Sunday, 13 July 2008

Summer Lovin'

Strawberry Tart version 2. This was from Dan Lepard's column in the Guardian as follows:

125g plain flour
25g ground almonds
25g caster sugar
50g unsalted butter, softened
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp brandy

For the filling
125ml milk
2 tbsp cornflour
1 egg white
50g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
200ml crème fraîche
400g strawberries

Put the flour, almonds and sugar in a bowl, then rub in the butter until incorporated. Beat together the egg yolk and brandy, mix in and stir to a soft dough. Wrap and chill for 30 minutes, then roll out and line a 24cm shallow tart tin. Line with paper and baking beans, and bake at 180C (160C fan-assisted/350F/gas mark 4) for 30 minutes until evenly golden, removing the paper and beans halfway through.
Tip the milk, cornflour, egg white, sugar and vanilla into a pan, whisk until smooth, then bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Remove from the heat, spoon into a bowl and cover to stop a skin forming as it cools.
When cold, beat in the crème fraîche, then spoon into the pastry case. De stalk the strawberries, cut them in half and fan over the top of the tart, cut side and thick end downward.

I didn't use his recipe for pastry as I don't like almonds, instead another sweet pastry recipe that I have. Everything else I did the same. I like the "creme patisserie" bit to it. Very nice. I have Dan's book which is excellent called exceptional cakes: baker and spice which has the BEST ever gingerbread biscuits in them, and loads of fantastic top notch bakery standard cakes and treats in it. I'm not talking Greggs here, more Tea at the Ritz! Which, by the way, I once did for my grannie's 80th birthday. One of her lifelong dreams. A few years ago my sister and I went to the Dorchester for their afternoon tea, and it is out of this world! If in London go to one of the top hotels and splash out on afternoon tea.

The sad thing is in less than 2 months there will be no more British strawberries, but we will be blackberry picking and that to me is Autumn coming!! So we're enjoying the fruits of summer while we can.

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