RHUBARB AND STRAWBERRY CRUMBLE TART
125ml castor sugar
5ml vanilla essence
500ml cake flour
pinch of salt
5ml baking powder
1 egg white, lightly beaten
250g rhubarb, cut into 3cm lengths
250g strawberries, halved
10ml balsamic vinegar
80ml brown sugar
Pastry: cream the butter and sugar together until pale and creamy. Add egg and vanilla and beat well.
Sift flour, salt and baking powder and add to egg mixture to form a “stiffish” dough. Wrap in cling wrap until ready to use. Roll out pastry and line a 12x34cm loose-bottomed tart pan. Prick base and chill for 30 minutes. Line base with baking paper and fill with baking beans. Bake blind at 180°C for 15 minutes. Remove beans, brush with a little egg white and bake for a further 5 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
Filling: Combine rhubarb, water and sugar in a saucepan and cook over low heat until just soft. Place the strawberries in a large bowl and sprinkle over balsamic vinegar and sugar. Toss to combine and allow strawberries to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
Crumble topping: Put flour in a bowl and, using your fingertips, rub in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Stir in sugar and salt. Set aside.
To finish: Combine strawberries with rhubarb mixture. Taste and adjust sugar accordingly.
Spoon fruit into the blind-baked pastry case. Top with crumble mixture.
Bake at 180°C for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm with cream or at room temperature.
SUMMER FRUIT TART
22cm ready-made baked pastry shell
Pastry cream filling:
3 extra-large egg yolks
300ml milk, warmed
selected summer fruits: blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, kiwi fruit, gooseberries
125ml apricot jam
In a bowl, mix together egg yolks, sugar, flour and cornflour with a wooden spoon. Using a whisk, gradually pour in milk and vanilla, beating well.
Pour mixture into a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring continuously until the mixture cooks and thickens.
Remove from stove and spoon into a clean bowl, covering mixture with plastic wrap to prevent a skin forming.
Set aside to cool. Put the jam and water into a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Sieve to remove any lumps.
Spread a thin layer of apricot glaze over the base of the pastry, to prevent the crust from becoming too soggy.
Allow to dry for at least 20 minutes before spooning the pastry cream into the baked pastry case. Arrange a selection of fruit attractively on top and brush with the glaze. Chill until ready to serve.
GOOSEBERRY CARAMEL TART
1½ packets of ginger biscuits, crushed
80-100g butter, melted
3 punnets of fresh gooseberries
15ml lemon juice
410g can of Caramel Treat
15ml custard powder
Combine biscuit crumbs and butter to form a biscuit crust. Press into 4x12cm loose-bottomed tart pans. Chill in fridge.
Combine gooseberries, water, sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and allow to cook a few minutes. Remove from heat, drain and reserve syrup.
Divide caramel between the four biscuit bases, spreading on the bottom. Top each one with gooseberries. Combine reserved syrup with custard powder and microwave until the syrup thickens to form a glaze. Thin down with a little water if too thick. Spoon a little syrup over the gooseberries. Chill until ready to serve.
PEAR AND ALMOND TART
2 extra-large eggs
2ml almond essence
100g ground almonds
2 large pears, peeled and sliced
juice of one lemon
Pastry: Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and creamy. Add egg and vanilla and beat well.
Sift flour, salt and baking powder and add to egg mixture to form a “stiffish” dough.
Wrap in cling wrap until ready to use.
Roll out the pastry lightly on a floured surface, then press into a 22cm loose- bottomed tart pan. Prick with a fork. Line with baking paper and fill with baking beans. Bake blind at 180°C for 10-12 minutes. Remove beans and bake for a further 5 minutes.
Remove from oven and set aside.
Filling: Cream butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well. Add almond essence. Mix in the ground almonds and flour. Spread the filling smoothly over the base of the pre-baked pastry case.
Topping: Top with pear slices tossed in lemon juice. Bake at 180°C for 40-45 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. - Saturday Star