Tuesday, 19 November 2013

"It's a Miracle!" Freeform Berry Tart

Kia ora!

Well it's been quite some time since I posted. I could give you a million reasons, but mostly it's just that I've been living life (and loving it!).

As I write this I'm on holidays with Kirsti visiting Kat in NZ . We've been bumming about Auckland with Kat for the last few days, and tomorrow we head off to find us some Hobbitses. We haven't yet decided if we will make it a habit to eat Second Breakfast in our travels but I guess we'll just have to take things as they come ;)

Speaking of breakfast, this recipe is one you could **almost** get away with for breakfast - I mean, if berry Danishes are breakfast food then surely so may this be. I made it for a friend the night before I flew out, so the lucky bugger had the option at any rate!

I made a half batch (or at least I **thought** I did - recipe as follows), but the full recipe can be found in Margaret Fulton's Baking (which Kirsti gave me last year for my birthday). True to form I only vaguely followed the instructions. You should all know by now that I'm pretty impatient and also tend towards laziness, interspersed with forgetfulness. And yet, it turned out just fine. Things usually do, when it involves butter and sugar, not to mention berries and cream. Can't really go wrong :)

HAHAHA oh man, I just re-read the recipe before copying it out, and realised just how poorly I halved it. So the recipe below is the complete one. I halved the flour and almonds in the first bracket (I can't say for sure whether I halved the butter. I may have, but make no promises), and everything in the second, and it's actually a bit of a miracle that it held shape at all, but hey, it tasted great!

2c plain flour
125g butter
1/2c ground almonds
2tbsp castor sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
A little grated lemon rind
1tbsp rum

1/2c ground almonds
1/2c castor sugar
600g mixed berries (frozen is fine - thaw them first though, and if there is lots if juice/water, drain most of it off)
3tbsp icing sugar
Cream to serve. 

Have all ingredients at room temperature. Mix ingredients in the first bracket in the order in which they appear (I dumped them all in the food processor) until combined. Form into a ball, wrap in glad wrap and refrigerate for an hour. (I chucked it in the freezer for about half an hour. Impatience and all!)

Roll out on baking paper in a 30cm circle, put on a tray and chill for 30 minutes. (Seeing as I had halved the flour and almonds, my circle was a bit smaller, and I estimate that I smooshed it to around 5mm thick. With my hands. Yep, I was totally winging it.)

Preheat oven to 180oC. (Check!)

Sprinkle tart shell with the second lot of almond plus 1tbsp of the sugar. Spread fruit over shell, leaving 5cm border. Fold border up to hold fruit in, leaving a gap in the middle. Sprinkle remaining sugar on pastry. 

(Because I was transporting ingredients, I  combined the almonds and sugar in a freezer bag. Fortuitously there was a big lump of sugar in there to sprinkle on the pastry at the end, so I set that aside then sprinkled a thin layer of the combined mixture onto the tart shell, then dumped the berries into the bag, trapped some air in it as if you were crumbling/flouring meat and shook it around to coat the berries. I then spread that mixture on, folded the edges up and sprinkled on the sugar. More than one way to skin a cat!)

Bake on the lowest shelf for about 45 minutes, until the pastry is golden. Cool on tray until just warm (we know how impatient I am - I cooled it for around five minutes!), dust with icing sugar (I didn't), cut into slices and serve with cream. 

Dodgy iPhone photo (nicely styled cream, though!):


The half(ish) batch would have served four. 


This is quite an easy recipe, and although it requires refrigeration steps, you can kind of work around that as you cook your main course. It's definitely one I'll make again. And because it's freeform, it doesn't matter a jot if it turns out "rustic" (or, to the average bystander, "ugly"). 



Give me the loves! Erm, I mean, comment here...