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Strawberry tart, by Tamasin Day-Lewis

First of all I would like to announce that I have acquired my french baccalaureate with a merit!!!! I am very pleased! I shall make something to celebrate but in the mean time let me show you the recipe for this lovely strawberry tart.

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It’s the beginning of summer now and one of the best seasonal fruits of course are strawberries, everybody loves them and they look so nice. It was a beautiful day so I decided to make a tart, pastry and all. Be warned, this takes quite a long time to make, something I overlooked in my cooking frenzy. Overall it was nice, I have had better but I was still so proud of it because I made it.

Serves about 8 people

Ingredients

For the pate sucrée

30cm/12 inch tart tin

180g/6oz white flour

90g/3oz unsalted butter

2 dessertspoons of icing sugar

2 egg yolks

some cold water

For the strawberry filling

1 kg/2lb strawberries

4 tbsp redcurrant jelly

For the creme patisiere

375ml/13fl oz Jersey or full fat milk

1 vanilla pod, split (or  just used vanilla essence)

4 egg yolks

120g/4oz caster sugar

50g/just under 2oz cornflour

Recipe

1. First of all you need to make the pastry. Sift the flour into a food processor and cut the cold butter into small pieces on top of it. Process for about 20 – 30 seconds, then add the tablespoon of icing sugar and the egg yolks. If the paste is crumbly add a little bit of water. When the mixture has turned into a single ball, wrap it in clingfilm and put it in the fridge for at least an hour.

2. When the chilling is done, cover your work surface with some flour and get rolling! Once the pastry is rolled to your satisfaction, lie it in a greased tin, leave it in the fridge for at least 30 mins.

3. To bake blind the pastry, preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Place some greaseproof paper over the pastry and pour on the dried beans.cook for 10 – 15 mins, remove the beans, and return it to the oven for another 10 – 15 mins until golden and cooked. Leave to cool.

4. For the crème pâtissèire scald the milk, with the vanilla pod and it’s scraped out seeds.

5. Whisk the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour together in a bowl, then pour the hot milk on them and continue whisking.

6. Remove the vanilla pod and return the mixture to the saucepan, stir over a gentle heat until thickened. Turn into a bowl and cool, whisking every so often.

7. When cold, scrape into the pastry case with a rubber spatula. Turn the tart out onto a plate/bread board.

8. Now for the main, and most delicious, ingredient! Hull the strawberries and, starting at the edge of the tart, stick them upright in the crème pâtissière in a circle and work your way in, the strawberries getting smaller and smaller as you go.

9. Melt the redcurrant jelly with a tablespoon of water, then brush it liberally over the strawberries and the custardy gaps.

Voilà! Le strawberry tart!

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Meggy x

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Macaroon Mess

Once more I apolagise for my absence! My exams are next week so after that I shall be able to give this blog my full attention!

 

I have always admired macaroons, they are so pretty and colorful, when I see them on the television or in markets they always look so simple. I thought that they would be perfect for the blog! But once more, disaster struck! They were going so well, I followed the recipe exactly and the mixture tasted right but when I took them out of the oven they were all flat and most refused to come off of the baking tray, despite my special non-stick sheet. I was also slightly ambitious I admit, as I had only tasted macaroons once or twice before, so when I tasted them I wasn’t very keen, or that might just be because of my cooking, I’m not sure. Eventually though we had them in a bowl with some mascarpone and strawberries, which was quite delicious.

I was hoping for a nice photo like this

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Expectation

 

But instead I got this

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Reality

For this photo I was going for the “birds nest” look, just to make the macaroons look more interesting, the messy macaroons and mascarpone is the nest and the strawberries are the eggs.

Meggy x