Tasty pas­try that’s as easy as pie

Take time out to per­fect a dessert de­liv­ered with a glo­ri­ous, golden crust, and choose your fill­ing to re­flect the sea­son, says An­nie Rigg

The Daily Telegraph - Saturday - - FAMILY LIFE -

The ra­dio’s on, the next hour is clear, and the kitchen is tidy. You put on an apron and start rub­bing cool cubes of but­ter into flour in a mix­ing bowl, your mind drift­ing off as the mix­ture turns to crumbs be­tween your fin­ger­tips. Rolling out the pas­try, lin­ing the tart tin, crimp­ing the edges and leav­ing it to chill while you move on to the fill­ing; then watch­ing it turn golden in the oven and smelling the but­ter pas­try as it bakes… there’s some­thing uniquely sooth­ing about mak­ing a pie.

There’s a pie or tart for ev­ery­one and ev­ery sea­son. And what holds it all to­gether is pas­try. Pas­try has a bad rep­u­ta­tion, some folks be­liev­ing that they can’t make it. But like most cook­ing and bak­ing, you just need to a fol­low a few rules. Use good metal tins (less likely to buckle in the oven); have all the in­gre­di­ents pre­pared be­fore start­ing; keep but­ter fridge-cold and eggs at room tem­per­a­ture. If your hands are warm, run them and your wrists un­der cold water for 30 sec­onds or so to cool them down. Work quickly to avoid the but­ter warm­ing and be­com­ing greasy.

Arm your­self with a rolling pin, dust your hands with flour and em­brace the won­der­ful world of pies and tarts. sur­face into a round that is 2-3cm wider all round than the cheese, and place on a bak­ing sheet lined with bak­ing parch­ment.

Place the roasted onion and porcini mix­ture in the mid­dle of the pas­try round, squeeze the gar­lic cloves from their skins, dot the soft flesh around the onions and nes­tle the cheese on top. Brush the edges of the pas­try with a lit­tle beaten egg.

Roll the sec­ond piece of pas­try out into a round about 4-5cm wider all round than the cheese and drape over the top, neatly cov­er­ing the top and sides of the cheese.

Gen­tly press the pas­try down in or­der to neatly en­case the cheese, press the edges to­gether to seal and trim off any ex­cess.

Us­ing a small, sharp knife, knock up the edges of the pas­try – hold the knife hor­i­zon­tally to the cut edges and make small tap­ping cuts all around the galette – this helps the pas­try lay­ers sep­a­rate into del­i­cate flakes. Glaze all over with beaten egg and chill for 20 min­utes while you pre­heat the oven to 190C/Gas 5.

Glaze the pas­try again and us­ing the point of a small sharp knife score a dec­o­ra­tive pat­tern into the pas­try, be­ing care­ful that you don’t cut all the way through.

Make a steam hole in the mid­dle of the pas­try with a wooden skewer and bake on the mid­dle shelf of the pre­heated oven for 20 to 25 min­utes, un­til the pas­try is golden brown and crisp.

Rest for five min­utes and then serve with some good bread for mop­ping up the molten cheese. 200g plain flour, plus ex­tra for rolling out

A pinch of salt

125g un­salted but­ter, diced 40g ic­ing sugar, sifted 1 medium egg yolk

2-3 tbsp ice-cold water

1 tsp le­mon juice

450g plums

150g black­ber­ries

2 tbsp light mus­co­v­ado sugar 1 tsp vanilla bean paste

Juice of ½ le­mon

1 tbsp corn­flour

40g light mus­co­v­ado sugar 40g plain (all-pur­pose) flour 40g un­salted but­ter, chilled and diced

½ tsp ground cin­na­mon A pinch of salt

40g hazel­nuts, very roughly chopped

METHOD

To make the sweet pas­try, tip the flour and salt into a bowl. Add the but­ter and, us­ing a round-bladed or pal­ette knife, cut the but­ter into the flour un­til the pieces are half of their orig­i­nal size.

Now switch to us­ing your hands to rub the but­ter into the flour. Work­ing quickly, pick up hand­fuls of the flour and but­ter and al­low it to pass across your fin­ger­tips, gen­tly press­ing and rub­bing the mix­ture as it falls back into the bowl.

Still work­ing quickly, con­tinue rub­bing the but­ter into the flour un­til there are only very small flecks of but­ter re­main­ing.

Add the sugar and mix. Make a well in the mid­dle of the mix­ture, add the egg yolk, ice-cold water and le­mon juice and mix us­ing the pal­ette knife un­til the pas­try starts to clump to­gether. Gather into a ball us­ing your hands and very lightly knead for 10 sec­onds un­til smooth. Flat­ten into a rec­tan­gle, cover with cling film and chill for one hour or un­til firm.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured sur­face into a neat disc, 3-4mm thick, with a di­am­e­ter of about 25cm. Line a 20cm round pie dish with the pas­try, press it into the cor­ners, trim any ex­cess from the top and crimp the top pas­try edge be­tween your fin­gers. Chill for at least 30 min­utes while you pre­pare the fill­ing and pre­heat the oven to 190C/Gas 5. Place a solid bak­ing sheet on the mid­dle shelf to heat up at the same time.

Quar­ter the plums, re­move the stones and tip into a large bowl. Add the black­ber­ries, sugar, vanilla, le­mon juice and corn­flour, mix well to com­bine and set aside while you pre­pare the crum­ble.

Tip the sugar, flour and diced but­ter into a bowl, add the cin­na­mon and salt and rub the but­ter into the dry in­gre­di­ents un­til the crum­ble starts to clump to­gether in lit­tle nuggets.

Add the hazel­nuts and mix to com­bine. Scoop the fruit mix­ture and all of the sug­ary juice into the chilled pie crust and spread in an even layer. Sprin­kle the crum­ble over the top, slide the pie into the oven on to the hot bak­ing sheet and bake for 10 min­utes.

Re­duce the oven tem­per­a­ture to 170C/Gas 3½ and con­tinue cook­ing for a fur­ther 35 to 40 min­utes un­til the pas­try is golden, the fruit is bub­bling and the crum­ble is crisp.

Leave to cool for five min­utes. Serve hot, warm or at room tem­per­a­ture.

LET IT CRUM­BLE An­nie Rigg, right, and her fruit pie, main; baked Tun­worth, below

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