Posts Tagged ‘cooking’

Cakes & Bakes: Redcurrant mazarin tart

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

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Half-eaten slice of redcurrant mazarin tart | H is for Home

Last week, you’ll remember that I set aside a small bowlful of redcurrants while I made the rest into jelly.

redcurrant mazarin tart ingredients

pastry ingredients for redcurrant mazarin tart base

What I had in mind for this extra was to make a redcurrant mazarin tart using a recipe I found in Secrets of Scandinavian Cooking… Scandilicious by Signe Johansen.

ball of pastry for redcurrant mazarin tart base

ball of almond pastry for redcurrant mazarin tart

It’s bit of a long-winded recipe to follow – the base, the almond paste (shop bought marzipan is much too hard) and the filling. But do give it a try, it’s worth the effort!

rolling pastry for redcurrant mazarin tart base

redcurrant mazarin filling ingredients

The amount of almond paste that is produced is slightly over what is needed. I plan on rolling the leftovers into little balls and then dipping them in melted dark chocolate; perfect little after-dinner petits fours!

uncooked redcurrant mazarin tart

redcurrant mazarin tart

The original recipe doesn’t call for leaving the tart in the oven while it cools, but I found mine needed a bit of a longer cook and it also helped stop the centre from sinking under the weight of all that fruit.

detail of a redcurrant mazarin tart

slice of redcurrant mazarin tart

The sweetness of the almond paste was a lovely match for the sourness of the redcurrants, balancing each other out. A little dollop of fraîche on the side is all you need to serve with it.

Redcurrant mazarin tart
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For the pastry base
  1. 200g/7oz spelt (or plain) flour
  2. 100g/3½ oz butter
  3. 50g/2oz caster sugar
  4. 1 egg
For the almond paste
  1. 150g/5oz ground almonds
  2. 200g/7oz icing sugar
  3. 2tsp almond extract
  4. 1 egg white
For the filling
  1. 340g/12oz almond paste
  2. 100g/3½ oz butter, softened
  3. 100g • 3½ oz plain flour (or cornflour)
  4. 6 tbsp caster sugar
  5. 2 tsp vanilla extract
  6. 4 eggs
  7. 300g/11oz redcurrants, rinsed and de-stalked
For the pastry
  1. In a food processor, pulse the flour and butter together, or mix by hand in a large bowl, until it resembles breadcrumbs
  2. Add in the sugar and then the egg, and continue to combine until the dough comes together
  3. Cover the pastry with cling film and shape into a disc about 1cm/½ in thick
  4. Put into the fridge for an hour, or the freezer for 20-30 minutes
  5. Make the almond paste while you wait for the pastry to chill
For the almond paste
  1. Put the ground almonds, icing sugar, almond extract and egg white into a food processor and combine until a thick ball of dough is formed
  2. Turn the paste out onto a work surface and knead it a few times. Roll it into a log and wrap in cling film until you're ready to make the filling
  3. Any unused paste will keep for a month in the fridge or 6 months in the freezer
For the pastry pt II
  1. Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/Gas mark 5
  2. Roll out the chilled pastry on a lightly floured surface until it is about 3mm/⅛ in thick (or as thin as you can roll it before it starts to crack) and about 30cm/12in in diameter
  3. Lift the rolled pastry into a 23cm/9in pie dish, cake tin or tart case (about 3cm-4cm/1¼ in-1½ in deep) and gently press into the sides and edges
  4. Trim any excess pastry from the rim. Prick the base of the pastry case with a fork, and blind bake on the middle shelf for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown
  5. Prepare the filling while you wait for the pastry case to cool
For the filling
  1. Put all the filling ingredients apart from the redcurrants in a food mixer
  2. Combine until the mazarin is smooth and even, and all the ingredients have been fully incorporated
  3. Turn the oven temperature up to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas mark 6
  4. Pour the mazarin filling into the cooled pastry case and carefully sprinkle the redcurrants over the top, gently pushing some of them into the mazarin mixture
  5. Bake on the middle shelf for 20-25 minutes until golden and well risen
  6. Turn off the oven, leave the oven door ajar and allow the tart to cool slowly in the oven
Adapted from Secrets of Scandinavian Cooking . . . Scandilicious
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Gimme Five! Carbon steel woks

Friday, July 17th, 2015

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selection of 5 large carbon steel woks via H is for Home

As you probably know by now, we love to cook at home. Indian, Italian and French dishes rub shoulders with traditional English classics. One of our favourites is Chinese; we currently have two large woks – one for veg and the other for fish and meat. Nothing beats a wok if you’re making a mixed stir fry or an egg fried rice. However, making the latter in our current woks is a horrendous experience, the rice sticks to the inside very badly.

We’ve had enough… we’re after a couple of decent carbon steel woks that makes cooking fried rice a pleasure, not a pain! We use them so often, we know exactly what we want – carbon steel rather than aluminium or Teflon-coated, a long handle so we can toss properly, a hanging hook to store it out of the way and finally, the higher the sides and larger the size the better.

  1. Typhoon® carbon steel signature wok, ∅36cm: £24.99, Lakeland
  2. John Lewis wok set, ∅35cm: £35, John Lewis
  3. Swift carbon steel wok, ∅34cm: £16.46, Divertimenti
  4. Ken Hom Tao Plus carbon steel wok, ∅36cm: £29.99, Argos
  5. Flat-based carbon steel wok, ∅36cm & wooden handled wok shovel: £17.50 eBay

Gimme Five! Preserving tools

Friday, July 3rd, 2015

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selection of preserving tools

On our dog walk yesterday we picked elderflowers. Today I made our first batch of elderflower cordial of the year.

Elderflower cordial always marks the start of my preserving season. Good kit always makes the jam, jelly, pickling, or chutney-making process more successful. Here are a few preserving tools that I recommend!

  1. Swift stainless steel preserving pan: £59.96, Divertimenti
  2. KitchenCraft home made blister carded cooking thermometer: £5.99, Wayfair
  3. 24 assorted Kilner fruit jam labels: £2.50, John Lewis
  4. Preserves: River Cottage Handbook No.2: from £7.26, Amazon
  5. Ball® preserving starter pack: £19.99, Lakeland