recipes for healthy living

Tag: pastry

Autumn Plum Frangipane Tart

plum collage

plum bakewell

This tart makes use of delicious plums in abundance right now though you could use nectarines or apples equally. For me though, there is something about this time of year with cold mornings, a touch of frost but warming up in the day that seems right for plums, and this tart is perfect after a weekend walk looking for conkers or blackberries – which would also be equally delicious too!.

Plum Frangipane Tart

Oven at 180C
70gr almond flour
7gr plain GF flour
70gr butter
70gr icing sugar
1 egg

1 Quantity Pastry (Below)
5 ripe plums

Sift almond flour
Add the plain flour and whisk together
Whisk the butter until soft and white
Sift in the icing sugar then add the almond flour mix, beating on low speed until incorporated then increase the speed
and beat until soft and creamy
Beat in the egg until smooth and beaten in. Transfer to a bowl until needed, cover the surface with cling.
This can be kept in the fridge for up to 4 days.

To make the pastry, combine 200gr plain flour with 22gr icing sugar with 20gr almond flour
Place 100gr unsalted butter into a mixing bowl with a paddle attachment and cream on medium.
Beat in the flour mix in 2 additions scraping down the bowl from time to time until all fully incorporated.
Add 1 egg and beat well. Empty the dough out onto the counter and knead gently to bring the pastry together.
Wrap the pastry in cling and place in the fridge to chill.

Roll out the dough and line an 8″ tart tin
Fill the pastry shell with the almond cream
Cut the plums into 1/8inch slices
(Poach the plums if they are not very ripe)
Arrange a ring of overlapping plums around the tart
Continue with a second ring which slightly overlaps the first
Arrange the remaining plum slices in the centre

Bake for about 45 minutes until the crust is well browned
Cool to room temp before serving to prevent the juices from running out
Serve with cream or ice cream – delicious

Financier Cakes with Glazed Blueberries

Blueberry Financiers

Saturdays are predictable in our house, Dom works, I bring Eva to swimming lessons and afterwards she gets hot chocolate to ward off a sugar low meltdown. I never learnt to swim as a child and despite going back as an adult and learning, I still have a fear of being out of my depth, so I consider the hot chocolate a well deserved treat. I love having people over for coffee and a chat as well,I’m from a big family and I get great joy from having chats round the table with good coffee and something nice to eat. It harks back to growing up, my mum loved us around the table, everyone was welcome, Sunday dinners were like open house and she would often even stay up late at night to chat to us when got in from a ‘disco’ (I’m showing my age!)
So in the hope of enticing a few callers I usually bake. To make it known we are ‘open for visitors’, a Facebook update generally does the trick…. So be sociable, Tomorrow is saturday so bake and enjoy the company!

Blueberry Financiers with glazed blueberries

6 oz of butter melted to make beurre noisette
4 oz icing sugar
4 oz ground almonds
2 oz gluten free white flour
5 egg whites
1 tsp lime juice
Zest of 2 limes
2 oz desiccated coconut lightly toasted
3 oz blueberries
2 of Flaked coconut

Clarify and brown the butter by adding it to a small heavy saucepan. Heat over a low hear until melted. Continue cooking and watching carefully until the butter turns brown. Make sure not to let go black – start again if that happens. Pour butter through strainer and discard the white milk solids. Let cool.

Mix the flour, sugar and almond flour in a bowl
Add the egg whites and lime juice and gently mix until they are incorporated
Tip into mixer and using paddle mixer, beat in the melted butter in a gentle but steady stream.
Fold in the desiccated coconut and lime zest.
Spoon mixture into bun cases sitting in a metal tin or into silicone financier moulds.
Push in the blueberries and sprinkle over the coconut flakes
Bake in oven for 12 – 15 minutes until firm to the touch and a skewer in the centre comes out clean.
Leave to cool if they are in silicon moulds otherwise remove bun cases from metal tins after about 5 minutes. Serve with the glazed blueberries.

Glazed blueberries
240g blueberries
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp water

Throw the blueberries, water and sugar onto a medium pan and shake until the sugar starts to dissolve and blueberries become lovely and glazed with the syrup. (About 3 mins)

Pasteis De Nata

I became obsessed with these little pastries on holidays, the pastry so light, the delicious custard caramelised on top. Part of our holiday routine is a long early morning walk – great to see a town wake up, take some photos and see what the locals get up to before the heat of the day arrives. The reward at the end of the walk is a sit down in a coffee shop to try out the local specialties. These pastries were everywhere and investigation told me it was the nuns at Belem who developed them and the shop purported to be the original still has long queues and sell out at lunchtime.

I made the pastry but if you buy a very good quality puff pastry it will do. These take time to prepare and are best eaten the the day they are made but I do think they are worth it. Note that all my research suggested heating the oven to 290C – I’v never met a domestic ovens hitting those temperatures – I put my pizza stone into the oven and put the sheet on top of those but could not get the tops quite as brown as those I sampled on holidays…. still really lovely though!

Pasteis De Nata Portuguese Custard Tarts

1 package good quality puff pastry at room temperature

For the custard
3 tbsp plain flour
1 1/4 cups milk, divided as below
1 1/3 cups castor sugar
1 cinnamon stick
2/3 cup water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1 vanilla pod
6 large egg yolks, whisked
icing sugar and cinnamon for the top

Prepare the dough
Sprinkle work surface with a light dusting of flour
Roll out the dough to an 18-by-21-inch rectangle, with the shorter side facing you.
Then roll the dough away from you into a tight log, brushing the excess flour from the underside as you go.
Trim the ends and cut the log in half.
Wrap each piece in plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours or preferably overnight.

Make the custard
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour and 1/4 cup of the milk until smooth. Set aside.
Bring the sugar, cinnamon, and water to a boil in a small saucepan and cook until an instant-read thermometer registers 220°F (100°C). Do not stir.
Meanwhile, in another small saucepan, scald the remaining 1 cup milk. Whisk the hot milk into the flour mixture.
Remove the cinnamon stick then pour the sugar syrup in a thin stream into the hot milk-and-flour mixture, whisking briskly.
Add the vanilla and stir for a minute until very warm but not hot. Whisk in the yolks, strain the mixture into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside.
Heat the oven to as high as it will go (usually 240C).
Remove a pastry log from the refrigerator and roll it back and forth on a lightly floured surface until it’s about an inch in diameter and 16 inches long.
Cut it into just less than 3/4-inch slices and put each piece cut-side down in each well of a nonstick mini-muffin tin then using your thumb flatten it against the bottom of the muffin tin to a thickness of about 1/8 inch, then smooth the dough up the sides and create a raised lip about 1/8 inch above the pan. The pastry sides should be thinner than the bottom.
(See pics if confused)

Fill each cup with the slightly warm custard and bank them until the edges of the dough are frilled and brown and the custard is brown – about 9 minutes for this size – more if you make them bigger.
Remove from the oven and allow the pasteis to cool a few minutes in the pan, then transfer to a rack and cool until just warm.
Sprinkle them generously with icing sugar and cinnamon and serve.
The custard will keep in the fridge up to three days.

Recipe courtesy of Leite’s – I test drove 3 recipes, this gave the best result.

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