Tag Archives: tartlet

Individual Apricot, Almond and Rosewater Tartlets

2 Jun

I have spoken before in a recent post about inspiration. These pretty little tarts came into being because I pass apricot trees laden with fruit, beautiful roses and young green almonds every morning when I run with the dog. These things stick in my head and come out in the form of food generally.

I was going to make an apricot galette inspired by Pease Pudding’s stunning Pear & Chocolate Galette but I wanted to make my pastry using spelt flour and use olive oil instead of butter. The olive oil pastry idea came from Food To Glow’s olive oil crust recipe. It’s a savoury recipe for a  gorgeous Tandoori Cauliflower Tart but she also talks about a sweet version of the pastry using ground almonds and vanilla. This got me thinking.

This is what I do you see, go off on a tangent. I end up using about four different recipes at the same time taking the bits I need from each one. Both ladies above suggested using Chocolate & Zucchini’s olive oil pastry recipe but then I found an apricot and almond tart using a sweet olive oil pastry on La Tartine Gourmande.

So I went with that one. And the pastry is lovely, for a tart. It’s just a bit too delicate for a galette. It’s a really short pastry which means it’s kind of like a biscuity shortbread rather than a pastry you can fold around a fruit filling without it cracking. So the little tart tins came out and the galette got put back a bit. I know my friend Jeanne said recently that she had lots of peaches and plums growing at the moment and both of those would be perfect in a galette.

Apricot, Almond & Rosewater Tartlets

Makes 2 x 10cm tartlets, vegan, wheat-free. Adapted from La Tartine Gourmande

  • 7 or 8 apricots
  • 2 or 3 tbsp rosewater
  • 100 gr spelt flour (or wholemeal/plain)
  • 30 gr raw or soft brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp ground almonds for the pastry
  • pinch salt
  • 2 drops almond extract
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp water (maybe)
  • 2 tbsp ground almonds for the filling
  • 2 tbsp honey or agave syrup
  • flaked almonds
  • icing sugar to serve

 For the pastry, mix the flour, sugar, ground almonds and salt in the bowl of a food processor (or you can do it by hand). Add the almond extract and olive oil and mix/ pulse until crumbly, stop if necessary to scrape the sides of the bowl and make sure that everything is well incorporated. Pulse until it forms a ball that leaves the side of the bowl, you may have to add a little water a teaspoon at a time to get it to hold together. Wrap it in cling film, flatten it into a disc and put in the fridge for at least an hour.

Half the apricots and remove the stones, the skin of mine came off really easily when I was preparing them but you can leave it on if you like. Cut each half into 4 wedges, put in a bowl and sprinkle over the rosewater. Leave this to marinate while your pastry is resting.

Preheat your oven to 180 C. Cut the dough into two equal pieces and roll them out between two sheets of floured clingfilm, this stops it sticking to the work surface & rolling-pin. Roll them into rough circles to fit your tart tins about 2-3 mm thick. Lift them carefully on the clingfilm and place into the tins. Push the dough into the tins so it is even, trim around the top with a sharp knife and patch up any cracks with the off cuts.

Prick the bases all over with a fork and then sprinkle over a thin layer of ground almonds. Arrange the apricots slices in a fanned circle around the edge and put 2 slices in the middle. Squeeze the honey/agave syrup over the fruit and top with some flaked almonds. Bake for about 25 minutes, leave to cool slightly and dust with a layer of icing sugar to serve. Some rose petals scattered over look pretty too.

Have a great weekend!

Aloo Gobi Filo Tartlet – My Guest Post at Como Water

28 Jan

The inspiration for this dish came to me because at the moment, where I walk the dog in the mornings, they are harvesting potatoes and cauliflowers.

One of my favourite Indian dishes is Aloo Gobi which is potatoes and cauliflower cooked in a spicy masala. It is real Indian comfort food, the potatoes and cauliflower are meltingly soft, this is no time for al dente vegetables!

 Serving it in a filo tart shell just gives it a little contrast in texture. The delicate crisp filo is the perfect vehicle for the Aloo Gobi and it makes it look a bit more special too.

The recipe for this tartlet is over with Tiffany at Como Water. I was really honoured when Tiffany asked me to guest post on her blog.

I first “met” Tiffany as a friend on Foodbuzz and quickly discovered that we have very similar values and taste in food. I would even go as far as to say that we are foodie kindred spirits. I really hope that one day that we can meet in person and have a very long lunch somewhere gorgeous! This is her introduction:

When I was fourteen, I decided to defy the codes of my family and of my community.  I stopped eating meat. With a splash of age, a sprinkle of food documentaries, a dash of books about the food industry, and a bushel of life experiences, vegetarian and vegan food went from being something I approached rather nonchalantly to becoming a way of life. I started comowater.com to share information and to share my meatless meals, to dialogue with people who approach food from perspectives that may be similar to or very different from my own, and to showcase what I cook on average nights and on special occasions. This site is not about conversion or pushing an agenda. Instead, I hope that folks–vegetarians, vegans, flexitarians, pescatarians, and carnivores alike–come to comowater.com to be inspired to make their own vegan and vegetarian cuisine prepared with passion and love.

She also has a “When You Need a Boost Page” filled with really inspirational quotes. This is one of my favourites:

“Everything you could ever want or to be, you already have and are.” ~I Heart Huckabees~
Hop over to Como Water for the recipe and have a look around while you’re there. Say hello to Tiffany from me!

White Grape, Manchego and Fennel Seed Tartlets

16 Jul

Grapes are just coming into season here now. Where we walk with the dog there are vines, heavy with juicy bunches growing along the fences at the side of the paths. Every day they ripen a little more with the intense heat of the sun.

I’ve never cooked with grapes before. At the restaurant we had an Andalucian salad with Manchego cheese, grapes, Serrano ham and a Jerez (sherry) vinegar dressing that sold very well in the summer.

This got me thinking about the grape and Manchego combination. The Washer Up used to make a Manchego & Red Onion Tartlet that was delicious. He cut the puff pastry into triangles a little bigger than the triangle of cheese and made a red onion marmalade to go on the top. It was a very popular starter.

My version just swaps the red onion marmalade for a grape compote. I used elderflower cordial in the compote because it is the very essence of summer but you can use grape juice if you can’t get any. I bought mine in Ikea.

The fennel seeds idea came from a recipe for Grape & Fennel Seed Focaccia in the Ottolenghi Cookbook. I am slightly Ottolenghi obsessed at the moment. The fennel seeds add an interesting flavour and texture, and the Spanish do love their anis so it finished off the dish nicely.

If you strain the compote before it cools you will also have a grape and elderflower syrup to drizzle over the finished dish, but it’s not essential.

Remember to put the frozen puff pastry in the fridge to defrost the night before you need it.

White Grape, Manchego & Fennel Seed Tartlets Recipe

makes about 6 or 7 tartlets, vegetarian

For the Grape, Elderflower & Fennel Seed Compote

  • about 400 gr seedless white grapes, stemmed & halved
  • 50 gr caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp elderflower cordial
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds, roughly crushed in a mortar & pestle

Stir the grapes and sugar in a large saucepan so all the grapes are coated and set aside for 5 minutes. Add the elderflower cordial and half of the crushed fennel seeds. (Keep the rest for sprinkling on the tarts later).

Bring to a boil over a medium high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the syrup thickens and coats the back of a spoon, about 20 -25 minutes. Pour the compote into a sieve over a bowl to collect the syrup and let the grapes drain well.

Store the grapes and syrup, covered, separately in the fridge until needed.

For the Tartlets

  • 1 block frozen puff pastry, defrosted in the fridge overnight
  • flour for dusting
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten for egg wash
  • 6 or 7  5mm thick triangular slices of Manchego cheese, rind removed
  • grape compote (see above)
  • the rest of the crushed fennel seeds (see above)

Dust your work surface & rolling-pin with flour and roll out the block of pastry, with the narrowest end facing you, into a long thin rectangle about 2 or 3 mm thick.

See photo above. Place one of the slices of Manchego onto the beginning (nearest you) of the pastry rectangle so it is pointing like an arrow to the right. Cut around the cheese leaving a 5 mm border all the way around. Turn the cheese arrow round so it is pointing to the left above the first triangle and do the same. Continue alternating like this until you have run out of pastry. You should get 6 or 7 triangles.

Score a 5 mm border with sharp knife on each pastry triangle but don’t cut all the way through. Trim the short side of the triangle to make it neat.  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 220 C.  Line a baking tray with baking paper and place your pastry triangles on it, spaced apart. Put 1 small teaspoon of grape compote in the middle of each of the triangles and spread it out slightly. Don’t go into the 5mm border.

Brush the pastry borders with egg wash and sprinkle a few of the crushed fennel seeds on the borders too (save some for garnishing the finished tart). Cook for about 12 minutes until browned and risen. Keep an eye on them though.

You can keep them like this until you are ready to serve. Then preheat the oven again if necessary, top each with a slice of Manchego and bake for another 2 minutes, just until the cheese melts.

Top with another teaspoon or so of the compote and sprinkle with a little of the crushed fennel seeds. Serve on a flat plate with a simple green salad and drizzle over the grape and elderflower syrup. If your syrup has set in the fridge just heat it up with a bit more elderflower cordial.

These make a great light lunch or starter but you could also quite easily serve them as a dessert/cheese course. They’ve got that sweet cheesey danish pastry feel that would work for afternoon tea too.

They taste just as good at room temperature and would be perfect for a summer picnic with some sparkling elderflower cordial or a nice bottle of chilled cava.

Buen Provecho!!

Things that made me smile today….

Our new friend the Shetland pony. He likes us because we take him carrots.

The Washer Up calls him “Donkey” (from Shrek), I think it might be the teeth!!

Buen Fin de Semana!

Orange Curd and Little Tarts

13 Feb

Living here at the moment is like living in an orange world. People keep giving me bags full. The trees seem to produce so much fruit with so little work. Everyone has orange trees and nobody knows what to do with them all, so they give them away.

Not that I mind it gives me a chance to get creative, there is only so much orange juice you can drink…..

I’ve made lemon curd before and it was really easy and had been thinking about making curd with the oranges that were threatening to go off  in carrier bags in my kitchen.I wasn’t sure it would work or about the sugar ratio. The deciding moment came when I saw a recipe for orange passionfruit curd tarts on 6 Bittersweets. They looked so beautiful, I didn’t need any more encouragement……….

I used the same recipe I used to make lemon curd but I just used a bit less sugar. It worked!  It really is lovely on toast and the smell of  the orange zest while you are making it is intoxicating……

It is really easy to make into a tart as well. You just pour/ dollop it into a baked sweet tart case and leave it in the fridge to set.

Orange Curd Recipe

makes 3 jars, vegetarian

  • grated zest & juice of 4 oranges
  • 4 eggs
  • 300 gr caster sugar
  • 230 gr room temperature unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp cornflour

Lightly whisk the eggs in a medium saucepan, add the rest of the ingredients and put on a medium high heat. Whisk continuously until thickened (about 5-8 minutes). Lower the to minimum and simmer, still whisking for another minute. Remove from the heat and pour into hot sterilized jars (Just put them through the dishwasher). Seal immediately, leave to cool then store in the fridge.

Orange Curd Tart Recipe

  • orange curd (see recipe above)
  • baked sweet tart shell/cases see my recipe here or buy one/some
  • icing sugar
  • orange zest curls

Bake the tart shell/cases until golden, leave to cool slightly then pour/dollop in the orange curd. Spread it about evenly and chill in the fridge. Best eaten on the same day as filling the case. When ready to serve, dust with a little icing sugar and top with some orange zest curls.

It would be lovely topped with soft meringue and baked too. I will have to try that next time. I have a feeling there will be a next time, my friend Rhian has just invited our dog, Rufus, around to play. She said to bring a bag as she has loads of oranges………..

Blueberry and Lemon Tartlets

2 Nov

It has been a while since I posted a dessert recipe and I wanted to make something gorgeous with the blueberries that were in danger of going off in my fridge. The craving I had for fruit over the summer has suddenly gone and cooler evenings have replaced the stiffling heat. My stomach is now craving soups, comfort foods and I have a yearning to make pretty afternoon teas. Although I still haven’t bought a vintage three tiered cake stand its only because I haven’t found the right one, a vintage jade green china with pretty handpainted flowers, slightly faded glory. This only exists in my mind, I think, unless anyone knows differently…..

I decided not to go down the blueberry muffin route, too Starbucks! But I do remember making some lovely lemon & blueberry muffins a while ago with a pinch of ground cloves that worked really well so I’ll try those flavours in a tart. The recipe below includes The Washer Up’s sweet pastry recipe but you can buy a precooked pastry case if you like.

Blueberry & Lemon Tartlets

Makes  8/10 individual or a 9 inch big tart  

Vegetarian 

For the Sweet Pastry (Pate Sablee) 

  • 200gr plain flour
  • 120gr butter cold
  • 60gr icing sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • egg white for brushing
  1. Put the butter, sugar & egg yolks into a food processor & work together quickly
  2. Then blend in the sifted flour & work into a paste
  3. A soon as it forms a ball wrap it in clingfilm & refrigerate it for at least an hour ( The longer the better it will be easier to work with )
  4. When the pastry is really well chilled cut it into 8 equal portions keep 1 portion out & put the rest back in the fridge.
  5. Get 2 big pieces of clingfilm & lay one on your work surface & dust liberally with icing sugar.
  6. Put the piece of pastry on the cling film, dust it with more icing sugar then top with the 2nd piece of clingfilm. Push it down into a flat round shape.
  7. Roll out the pastry (in between the 2 bits of clingfilm to stop it sticking to the rolling pin)to a size a bit bigger than the tart tins
  8. Peel off the cling film carefully & push the pastry into the tart tin(Push it in don’t stretch it)
  9. Trim off the edges & use the excess to fill any holes.
  10. Now put the tart in the fridge & take out the next piece of pastry. Continue until all the tarts are in the fridge.
  11. If you make a big tart you only have to do it once obviously(much less work!!)

  1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees.
  2. Line the tarts with baking paper & fill with dry baking beans or uncooked rice.
  3. Cook in the middle of the oven for 6mins for individual tarts. 10 mins for the large tart.

  1. Remove the baking paper & beans, prick all over the pastry bases with a fork.
  2. Put them back in the oven for another 6 mins. 10 mins for the large until it is starting to dry.
  3. Brush with pastry bases with egg white & put back in the oven on the bottom shelf for 2 mins to harden slightly
  4. Take out & leave on a rack to cool slightly while you make the filling.
  5. Turn the oven down to 170 degrees

For the lemon & blueberry filling 

  • 170gr caster sugar
  • 185ml double cream
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 125ml fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp grated lemon zest
  • 1 punnet blueberries washed
  • a pinch of ground cloves
  1. Whisk the sugar, cream & egg yolks in a bowl to blend well.
  2. Mix in lemon juice & zest. Transfer to a jug.
  3. Sprinkle the washed blueberries with pinch of ground cloves and toss to coat evenly
  4. Put the tart cases on the bottom shelf of the oven & pull the shelf out slightly
  5. Pour the lemon filling into the tart cases(not up to the top)tumble in some blueberries & carefully slide the shelf back in.
  6. Bake for 15 -18 mins until set round the edges & a slight wobble in the centre.(About 30 mins for a large tart)
  7. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack before taking out of the tart tins.

Serve for afternoon tea with friends, they really are delicious. The clove is genius, but only a pinch or you will ruin them!

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