Sometimes a major recalibration involves a rolling pin and the scales. Whilst browsing some of my favourite food blogs I checked into teandwheatenbread.blogspot. Where I was inspired by two good old soul food favourites.
As soon as I read them I went out to buy the relevant ingredients and set about a dinner I feel we haven't eaten the likes of for too long. I mean, as vibrant, seasonal, innovative, healthy, local, shmokel that salads and fish, grilled meat, complex carbohydrates, exotic grains from Peru are; sometimes it is lasagne and bakewell tarts which the heart desires!
The gooseberry & elderflower twist was courtesy of some imaginative homemade jam made by fabulous chef and caterer Barbara Landell Mills. The pastry recipe below is one I have used for 15 years and it is very reliable and easy, especially if being made in a food processor.
Boy it was so good!
Gooseberry & Elderflower Bakewell Tarts
- 1 quantity of pastry (recipe below)
- Some Jam of your choice, they all work (Cherry, Strawberry, Raspberry) or if lucky like me, then gooseberry and elderflower!
- 125gms caster sugar
- 125gms soft butter
- 3 eggs
- 1 Tablespoon brandy
- 125gms ground almonds
- 2 Tablespoons of plain flour
The Pastry - This makes a double amount
- 500gms Plain White Flour
- 290gms Unsalted Butter chilled
- 1 Dessert spoon caster sugar
- pinch salt
- 1 egg
- 80mls ice cold water
- Put the flour and chilled butter in the blender and pulse until breadcrumbs.
- Add the salt, sugar and a quick blitz.
- Add the egg and water and pulse until the dough forms a ball.
- Finish by hand and leave to 'rest'.
- Roll out to fit a fluted tin, or in my case I used a bun tin.
- When you have eased the pastry into the shell, allow the pastry to chill in fridge. At this stage pre heat the oven to 180C.
Finishing the Bakewell's
- To make the frangipane, whisk the butter with caster sugar.
- Add the eggs, one by one, fully whipping them in before adding the next.
- Beat in the brandy.
- Stir in the ground almonds.
- Stir in the flour.
- When the pastry is chilled, fill the bottom of the shell with a teaspoon of jam of your choice.
- Add a dessertspoon of frangipane, then sprinkle with flaked almonds.
- Bake in the oven for 25/30 minutes, until the frangipane looks golden.
- Allow to cool on a cooling rack. Dust with icing sugar and serve with cream if feeling very naughty!