Sunday, 3 July 2011
There's nothing quite like a tart...
...I was once told. And I must say, there is something rather nice about the togetherness of crisp pastry, a fluffy or creamy filling, speckled with fruit and this one is really quite easy and a nice rounding off to a Summer tea, sat out as the sun begins to disappear behind the other trees, leaving a beautiful red trail behind it. Lovely Summer food!
As this blog unfolds, you will learn that I am one of these people who cannot resist a bargain, and indeed, 'chuck outs' (or 'whoopsies' if you shop at ASDA) can always be found in my trolley when I visit a supermarket. This week it was peaches and blueberries so I indulged and decided that part of their use would be to fill this tart inspired by and adapted from the wonderful Popina Book of Baking.
Peach and Blueberry Tart
For the pastry:
250g plain flour
125g unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
85g caster sugar
(Please note, this pastry will be enough for a 23 inch loose bottom tart tin; this recipe was made using one approximately half the size, as there are only four of us. If you do as I do, wrap the remaining pastry and freeze for the next time you get the urge. You're half there already!)
For the sponge dough:
45g unsalted butter at room temperature
90g caster sugar
11/2 tsp baking powder
90g plain flour
a few drops of good almond extract
For the filling:
1 to 2 ripe peaches, stoned and thinly sliced into half moons
a handful of blueberries
(You could use many other fruits for this recipe. I imagine that stoned cherries, strawberries, raspberries etc would be delish).
Ensure your oven is preheated to 160c/Gas 3/325F
For the pastry, put flour, butter and sugar together in a food processor and blitz until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs (or alternatively rub the ingredients together with your fingertips in a bowl)
Add the egg to bind.
The mixture should easily come together. Once that happens, wrap the ball of pastry in clingfilm and put in the fridge to rest for half an hour or so.
To make the sponge, well, I was lazy and used my food processor again, but you could use a normal kitchen mixer or hand held one. Cream the butter and sugar together until smoothly combined, then whisk in the egg, baking powder and drops of almond extract. Then add the flour. Only mix the flour in until it is combined to prevent the sponge becoming tough.
Once the pastry is suitably cold and rested, roll it out on a floured board. Pastry often scares me so I tend to roll out my pastry between two pieces of clingfilm to try to avoid what I like to call 'pastry catastrophe'.
Once the pastry is rolled out to an acceptable thickness (about 3 to 4 mm maybe) place the pastry into a greased fluted loose bottom tart tin. It's okay if it breaks. Just patch up where necessary.
Once you are happy with the pastry case, place the sponge dough in the tin and spread around the base reasonably evenly.
Then, using your prepared fruit, attempt to lay the fruit in a pretty pattern on the sponge dough (The word 'attempt' is for me...I am artistically challenged; you will do this extraordinarily well).
Bake the tart in the centre of a preheated oven for about 40 minutes or so. The sponge dough will envelop the fruit beautifully and suck up some of the lovely juices. When the dough filling is golden and risen remove from oven and leave for a few minutes to cool.
You might like to glaze this to make it look suitably fancy. To do this put (usually apricot but I used seedless raspberry) jam, one and a half tablespoons worth in a pan, and heat gently until melted and runny. Then brush the jam glaze onto the tart.
Serving suggestion. Outside, with a glass of chilled rose, with your nearest and dearest around you, with a generous dollop of cream. Yum!