This Christmas just gone, I got a bunch of brilliant pressies. And along with a new set of jim-jams (yaaaay!), one of those Chinese cats with a wavy arm (so kitsch and tacky: I love it!) and lots of smellies from my mum, I got a pile of splendid cookery books. One of them was the Leon Ingredients and Recipes book and by jove it’s perfection.
The first half of the book is concerned with ingredients. Packed with great piccies and in a warm tone it explains, like a brilliant grandma would, all about fruit and veg, herbs and meat, fish and dairy; where they’re from and how to use them. The second half of the book is full of beautiful, honest recipes on how to make any kind of meal at any time of the year. Warming stews and soups for autumn, crunchy, munchy salads for summer and pudding for the whole year round!
This is my attempt at the Raspberry and Almond tart and it looked and tasted pretty lovely.
*250g raspberries For the Pasty: *135g unsalted butter *90g caster sugar *1 whole egg & 1 yolk *270g plain flour For the Almond Cream: *150g unsalted butter *150g caster sugar *2 eggs & 2 yolks *150g ground almonds *3 tablespoons plain flour *zest of 1 lemon
1. Make the pastry first. I creamed the sugar and the butter (once it was at room temperature) in a big bowl until it was soft and creamy. I then slowly added the egg and yolk and continued to mix along the way.
2. I mixed in the flour and using my hands bought the dough together to form a ball. Wrap in clingfilm and keep in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
3. Preheat the oven to 160Oc/gas mark 3 and line/grease a tart case.
4. Once chilled, roll out the pastry on a floured surface to about 3-5mm thick and line the tart case. Mine looked a bit scruffy but that’s ok I figure as home-made goodies look best when they’re a bit dorky. Prick the base of the pastry case.
5. Scatter half of your washed raspberries onto the pastry and set aside the other half for decoration.
6. To make the almond cream beat the sugar and butter until smooth before adding the eggs and yolk. Stir in the ground almonds, flour and lemon zest and beat well for about half a minute.
7. Scoop the almond cream into your pastry case and level it evenly with a palette knife. Then add the remaining raspberries to the top of the tart by scattering, making a swirl, a juicy heart or a smiley face – whatever you like!
8. Bake in the oven for about 40-50 minutes until the tart has a golden colour.
So thankyou Leon – for my first ever tart – it worked a treat. It would make enough for about 8 greedy portions and is really nice with a big dollop of custard or generous glug of double cream. I also think it would taste great at any time of the year: on a wintery weekend day or a warm summer’s evening. Perfick.