Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Tart Without a Tart Tin

This morning I was able to zip up a zip which wouldn’t normally go all day way up. It is quite surprising, I thought I had eaten enough cake lately, but apparently there is room for some more. Plan more cake, definitely one of the better ways to start the day…

So if there is room for more cake in your life, your trousers, or your boots, I am very excited to share this recipe for a tart that doesn’t need a tart tin.

Of course I own a tart tin, I also own mini tart tins, not to mention other kitchen equipment gathering dust in the cupboards. This post is a special reminder to myself that I don’t really need that spice grinder, or the pressure cooker, or the meat thermometer, or any other kitchen gadgets that Amazon is so quick to offer me… Even better, the recipe doesn’t even require blind baking (the fiddly bit where you have to wrap the rolled dough in foil and bake with baking beans on top). And I am a firm believer that simple is better than elaborate, and while it might not look like patisserie product, who cares, it is great satisfaction to be having a yummy home-made plum tart for breakfast at 6.30 am before I go and face the rest of my not-so-pleasant office day…

The recipe comes from the Dock Kitchen cookbook, which is full of beautiful photography, exotic ingredients (freekah, anyone?), spice mixes including 17 different spices - I might have to buy the spice grinder after all… Original recipe asks for loquats and almonds, I used plums instead, but I suppose you can try with any hard fruit such as apples, pears, even hard peaches, but might need to adjust cooking time and sugar amounts.

It is essential when making shortcrust pastry to chop the butter in cubes of 1 cm, and pop it back in the fridge for a little while. Also, put a glass of water in the fridge, as proper iced water helps the pastry come together. I split the pastry in two and only baked the second tart once the first one was gone (it didn’t take very long). Pastry keeps well in the fridge for 3-4 days.

In any case, I hope you are enjoying your cake. The world is full of people who don’t eat enough cake and when they do, they scoff it off in a hurry without savouring the flavour of each bite. Such a waste of a good cake!

Plum tart

Adapted from Dock Kitchen Cookbook

  • 250 g plain flour, plus more to dust
  • 185 g unsalted butter, diced, cold from the fridge
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar for the pastry
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ice water
  • 7-8 plums

1)    Mix the flour with 2 tablespoons of sugar, rub one third of the butter into the flour mixture using your hands, until it resembles crumbs, then mix the rest of the butter. Add the two tablespoons of water, bit by bit, until the pastry comes together.

2)    Wrap the pastry in cling film and put in the fridge for at least two hours. You might want to split the dough in two, and only bake one smaller tart at a time.

3)    Roll the pastry on a baking paper to about 0.5 cm height. Chop the plums and arrange them in the center, leaving about 5 cm margin, sprinkle 100 g sugar over the fruit. Fold the pastry over the fruit, and put the tart back in the fridge until the pastry is firm.

4)    Preheat the oven to 200C, bake the tart for about 25 minutes, until light brown.





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