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Posts Tagged ‘tart’

  1. Treacle Tart

    May 10, 2020 by sarah

    I started this blog post over 6 months ago and never got to the stage of finishing and publishing it. It may not be the time of year for stodgy, warming food with the current summer-like weather, but it is most definitely the time for comfort food! Especially recipes that are easy to make. With flour in short supply at the moment, I recommend you use ready made pastry, either fresh or frozen works, as the supermarkets seem to be stocking this at the moment without issues. The recipe contains only a couple of eggs so hopefully you can spare these and I have seen the local supermarket selling golden syrup. Satisfy those sweet-tooth cravings!

    November 2019 It is that time of year when I am craving comforting, warming food. Calorie heavy but oh so tasty. Something to keep out the cold from the inside. For those of you that have not had a traditional British treacle tart before may well be put off by the unprepossessing list of ingredients and even the name but this is definitely one of those dishes where the finished article far exceeds the sum of its parts. For a start is made with something called golden syrup, a buy-product of sugar making, either cane or beet. Treacle tarts are no longer made with true treacle or molasses which modern palates would find too strong and bitter tasting. Golden syrup has its own distinct but subtle flavour of slightly caramel-like and a hint of acidity at the end that makes it so moreish. It is a partially inverted sugar so I often use it if I have run out of commercial invert sugar in my confectionery and chocolate making. It is nothing like corn syrup and corn syrup cannot and must not be substituted in this recipe.

    I love the tin that Tate and Lyle Golden Syrup comes in but it wasn’t until I made this recipe did I notice the picture on the front and looked up what it means. The tin bears a picture of a rotting carcass of a lion with a swarm of bees and the slogan “Out of the strong came forth sweetness”. It is apparently a Biblical reference but rather gross! Luckily that does not reflect on the contents of the tin.

    This recipe is an amalgamation from several online but particularly this one in The Guardian from Felicity Cloake, the tester of all good recipes. Makes 8 generous slices or 10 good sized slices; the remainder freezes well. Serve with your favourite additional calorie side such as cream, custard or vanilla ice-cream. Delicious at room temperature or my favourite, slightly warm from the oven. Do not store in the fridge!

    Treacle Tart

    • 500g block ready made short-crust pastry (do not use sweetened or enriched pastry) or make your own with 300g flour and 150g butter.
    • 50g butter
    • 400g golden syrup – sit the jar in a bowl of hot water
    • 140g white breadcrumbs, made with slightly stale or toasted bread
    • 2 medium eggs, well beaten
    • 3 tablespoons of double cream
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice and zest of one lemon
    • Optional – couple of knobs of stem ginger in syrup, finely chopped.

    Use the pastry to line a 23-24cm deep, loose-bottomed tart tin. Chill well while an oven heats to 200 C/fan 180 C. Prick the bottom of the pastry case, line with foil or grease-proof paper and weigh down with rice/beans/pastry ceramic beads. Blind bake for 15-20 minutes until just going golden, remove the blind baking stuff and return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes. Remove and brush the bottom well with some of the beaten egg and return to the oven for another few minutes to cook the egg – this will stop any sticky leakages!

    Reduce the oven temperature to 140 C.

    Melt the butter in a pan, add the golden syrup and continue to heat until warm through.

    Remove from the heat and add the eggs, cream, lemon and, if using, the ginger and stir well together. Pour over the breadcrumbs, mix swiftly and allow to sit for a few minutes. Do not over mix otherwise it will become chewy.

    Pour the filling mixture into the pastry case, sit all on a large baking sheet to collect any oozes and return to the oven at the lower temperature. It will need 35-40 minutes, and is cooked when still a little soft in the centre and only a hint of golden-brown colour on the outside edge.

  2. Medlar Pie

    February 8, 2015 by sarah

    Following on from my post about medlars before Christmas, I had a bowlful of medlars left at the beginning of December. It was sort of deliberate as I wanted to experiment a little further using this fruit but was unsure of what to make plus a lack of time. And then I came across a recipe using medlars in a tart and it sounded intriguing. A recipe from 1660 – would it work? Would it translate to modern tastes? So I put some course work lectures on in the background and made this tart.

    medalr tart-003












    The original recipe is a little lacking in details:

    Take medlars that are rotten, strain them, and set them on a chaffing dish of coals, season them with sugar, cinamon and ginger, put some yolks of eggs to them, let it boil a little, and lay it in a cut tart; being baked scrape on sugar.

    But luckily Tracey at her Norfolk Kitchen blog had already done some research and testing and came up with this interpretation. And she is right, it is very similar to an American pumpkin pie recipe but so much nicer. Whereas pumpkin is just plain bland, the medlars lend this pie a creamy fruity intenseness which is heightened by the spices rather than being the main event as in pumpkin pie. This pie was delicious to eat at any time of day, warm or cold. Next time I may try adding some orange zest for an extra dimension, though I am not sure this sublime pie needs it.

    My ever thoughtful husband bought me a cookery book for my birthday. But not just any cookery book, ‘The Compleat City and Country Cook: or Accomplifh’d Housewife’, published in 1736. There are some interesting recipes in there that I am going to experiment with when I have time. Finally a recipe for the brace of teal I have in the freezer!

    medalr tart-002

    Medlar Pie

    8″/20cm loose bottomed tart tin, lined with shortcrust party and blind baked
    bowl full of medlars (was about 500g or more)
    70g caster sugar
    3 egg yolks
    1 teaspoon mixed spice
    Prepare the medlars – stew with a little water until soft and bash up with a potato masher. Push the fruit through a sieve, discarding the skins and seeds, and put the fruit puree in a medium bowl.
    Beat in the sugar, egg yolks and spice. Taste to see if it requires more sugar or spice.
    Pour this mixture into the cold blind baked pastry case. Place in the oven preheated to 180 ºC/160 ºC fan and bake for 30-40 minutes until set. Allow to mostly cool before serving with a crunchy topping of demerara sugar.
    medalr tart-004

  3. Quintessential Quinces – Apple and Quince Tart

    December 28, 2013 by sarah

    I bought these quinces a few weeks ago at the Waddesdon Christmas food fair. They had been sitting in the fruit bowl, staring at me, taunting me, ‘go on then, you bought me, now cook me’! Everything I read said they were devils to cook; impossible to peel and needing long slow cooking otherwise they would stay rock hard and inedible but that the pleasures would more than overcome any trials in cooking them, in fragrance and flavour.















    I have to say I am disappointed. I had procrastinated about cooking them for several weeks, waiting for this fantastic aroma that is supposed to emanate from them. It didn’t happen so I moved on to cooking with them. They weren’t that hard to peel and chop, or at least my birthday present knives, once sharpened, cut then easy enough. Then I poached them in spiced sugar syrup awaiting the transformation into rose red jewels. Instead of the half an hour of poaching they were supposed to need, they were ready in 15 minutes without a hint of pink. So came the tasting and again disappointment, like a pear crossed with an apple. I had such high hopes for them. In the end two out of the three were eaten on my morning muesli.

    So we come to the recipe. After leaving organisation to the last minute, I realised on Christmas day that I would need to produce some sort of dessert for the friends coming the next day. I raided the freezer and found a packet of puff pastry and in the fruit bowl a lonely quince and some apples. So we have

    French Apple and Quince Cheats Tart
    packet of puff pastry, defrosted if frozen
    2 eating apples e.g. granny smiths, cored but not peeled
    1 lonely quince, peeled and cored
    2 tablespoons of soft brown sugar mixed with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
    icing sugar
    fruit jelly e.g. apricot or quince
    Roll out the puff pastry to a square about 30 cm on each side and cut in half so two bits about 15cm by 30cm. If it is ready rolled pastry try and find a way of getting the square or rectangle into two lengths that are not too narrow. Place on baking sheets and put in the fridge until ready to cook.
    Finely slice the apples and quince into a large bowl containing the sugar mixed with lemon juice. Set aside until ready to bake.
    When you want to bake them, preheat oven to 220 C or 200 C if fan.
    Take the pastry rectangles out of the fridge and neatly arrange rows of the fruit slices, alternating quince and apple, so that they overlap by about half a slice but leave a clear border of pastry of about a centimetre around the edge.
    Drizzle over any juices left in the bowl and dust over a thin layer of icing sugar.
    Place in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes.
    When they come out, cool on a cooling rack while heating a couple of tablespoons of fruit jelly with a splash of water (in a pan or in the microwave), stir until the jelly has dissolved and then brush over the pastrys with a pastry brush. Serve!

    If you are looking for more inspiration for what to do with quinces then see Nigel Slater, he raves about them.

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