Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Pear and Almond Tart

Pears and almonds are really a match made in heaven. It is not that the flavour explodes in your mouth as some things do, it is more of a subtle pleasure that lingers and please. It leaves you longing for more and what better can you have from food that you make?

This little lovely is made from pears that I had bottled myself when we had a glut of them earlier on this year and they were waiting for me to transform then into this delicious tart.

The pastry is my usual.
200g plain flour
120g butter
60 caster sugar
1 egg.

The method is standard and I am not going to bore you with the details. Roll out and line a deepish 8 inch tart tin. About 24cm. You will have pastry left over so please do not try to use it all as the pastry will be far too thick. You can freeze the left overs and use for something else. Mince pies come to mind as we are approaching Christmas.

For the filling
1 tin of pears in natural fruit juice. If you have bottled your own so much the better but if not these are good too. Strain well or you will make a soggy tart! Put onto the pastry base.

1 egg
the weight of the egg (in the shell) in butter, ground almonds and caster sugar.
a few drops of bitter almond essence (do not be tempted to put more, it really is very strong)

Put all of the ingredients in a bowl and beat until all has been amalgamated and smooth. Top the pears and smooth. Sprinkle with some flaked almonds if you have them but it is not then end of the world if you don't.

Cook at 180 C for about 30 mins but do check as all ovens are different.


Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Torta Parisina after Luca Montersino

Luca Montersino, just has to be one of the most talented and amazing chefs around at the moment. I bought three of his books when I was in Italy this year because I couldn't resist them. Could anyone? The following cake is not exactly as he made it because it was devised for prople who are alergic to wheat and thankfully I don't have that problem. I converted the recipe back to traditional ingredients and this is the result.

The recipe will follow shortly, so if you have stumbled upon my blog then please call back to see how to make this cake.

For the Peaches:
Take 3 ripe peaches and put them in a bowl that is large enough to cover them with  boiling water. Now boil your kettle and pour over the peaches. Leave for a few minutes and remove from the water. If you have left them long enough the skin will peel off easily.
Slice into eights and put them into a saucepan with a sugar syrup of about 50g sugar to 100ml water anf the juice of half a small lemon. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Leave to cool in the syrup. Drain and they are ready to use in your pie.

Start by making the pastry with
200g of plain flour
120 g butter
50g caster sugar.
1 egg
Rub all of the ingredients except the egg together to resemble fine breadcrumbs. Mix in enough egg to bind. Form into a ball and refridgerate for about 30 mins to firm uo the pastry.