Firstly, sorry for the long silence! Lots of changes at work and similar busy-making life events has meant that by the time I get home, the last thing I feel like doing is anything in the kitchen. We've pretty much been subsisting on pasta, which is all I've managed to summon the energy to make, but I think it's time to emerge from the carb swamp and get back on the culinary horse.
I can't really say that my first re-entry to the kitchen is on a healthy basis - a great big tart full of fruit, nuts and sugar - however it is bloody delicious, especially with a big scoop of ice cream. Diet starts on Monday eh.
A brief note on pastry - I think that ready made pastry is one of the best time-saving inventions of modern times, and actually find home made pastry too rich in comparison. It's also vegan a lot of the time. Any pastry purists among you can feel free to make your own, but you can still find me kneeling at the altar of Jus-Rol.
The quantities in the recipe mainly come from a Peach and Pistachio version from a Sainsburys recipe card. Unfortunately the recipe doesn't seem to be on their website, but you can find plenty more suggestions here.
What you need
1 375g pack sweet shortcrust pastry
150g unsalted butter
100g caster sugar
1 tsp almond essence
3 medium eggs, beaten and at room temperature
150g ground almonds
2 tbsp plain flour
250g frozen raspberries (you can get these in the freezer section of most supermarkets)
Ice cream to serve (optional)
What to do
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
Roll out the pastry and use it to line a flan tin. Easiest way is to drape the pastry over a rolling pin, then lay it gently onto the tin, pushing it down into the edges and leaving some hanging over the side. I'm sure I'm not the only one who finds this part a bit fiddly, so there's some helpful advice on lining tins with pastry here. My flan tin is 23cm, so that's the basis on which this recipe has been tested! I'm sure other sizes would also be fine. Prick the base with a fork so that air bubbles don't form.
Line the pastry with baking paper and fill with baking beans, uncooked rice etc, then bake for about 15 minutes. After the 15 mins, take the paper and beans out and bake for a further 5 minutes until the base is cooked. The timing here will depend greatly on your oven and how thinly you've rolled the pastry out, so keep checking it and give it more time if it still seems a bit squidgy. When done, put it to one side.
While the pastry's sorting itself out, make the filling. Beat the butter, sugar and almond essence together with an electric mixer (or a hand whisk if you've the stamina) until pale and creamy. Then add in the beaten eggs a little at a time. I've specified that the eggs should be room temperature because sometimes a mixture can curdle if the eggs are cold. I have been known to, when I've forgotten to get eggs out of the fridge enough in advance, wander round with them in my pockets until they're up to temperature! Sounds insane but it's one way around it, even if you do run the risk of a lovely pocket full of raw egg.
Once all the egg's in, fold in the almonds and the flour until thoroughly mixed in, then add the frozen raspberries. The reason I say to use frozen rather than fresh is firstly because they are cheaper, and secondly because frozen ones won't disintegrate when you stir them in.
Spoon the mixture into the tart case and bake for 35-40 minutes until set and golden. If you're worried about the edges of the tart case burning, you can cover just the edges with tin foil - fiddly but works.
Slice it up and serve it with a scoop of vanilla.