Phew.. I finally made it. I didn't thought I will be able to participate in this month's challenge. I've been down with a heavy case of flu this past week. No, it's not swine flu, but it felt worst than that. Stuffy nose, high fever, nose bleeds, croaky voice, and what's worst, the dry cough that kept me up most of the night. I blame it on the weather! and my exhaustion from all that studying and working at the same time.
I have to be honest with you, when I found out the challenge was a tart, I wasn't too excited. Not my favourite kind of pastry. But as I read on, I found out that it was a frangipane tart. This I love! I've been wanting to try my hands on making a frangipane tart for ages. As I mentioned before, post-exam and down with the flu is not exactly the best time to get my creative juice running. So I settled for a simple & basic flavour combination. I made 2 version, one is green tea frangipane with homemade raspberry jam and the other one is vanilla frangipane with yuzu lemon curd.
The June Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict and Annemarie of Ambrosia and Nectar. They chose a Traditional (UK) Bakewell Tart... er... pudding that was inspired by a rich baking history dating back to the 1800's in England.
The bakewell tart itself, being a traditional English dessert, has a rich history behind it. Instead of boring you with it, you can read it here, or visit Jasmine's blog. She talked a lot about the history and lore about the bakewell tart....er pudding.
I personally LOVED this tart or pudding. The almond frangipane is light and fluffy yet so decadent. The homemade shortcrust pastry is beautiful. The texture is perfect for me. Making this cake is quite simple and quick. This recipe is definitely a keeper. The combination of green tea and raspberry is perfect. Not too sweet, and the green & red colour combine with the brown from the crust is so beautiful. Whereas the Yuzu one.. yumm is all I can say. I'm falling in love with Yuzu. I love it's aromatic flavour with a less tanginess when compared to original lemon. It almost taste like a lemonade, even though I didn't add sugar or soda to it. Thank you so much for the hostess for showing me this wonderful recipe. Please check the other daring bakers for their wonderful creations. Hopefully all of you can enjoy this recipe as much as I did =)
Makes one 23cm (9” tart)
Prep time: less than 10 minutes (plus time for the individual elements)
Resting time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 30 minutes
Equipment needed: 23cm (9”) tart pan or pie tin (preferably with ridged edges), rolling pin
One quantity sweet shortcrust pastry (recipe follows)
250ml (1cup (8 US fl. oz)) jam or curd, warmed for spreadability
One quantity frangipane (recipe follows)
One handful blanched, flaked almonds
Assembling the tart
Place the chilled dough disc on a lightly floured surface. If it's overly cold, you will need to let it become acclimatised for about 15 minutes before you roll it out. Flour the rolling pin and roll the pastry to 5mm (1/4”) thickness, by rolling in one direction only (start from the centre and roll away from you), and turning the disc a quarter turn after each roll. When the pastry is to the desired size and thickness, transfer it to the tart pan, press in and trim the excess dough. Patch any holes, fissures or tears with trimmed bits. Chill in the freezer for 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 200C/400F.
Remove shell from freezer, spread as even a layer as you can of jam onto the pastry base. Top with frangipane, spreading to cover the entire surface of the tart. Smooth the top and pop into the oven for 30 minutes. Five minutes before the tart is done, the top will be poofy and brownish. Remove from oven and strew flaked almonds on top and return to the heat for the last five minutes of baking.
The finished tart will have a golden crust and the frangipane will be tanned, poofy and a bit spongy-looking. Remove from the oven and cool on the counter. Serve warm, with crème fraîche, whipped cream or custard sauce if you wish.
When you slice into the tart, the almond paste will be firm, but slightly squidgy and the crust should be crisp but not tough.
Sweet shortcrust pastry
Prep time: 15-20 minutes
Resting time: 30 minutes (minimum)
Equipment needed: bowls, box grater, cling film
225g (8oz) all purpose flour
30g (1oz) sugar
2.5ml (½ tsp) salt
110g (4oz) unsalted butter, cold (frozen is better)
2 (2) egg yolks
2.5ml (½ tsp) almond extract (optional)
15-30ml (1-2 Tbsp) cold water
Sift together flour, sugar and salt. Grate butter into the flour mixture, using the large hole-side of a box grater. Using your finger tips only, and working very quickly, rub the fat into the flour until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Set aside.
Lightly beat the egg yolks with the almond extract (if using) and quickly mix into the flour mixture. Keep mixing while dribbling in the water, only adding enough to form a cohesive and slightly sticky dough.
Form the dough into a disc, wrap in cling and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes
Vanilla / Green tea Frangipane
Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Equipment needed: bowls, hand mixer, rubber spatula
125g (4.5oz) unsalted butter, softened
125g (4.5oz) icing sugar
3 (3) eggs
2.5ml (½ tsp) almond extract
125g (4.5oz) ground almonds
30g (1oz) all purpose flour
1 Vanilla pod
2tbs of matcha powder
Cream butter and sugar together for about a minute or until the mixture is primrose in colour and very fluffy. Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. The batter may appear to curdle. In the words of Douglas Adams: Don’t panic. Really. It’ll be fine. After all three are in, pour in the almond extract and mix for about another 30 seconds and scrape down the sides again. With the beaters on, spoon in the ground nuts and the flour. Mix well. The mixture will be soft, keep its slightly curdled look (mostly from the almonds) and retain its pallid yellow colour.
Scrape the seeds of one vanilla bean and to the frangipane mixture. Set aside the required amount for the vanilla/yuzu lemon tart and add green tea/ matcha powder to the other half of the frangipane mixture. Mix well
1 punnet of raspberry (250g), blend and sieved through a fine sieve to remove the seeds
1-2 tsp of pectin
In a heavy based saucepan, cook raspberry juice, sugar and pectin to a boil. Once it boiled, turn down the heat and simmer until it thickens. Turn off heat and cool to room temperature before using. Any excess jam can be stored in a sterilized jar and spread on your toast in the morning.
Yuzu lemon curd
1/2 cup of Yuzu lemon juice zest of 1 lemon 1/2 cup sugar 3 large eggs 125g butter, at room temperature In a heavy saucepan, whisk together alll the ingredients and cook in a medium-low heat. Whisk constantly until the curd thickens and can easily coat the back of a spoon. Transfer to a bowl and wrap tightly with a cling wrap. Cool to room temperature before transfering to the fridge. Chill for a minimum of 2 hours before using.