Advertisements
RSS Feed

Tag Archives: pastry

Pear and Hazelnut Tart – Jamie Cooks Italy

4388E494-996C-4253-BF6C-6747503FFF92.jpeg

C42A5815-2EC1-4519-AA14-8C654E97581FI’ve just acquired Jamie Oliver’s new book, Jamie Cooks Italy. It’s beautiful! A wealth of fantastic recipes which highlight the breadth and depth of Italian cooking. Here is a link to the book.

I couldn’t wait to start my baking, so this weekend I made a lovely chicken dish, “Chicken under a Brick”. More of this in a later post!

I also baked “Pear and Hazelnut Tart”, a twist on a classic frangipane tart. The frangipane is made with hazelnuts rather than almonds. You process whole hazelnuts, so the texture is quite gritty compared with traditional almond or hazelnut meal. Pears are baked on top of the frangipane. The pastry and frangipane are both flavoured with orange zest, which adds to the piquancy of the tart.

Here’s Jamie’s recipe as is. A couple of notes – I roll the pastry between clingfilm as this is far easier and less messy than the traditional way! I also substituted baking paper for non-PVC clingfilm in order to bake the tart blind, as I’m not sure you can get the latter in Australia.

Ingredients 

2 oranges
275g unsalted butter (cold)
250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
50g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
3 large free-range eggs
Olive oil
150g blanched hazelnuts
150g golden caster sugar
3 firm pears

Method

To make the pastry, finely grate the zest of 1 orange into a food processor, add 125g of butter, the flour, icing sugar, vanilla paste and l egg, then pulse until it comes together into a ball of dough. Wrap in clingfilm and pop into the fridge to chill for 30 minutes. Lightly oil a 25cm non-stick loose-bottomed tart tin. Preheat the oven to l80 degrees C.

On a flour-dusted surface, roll out the pastry to about 3mm thick, then loosely roll it up around the rolling pin and unroll over the oiled tin, easing and pushing it carefully into the sides. Trim off any excess patch up any holes. Line with a double layer of non-PVC clingfilm, then fill with uncooked rice. Bake blind for IS minutes. Remove the clingfilm and rice, bake for a further 5 minutes, then leave to cool.

For the frangipane, blitz the nuts into a fine powder in the food processor. Add the remaining 150g of butter and the caster sugar and blitz again to combine. Finely grate in the remaining orange zest, crack in the remaining 2 eggs and blitz again. Just before assembling, peel the pears, quarter lengthways and remove the cores, then toss in the juice of half an orange.

Spoon the frangipane into the pastry case in an even layer, then arrange the pear quarters on top. Bake at time bottom of the oven for 40 minutes, or until golden. Leave for 5 minutes in the tin, then release and serve warm. Nice with orange-spiked crème fraîche and crumbled toasted hazelnuts.

FB934824-64D6-4D71-B152-B6E688E7E608

 

 

 

Advertisements

Borough Market London – Foodie Heaven!

img_4700

img_4203

The Borough Market in Southwark, London, was a destination I was really looking forward to when visiting the UK in December.

I’m a huge fan of markets, enjoying visiting local farmers’ markets in country New South Wales, as well as the city equivalent in Sydney. Orange Grove Market, mentioned in other  posts, is a great Saturday excursion to pick up organic fruit and veg, hot smoked fish, French cheese, farmers’ free range eggs and pastry and bread galore!

I’ve been following the Borough Market online for a while to prepare for the visit. I went twice, on a Saturday a couple of weeks before Christmas and a week or so later midweek. Saturday was buzzing, busy, and a bit tricky to navigate, but still heaps of fun! The next visit was a pleasant stroll and I got to see much more of the market’s delights.

The Borough Market is a little bit of old world London in that sophisticated metropolis. Arches and passageways, nooks and crannies, keep you guessing at what comes next, as you make your way around the market. After my two visits I finally got the hang of the geography. The charm of the Market lies in the mix of the old world with a plethora of multi cultural cuisines.

There is so much produce! I was bowled over by cheese vendor upon cheese vendor! And then the patisseries and bread stalls, fresh fruit and vegetables, meat of every kind, sausages and stews and curries.

img_4195

img_4205

I liberally sampled the baked goods, filled focaccia, croissants, large sticky buns, packed full of fruit, that looked like miniature Christmas puddings, and real muffins.

img_4668

I found a little stall selling dried fruit and nuts, and wonderful candied fruit. Whole candied clementines were a great Christmas treat! Another stall sold home made fudge, of every conceivable flavour, which you could pick and mix yourself.

img_4667

Two highlights  – a salted caramel milkshake with Bath milk, and robust, fragrant Colombian coffee, much appreciated by this writer, who had been craving really good coffee since my arrival in London.

It was fun to be at the Market at Christmas – there was a buzzy, gregarious mood, and everyone seemed to be having fun shopping for the festive season.

 

 

Strawberry Jam Crostata

IMG_8227

Quirky Niece No 1 gave me a really easy recipe for Crostata, or Italian jam tart. She acquired the recipe on a recent trip to Italy. She tells a lovely story, below in this post, of her time in Italy with Companion to Quirky Niece.

“So, as part of our spontaneous European holiday, we decided to hire a car and drive around Tuscany for 5 days. After a hairy hour or so battling peak-hour Florence traffic due to a GPS mayhap, we finally found ourselves out in the countryside and at our first airbnb accommodation, a sprawling country house on an agriturismo near Montepulciano. In the warm summer evenings we sat on the balcony, looking out at the glittering lights of the ancient city, and every morning, we ate a sumptuous breakfast prepared by our beautiful hosts, which included fresh cheeses, sliced meats and a wonderful jam tart. We could never finish it, so we took it with us on our adventures, only to find another one freshly baked the next day! On our final day, I asked our friendly host which baker she bought it from. Highly amused, she responded that she was a terrible cook, but this was her special foolproof recipe. In an instant, she quickly set her baby down and wrote up the ingredients on a post-it. And now, it has become my go-to entertaining recipe as well!  I use all kinds of jam, so long as they have delicious chunks of fruit, and I remember our host’s exhortations to prick the base thoroughly with a fork before spooning in the jam.”
 bratkartoffeln58
I made the crostata recently using this recipe. I made a quick strawberry jam for the filling, but any good quality store bought jam would do. In hindsight, my pastry was too thick – I would use a larger baking mold next time, for a more manageable pastry base.
IMG_8232

Ingredients

300g plain flour
½ sachet of baking powder (1 sachet = 11g)
150g sugar
100g butter
1 whole egg
2 egg yolks

Quantity of any good jam for the filling ( I used strawberry here)

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.  Line a tart mold with baking paper or you could simply grease a baking tray if you want a true rustic crostata.

Place the flour, baking powder and sugar in a food processor and pulse till the mixture just comes together.

Make a well  in the centre  and add the butter and egg and egg yolks and mix in gently until combined but not overworked.

Roll out the dough roughly  – remember this is not a precise tart – and line the tart mold. Or gently shape the dough into a round with a pastry rim on the baking tray. And prick the base – something I forgot to do this time!

Fill the tart with the jam and bake for 30-40 minutes until the pastry is golden and the jam bubbling.

IMG_8220IMG_8247

 

Strawberry on Strawberry Shortcake

IMG_9960

I cook lots and lots of cakes and this new recipe is very, very more-ish! Easy to make and great for afternoon tea or as a dessert.

Bill Granger cooked a Pear, Blueberry and Almond Shortcake on the first episode of his television series Bill’s Kitchen Notting Hill, see below for the link to the series.

http://www.bbcnordic.com/bills-kitchen-notting-hill/episodes/

I decided that the recipe would work just as well with strawberries. For a double strawberry hit, I cooked whole fresh strawberries and also added in a good dollop of my home made strawberry conserve.

IMG_9937

Ingredients

Filling
30 g unsalted butter, softened

40 g caster sugar

150g strawberries, whole

1 tsp vanilla paste

2 tbsp strawberry conserve*

Milk, to brush the pastry

1 tbsp demerara sugar

2 tbsp flaked almonds

Shortcake pastry


125 g unsalted butter

125 g castor sugar

1 egg, lightly beaten

175 plain flour

50 g ground almonds

1 tsp baking powder

Method
Place the butter, caster sugar and vanilla in a saucepan over a low heat. Cook, stirring for 1-2 minutes until the butter melts and sugar dissolves.

Add the strawberries and cook over low heat for 8 minutes or until the strawberries are soft. Remove from the heat and stir through the strawberry conserve, being careful not to break up the whole fruit. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

For the shortcake, beat the butter and castor sugar until thick and creamy. Add the egg and mix well. Add the flour, almond meal and baking powder, then stir until combined. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly to just bring the mixture together. Divide the dough in half, pat in to discs, then wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 160 degrees C. Grease and line a 24cm springform cake tin. On a lightly floured surface, roll each dough portion into a round about the size of the tin, then press one round into tin. Spoon the strawberry mixture and any juices over the dough, leaving a small border around the edge. IMG_9880

Top with the remaining dough round and press the edges together to seal. Brush with milk and sprinkle with demerara sugar and flaked almonds.

Bake for 30 minutes or until until golden (cover loosely with foil if browning too quickly). Cool in tin for 20 minutes before carefully removing from the tin.

*My Strawberry Conserve recipe: https://thequirkandthecool.com/2013/09/06/strawberry-conserve/

IMG_9975

 

Custard Slice with Passion Fruit Icing

IMG_0180

This recipe is based on Paul Hollywood’s Custard Slice from The Great Comic Relief Bake Off.
I love passion fruit so I have added it to the icing. Very messy to eat but awfully more-ish!

Ingredients
Rough puff pastry:
225 gms plain flour, plus extra for dusting
½ tsp salt
200g butter frozen
140-160 mls water
Crème pâtissière:
500ml milk
1vanilla pod, split down the middle and seeds scraped out
100gms caster sugar
4 free-range eggs, yolks only
40gms cornflour
40gms butter
Passion fruit Icing:
200gms icing sugar
1 passion fruit

Method
1.    In a large bowl mix the flour and salt together. Grate the butter and rub roughly into the flour mixture until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Don’t worry if there are large lumps.
2.    Add the water a little at a time until the pastry just binds together (you may not need all the water).
3.    Tip the pastry out onto a floured work surface. Roll into a narrow rectangle about 2.5cm thick.
4.    With the pastry vertically in front of you fold the bottom third of the pastry up onto the middle third then the top third down onto the other thirds. This is called a turn.
5.    Wrap the pastry in cling film and place in the refrigerator to chill for 10 minutes
6.    Take out of fridge and with a rolling pin roll out again into a narrow rectangle and repeat the turn as before.
7.    Chill again and repeat the rolling and turning once more, so a total of three times. Wrap the pastry in cling film and return to the fridge to rest.
8.    While the pastry is resting, make the crème pâtissière. Pour the milk into a pan and add the split vanilla pod and its seeds. Bring the milk mixture to the boil, then remove from the heat.
9.    Whisk the sugar, egg yolks and cornflour together in a large bowl.
10.    Pour out a little of the hot milk onto the egg mixture, whisking continuously. Whisk in the rest of the hot milk until well-combined, then return to the pan.
11.    Cook the mixture over a gentle heat, stirring continuously, until the mixture becomes thick. It will just come to the boil.
12.    Remove from the heat and pass the mixture through a sieve into a clean bowl. Add the butter and stir until melted and thoroughly combined.
13.    Leave to cool, cover with cling film and then chill before using.

NOTE: My crème pâtissière did not set firmly enough, even in the fridge, so in desperation I used gelatine leaves to try to achieve a firm enough set to provide a firm filling in between the puff pastry layers, with limited success.
14.    Pre-heat the oven to 220 degrees C. Line two baking trays with baking parchment.
15.    Divide the pastry into two equal pieces and roll out both pieces to 20cm square and 5mm thick. Then place each pastry sheet onto the lined baking trays, and chill for 10-15 minutes.
16.    Bake the pastry sheets for 10-15 minutes or until golden-brown and crisp. Set aside to cool.
17.    While the pastry bakes, line a deep 23cm square baking tray with foil with plenty of extra foil at the sides. The extra foil allows you to lift out the assembled slices.
18.    Place one pastry sheet in bottom of the lined baking tray. (Reserve the prettiest piece for the top.)
19.    Spread the crème pâtissière evenly onto the pastry in the baking tray before placing other piece of pastry, on top. Refrigerate while making the icing.
20.    For the icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl. Stir in the passionfruit pulper until thoroughly combined and set aside.
21.    Take the custard slice from the fridge and spread the icing over the top layer of pastry.
22.    Place the slice back into the fridge to set.
23.    Cut the finished vanilla slice into eight pieces.
24.    Using the foil carefully lift the portioned vanilla slices out of the tray and place onto a serving platter.

IMG_0198

IMG_0207

%d bloggers like this: