Friday, 12 August 2011

Summer Fruit Picking

Yesterday, my nieces and I were out walking in Chorleywood when we came across a mighty treasure trove…blackberries, sweet plums and beautifully crisp eating apples. If you could bear to stretch beyond the nettles and tiny thorns there were branches laden with a veritable feast.

Now for some summer fruit tarts! It just so happens that my brother and his friend Jo are raising money for the children's charity WellChild this Saturday and require a table full of cakes to support their fund raising. As a recent graduate from baking diploma I was more than happy to assist.

Sweet Pastry Recipe (approx. 12 x 5” tartlets)

Ingredients: 700g plain flour / 400g cold diced lightly salted butter / 200g icing sugar / 3 egg yolks

1)      Sift flour then icing sugar
2)      Work in diced butter with fingertips until very soft
3)      Add egg yolks & combine into sweet dough
4)      Once smooth and combined flatten slightly and refrigerate for a few hours.
Once chilled…
1)      Roll pastry out onto clean, flat surface and lift onto pre-greased tartlet tin
2)      Press lightly but evenly into tin
3)      Prick all over with a fork & blind bake for approx 10 mins @ 200⁰C

Almond & Fruit filling:

Ingredients: 500g butter / 500g caster sugar / 500g ground almonds /  10 large eggs Fruit can be evenly distributed into each of the tarts. You will probably need around 24 small plums, 200g blackberries, 12 small apples.

1)      Cream the butter & sugar
2)      Add ground almonds until blended
3)      Beat in eggs – one at a time
4)      Place your larger fruit face down onto the pastry
5)      Pour the filling mixture into the tartlet making sure the fruit is still exposed slightly
6)      Then dot your smaller fruit around (sliced plums and blackberries)
7)      Bake for approx 25 minutes
8)      Brush with warm apricot jam to glaze.

-          Don’t roll out the pastry too thick, about 1/2cm should be okay
-          Don’t skimp on the fruit
-          Keep your sliced apples in lemon juice water to stop them going brown

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