February 1, 2011

I am going to start  my  blog with a tart.  I had lots of great pastry plans on Saturday. It didn’t all work out exactly as planned but the end result was really tasty. I had been craving a really nutty bakewell tart.  I had just finished making my pastry and was putting it in the fridge to chill, when I realised I had only one egg left and I needed three for the bakewell! Grrrr. I was going to walk to the supermarket to buy some, but I  didn’t really feel like schlepping to the shops again. So, change of plan. I took a quick look around to see what I did have, and came up with something even better than a bakewell.

A summer fruit tart instantly got me thinking, as I looked out at the murky grey winter sky. I had lots of ripe plums to use up, I had just bought some blueberries and had raspberries in the freezer, which I promptly took out and put on a plate over a radiator. Instant summer.

This tart turned out to be really easy to make, and ridiculously tasty with some vanilla clotted cream ice cream. (M&S do a nice one). It would look really impressive as a dinner party desert; it’s light, tart and will have your guest looking for more. I think I just found a great new quick and easy pie.

Here’s how:


  • 125g plain flour
  • 75g of butter – cubed
  • 25g of castor sugar
  • 1 egg yolk

Fruit Filling

  • 4 oz of Castor sugar
  • 900g of Ripe Plums
  • 4 oz of blueberries
  • 4 oz of raspberries
  • 2 heaped tablespoons of cornflour

If you have a food processor put the flour and butter into the machine and whiz until it resembles bread crumbs, add the sugar and egg yolk and pulse until the mixture comes together into dough. I use my trusty Magimix which saves me time and never lets me down.

If you are doing it by hand, sieve the flour into a bowl, add the cubes of butter and rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs, stir in the sugar and egg and mix with a fork until it comes together into dough. Form the dough into a ball about the size of your fist. Flatten the ball into a disc. Wrap the disc of dough in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

As soon as your pastry has rested, roll it out on a clean floured. You don’t need to grease your tin, as there is enough butter in this pastry to make sure it doesn’t stick. This amount of pastry will easily cover a 9 inch pastry tin. I used a tin with fluted edges and loose bottom as it’s easy to remove the tart when cooked. Once you have rolled out your pastry,  carefully roll it back onto your rolling pin and lay gently into your tin. Use lots of flour so it doesn’t all stick together. Trim the overhanging edges with a scissors.  Leave the pastry case in the fridge to chill while you make your filling.

Slice the plums in half and remove the stones. Then cut the plums halves into quarters. You could use any fruit for this recipe e.g. nectarines, peaches, apricots…. It really depends on what you have and what you prefer.  Put the plum quarters in a bowl along with 4oz of castor sugar and two heaped tablespoons of cornflour. Make sure the cornflour and sugar mixture covers all the fruit. Leave for five minutes then add the raspberries and blueberries (once again you could use any type of berries). Pour the fruit mixture into the chilled pastry case. Put into a preheated oven (230  degrees Celsius) . Cook for 20 minutes then reduce the heat to 180 degrees and cook for a further 30 minutes.

Once cooled, remove from the tin and sprinkle with some castor sugar. Serve with cream, ice cream or Greek style yoghurt if you want to be healthy!

What worked?

Surprisingly healthy if you’re looking to get your 5 a day from desert

I worked it out as having 2 teaspoons of fat and 2 of teaspoons of sugar per serving. Therefore it’s not the most calorific desert though it really tastes like it should be bad for you!

What didn’t work?

The pastry on the bottom wasn’t that crunchy, so next time I am going to bake the pastry blind for about 15 minutes before adding the fruit. This should give it a more crispy biscuit texture underneath.

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