg, separated into white and yolk
300-325g apricots (approx. 10) halved and stoned
125g rhubarb (approx. 1 stick), cut into ½ thick slices
apricot jam
1 tbsp coarse sugar

Method

While the pastry is in the fridge add the ground almonds, flour, sugar and cinnamon into a bowl. Vigorously mix in the butter, almond extract, vanilla paste and egg white until smooth. Stick in the fridge if not using straight away.

Preheat the oven to 200o/400oF/gas mark 6. Flour a work surface and a rolling pin, fetch the pastry dough and roll out to a 30cm circle. Transfer to a baking tray lined with baking parchment or buttered greaseproof paper. Spoon on the almond paste and spread evenly, leaving a 5cm border. Layer on the rhubarb and apricots (not going over the border). Fold over the excess like so, it needn’t be overly neat.

Whisk the egg yolk with a teaspoon of water and brush the folded over crust, then sprinkle with the coarse sugar. Dollop a little apricot jam over the fruit and spread it best you can.

Bake for 30-40 minutes until pastry is golden brown, turning halfway through for even browning. Serve warm or cold, with custard or cream or vanilla ice cream or any combination!

tarte aux abricots

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Fougasse

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Ahh, Paul Hollywood, you make everything look so easy. I have to say I’m definitely becoming a better baker because of you. How To Bake is a genuinely brilliant book and I’ve probably peddled it before but I shall do so again – everything in it is begging to be made! Go buy it with your hard-earned pennies and get baking!

I’ve modified this recipe ever so slightly but only in the peripheral aspects not the major components. If you like focaccia, you’ll like this guaranteed.

Ingredients

250g strong white bread flour
190ml cold water
5g salt
5g fast-action yeast
1 tbsp oil*
3 tsp mixed herbs
handful fresh oregano, ripped up
handful fresh basil, ripped up

*I replaced PH’s suggestion of olive oil with the oil in which sundried tomatoes are preserved. I also chopped up the capers that came in my standard supermarket tomatoes and threw them over the bread with the other herbs. I must admit I must have used a fair bit more than 1 tbsp of oil too

Method

Sift the flour into a large bowl, add the salt to one side, yeast to the other, oil anywhere you like and three quarters of the water. PH says to use a mixer but a. I don’t have one and b. the exercise means you can eat twice as much bread! So shape your hand, dough-mixer-stylee and start mixing together in a circular motion.

Once everything is incorporated add the remaining water a little at a time, continuing to mix as vigorously as you can. Feel free to take a break every now and again! In the end I took mine out of the bowl, put plenty of oil on the work surface and kneaded it for 5 minutes before oiling the bowl and returning the dough to it. Cover with clingfilm and leave for at least an hour – my dough probably quadrupled in size.

Line a baking tray with baking parchment, dust a work surface with flour and semolina/polenta and tip the dough out on to it – save the clingfilm to use again later. Gently push out into a round and lift onto the baking tray before squishing out further. Make slits with a pizza cutter in a “leaf pattern” and gently pull the dough apart to emphasize the holes. Dust with flour and semolina/polenta, mixed herbs, basil, oregano and capers if you have any.

Preheat the oven to 220oC/425oF/gas mark 7. Cover the dough with the clingfilm and leave to prove while the oven warms up. Before you put it in the oven, drizzle with oil. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Tap the bread in various places to check it’s cooked through – it’ll have a lovely hollow sound. Cool on a wire rack and eat with an olive oil/balsamic vinegar dip.

J

fougasse

 

Onion Tart

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Adapted from my new recipe book which I bought after visiting the RealFood Market in London. This would would work perfectly well with any number of combinations of cheese – go with your gut (or what’s in you fridge*).

I had 20 minutes spare in the morning so I made the pastry and left it in the fridge all day before making the filling. It’s a nice way of dividing up the cooking into more manageable chunks.

*or, like me, get one of your family members to pick up necessary ingredients on their way home from work!

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

Pastry

200g plain flour
100g butter
2-3 tbsp water
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 sprigs rosemary, finely chopped

Filling

1 large white onion, sliced
1 large leek, sliced
handful of green beans, chopped
3 eggs
250ml cream
100g gruyére, grated
50g mature cheddar, grated
1-2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
several good spoons of savoury chutney
optional: 2 slices ham, sliced (or not if you want this to be vegetarian, though you’ll also be after some vegetarian cheese if that’s the case!)

Method

To make the pastry, sieve the flour (and a little salt) into a mixing bowl and add the butter in chunks. Use your fingers to make “breadcrumbs” before including the garlic and rosemary and several twists of black pepper.  Add the water a little at a time. (I always find it’s better to go slightly wetter with the pastry as too dry will lead to hard to work pastry that cracks easily). Use your hands to combine and knead for about a minute before wrapping in clingfilm and sticking in the fridge for at least half an hour.

When ready to make your tart heat your oven to 180oC/350oF/gas mark 4, roll out your pastry on a floured surface and stick into a deep flan dish (or if you don’t have one, two shallower dishes!). Prick the bottom several times with a fork to allow steam to escape, cover with baking paper and beads if you have them (rice works equally well) and bake for approximately 20 minutes until starting to golden.

Meanwhile, heat a good spoonful of butter in a saucepan and chuck in your leeks. Sweat over a medium heat for 5 minutes before adding the onion and green beans and sweating for a further 5-10 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and  reduce the heat to a simmer. Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl, stir in the cream, a pinch of salt, plenty of pepper the mustard and 2/3 the grated cheese.

When the pastry case is golden, remove from the oven and spread the base with your chutney of choice. Layer over the onion/leek/bean melange (oohlala) then pour over the cream mixture. Apparently if there’s not enough liquid you should add cream rather than egg as more egg will make it too eggy. Makes sense, really. Scatter the top with the remaining cheese. Set the oven to 200oC/400oF/gas mark 6 and whack back in for 25 minutes. Scatter the top with ham and stick back in for 10-15 minutes, until golden on top.

Remove, serve with salad on a hot summer’s day (or a mediocre autumnal evening). Either way it’ll taste de-lish.

J