Tag Archives: pastry

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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Spiced Mincemeat Swirls

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It’s November and now Hallowe’en is over, it’s officially acceptable to begin thinking about Christmas! What better way than to bake these INCREDIBLE little beauties – a wonderful amalgamation of cinnamon swirls and mince pies.

Makes approx. 15.

Ingredients

for the sweet dough:
250g strong white bread flour
3/4 tsp salt
7g fast-action yeast
40g sugar
20g butter, softened
160ml warm water

for the filling:
10g butter, softened
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ginger
250g (approx.) mincemeat

for the glaze:
2 tsp ginger jam (or apricot)
1 tsp water

for the icing:
4 tsp icing sugar
a little bit of cold water

Method

Make the dough by sieving the flour into a large bowl. Place the yeast on one side, the salt on the other and sprinkle the sugar all over. Add the softened butter to the middle, pour in about half of the water and mix with your hands. Slowly add the rest of the water whilst mixing until you form a soft dough that is ever-so-slightly sticky.

Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes until evenly smooth and just springy. Roll into a long rectangle (roughly 20 x 40 cm) and press one end very firmly onto the work surface to stop it from moving. Spread a very thin layer of soft butter over the dough, followed by an even sprinkling of ginger and cinnamon, then the mincemeat. Roll up the dough from the free edge to form a tight roll. Slice into 1 cm sections and place on a greased baking tray leaving a roughly 2 cm between each.

Prove in a warm place for around an hour until the gaps between the swirls are filled. When proved, brush with milk. Bake for 10-12 minutes at 180*C until golden brown.

Remove from the oven and place to one side. Water down the jam a little to make the glaze and brush over the buns. Mix up the icing to a thick, piping consistency. Pipe thinly over the buns and leave to cool before eating.

Red Onion & Goat’s Cheese Tarts

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OK, I know, I cheated with the pastry. Sorry. But these are perfect for novice bakers who want to make something simple and home-made to impress. These will be a great offering to any festive buffet and they don’t take whole morning to prepare, which leaves plenty of time to concentrate on the piece-de-resistance (or enjoying a festive tipple).

Makes 25-30

Ingredients

1 x 500g pack puff pastry (or equivalent in rough-puff if you want to make your own)
4 small red onions, chopped
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp rosemary
2 tsp basil
60g goat’s cheese

Method

Preheat the oven to 180*C.

Grease a cupcake tin with some butter and plain flour. Roll out your pastry to the thickness of a pound coin and cut to roughly 7cm circles. Place in the tin and prick the bottoms with a fork. Bake for around ten minutes but do not allow them to brown. Remove from the oven when cooked.

Meanwhile, chop the onion and fry in the oil it on a low heat for 2 minutes. When slightly softened, throw in the balsamic vinegar, sugar and herbs. Allow the sauce to reduce down and the onions should cook a little. Add in about 20mls of water and reduce again. The aim is to soften the onions but not brown them.

When cooked, add a teaspoon of onions to each pastry case. Crumble over a bit of goat’s cheese, brush the pastry with a little milk. Bake in the oven for around 8 minutes until the cheese is soft and a little golden brown.

Mango Curd & Raspberry Tarts

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So we had a mango just casually hanging around our fruit bowl, like you do. It had been there a while, not doing a lot apart from exuding mango-y-ness. (It’s a word, alright?). I was going to make me some badass mango chutney but after some research found that one measly mango was nowhere near enough. After a little further digging I unearthed these beauties. So, if it ever so happens that a mango casually wanders into your life  and you’re not really sure what to do with it, you could do a lot worse than sticking it in one of these scrummy yummies. You will need to do these over two days, so bare that in mind!

Makes approx. 36 mini tarts.

Pastry

Ingredients

180g plain flour
80g butter
80g icing sugar
45g ground almonds
45g polenta
pinch of salt
1 egg
1 tspn vanilla essence

Method

Get your butter out of the fridge (or, y’know, wherever you happen to keep it) and leave out to soften for a few minutes. Sieve the flour, icing sugar, ground almond, salt and polenta into a large bowl. (If you don’t have polenta, ground semolina would also work – it gives the pastry a nice texture, a crunch). Cut the butter into chunks and add to the dry ingredients, forming crumbs with your finger tips. Whisk up the egg and add a bit at a time to the mix, either stirring in with a spoon or mixing in with your fingers. Work until it comes together into a ball, adding more flour if the mixture is too wet or water if it’s too dry – only a little at a time though.

Wrap your pastry ball in cling film and stick in the fridge. I left mine over night simply because I also had to wait for my curd to set…and talking about curd…here’s the recipe, stolen (and slightly edited) from smittenkitchen.

Mango Curd

Ingredients

1 mango
70g caster/granulated sugar
3 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons lemon juice
pinch of salt
4 egg yolks
50g butter

Method

Peel your mango. Mine was ripe so I was able to peel it with a peeler (crazy times) though apparently you will usually need a sharp knife. Cut into small segments and throw in a metal/glass bowl. Add the sugar, lemon and lime juice, sugar and salt and mash up roughly with a fork. If you have one, use a hand-held blender (a “zhuhzher” in the world of J&W) to reduce to a thick, smooth pulp. If not mash with a fork then strain through a sieve.

Zhuhzh, sorry, whisk in the egg yolks until completely mixed then stick the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Continually stir for 10-15 minutes, or until the mixture gets thicker. If you have a food-thermometer, the magic number you’re after is 170oF/75oC. Take the mango-y-goodness off the heat and add the butter in 4-5 small chunks, stirring each one until fully melted and mixed before adding the next. Stick the mixture in the fridge overnight.

(On eating I think this was quite sweet, so I would lower the sugar in future and increase the lemon and lime).

Raspberry Smush

Ingredients

cereal bowl of raspberries
squeeze of lemon juice
(sprinkling of sugar)

Smush the raspberries through a sieve  into a saucepan with the back of a large spoon, making sure no pips get in. You can get a surprising amount of liquid out of them, so keep smushing for a good few minutes. Squeeze in the lemon juice and sprinkle on just a little sugar and give it a quick mix through. Reduce down to a thicker, gloopy sauce.

Don’t You Just Love It When a Pudding Comes Together

Heat the oven to 350oF/180oC/gas mark 4. Roll out the pastry until it is approximately the thickness of a pound coin. Use a cookie cutter/glass/suitable cutting implement to cut out 25-35 3 inch rounds and stick each into a tart mould. I don’t have any of these, so mine went into 3 pre-buttered shallow muffin trays. Line each tart with parchment paper and a few baking beans (rice is a good substitute, though has the potential to get everywhere!).

Blind bake for 10-15 minutes, until brown. Remove from moulds and leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes before removing the beans and sticking them on a cooling rack.
After a few minutes line each pastry case with a thin layer of raspberry smush, then a thicker layer of mango curd. If you fancy, add an artistic raspberry swirl in the top of the curd – a cocktail stick is perfect for this.
Top with a couple of fresh raspberries/blueberries/any berry you fancy. Stick back in the fridge. Tadahhhh. Mangoodness.

You *could* whip up some meringue with the egg whites you have, but I’m lazy and not that big a fan of meringue so I…err…didn’t.

P.S. My cat is called Mango. Please do not use my cat in your recipe. I’m not sure he’d appreciate it.

J