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Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Food, Glorious Food... Raspberry Tart!

And it’s back! Food is here again! In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a huge fan of just about everything edible, so I’m back with some summer recipes!
This first recipe is for raspberry tart. I made it up the other day to use up some frozen raspberries I had in the freezer. They’re just as good as fresh, and cheaper too! Just leave them in the fridge overnight to defrost.

Before we start, I’d just like to tell you to remain calm. There’s one element to this that appears quite complicated: crème patissiere (AKA confectioner’s cream). It’s kind of like a cream/custard used in pastries and is absolutely delicious, but can be a bit of a challenge. It’s actually a lot easier than people make it look as long as you have faith! I’ll try and explain it in a simple, soothing manner.

First things first... the pastry. This is simple enough, a sweet short crust, baked blind.

250g (10 oz) Plain Flour
50g (2 oz) Icing Sugar
150g (6 oz) Butter (or equivalent, I like Stork margarine but you can use any spread/butter you wish)
1 tbsp Water

1) Sieve the flour and icing sugar together in a large mixing bowl.
2) Add the butter and rub it into the flour with your fingers repeatedly until it is all mixed together. The mix should look something halfway between breadcrumbs and sand.
3) Add in the water, just the tablespoon to start but more if needed, and use a butter knife to stir it until it begins to form a dough. Hands can be used if necessary... I’m not judging.
4) Roll out the dough on a floured surface (I always use a glass chopping board) and then fit it into a pyrex/enamel pie/tart dish, like the one I’ve got. Don’t worry if it doesn’t look perfect, it’s going to be covered up.
5) Prick the base of the pastry with a fork in a few places which will stop it from rising. Then bake it in the oven at 200 degrees for about 25-35 minutes.

While that’s going on, you can get started on the crème patissiere.

300 ml Milk
1 tsp Vanilla Essence
3 Egg Yolks (save the whites for meringues!)
50g Sugar
2 tbsps Cornflour
2 tbsps Flour
(Optionally, you can add a tablespoon of brandy with the vanilla, but I’ve never tried it and as this is a TEEN blog, I’m not endorsing it… just sayin’)

1) Ensure you are using a thick-bottomed saucepan like I have in the picture. This isn’t a “zero is not a size” campaign, it will just prevent the mix from overheating. Put the milk, vanilla and brandy (IF YOU ARE OVER THE AGE OF EIGHTEEN AND HAVE MADE THE INDEPENDENT DECISION TO DRINK ALCOHOL) into the saucepan and heat until it just begins to boil.
2) In a medium bowl, mix the yolks, flour, cornflour and sugar together thoroughly. Then pour on the milk and stir. Do not pour the mix into the milk... you don’t even want to know what happens... just don’t do it. Promise?
3) Once mixed, pour into the saucepan and return to a medium heat. Keep stirring constantly and don’t leave it alone for a second. Not even if the house is on fire.
4) If it looks lumpy, don’t panic, just keep stirring. Gradually a thick kind of custard will form, looking a bit like this...

Now all you need is to add the raspberries.

Raspberries. That’s it. I didn’t think this format through.

1) Pour the crème patissiere into the pastry case. You remembered to take it out of the oven, right?
2) Sprinkle on the raspberries.

3) It should set almost right away, if not leave a few minutes. Enjoy!

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