What a wonderful day! Well here in Birmingham town it feels as if it was the first day of spring. Hope it isn't just teasing us, because I've really enjoyed feeling the sun on my old bones. I even popped to the shops without "the big coat" on today, although I think I got a little carried away because I came home a little chilly.
Anyway... The blue skies made me feel motivated to take part in my summer sport today, baking. I've never really thought about it until today but baking cakes and desserts is definitely something I do more of when the sun is shining, I wonder why that is? The bake of choice today were some Blueberry Bakewell Tarts, a recipe I found in one of the first Bake Off books.
|And I bought my first bunch of fresh flowers for the year...|
You will need:
To make the jam...
2 tbsp caster sugar
A squeeze of lemon juice
To make the pastry...
200g of plain flour (and extra for dusting or if your dough is a bit wet to begin with)
100g unsalted butter
40g icing sugar
1 large egg (super market large is fine - xl will make your dough too wet.)
For the frangipane...
55g unsalted butter
55g caster sugar
1 large egg
40g ground almonds
15g plain flour
Runny icing, made from icing sugar
1. You need to start by making some jam. This may come as a surprise to some but I have NEVER MADE JAM! (Shock horror!)But the recipe called for something very basic indeed so I thought "what could go wrong?!"
You just pop all of the ingredients for the jam into a saucepan and let it bubble away, stirring every so often until it is thick and looses its wateriness. Push it through a sieve to loose the skin and leave the jam to set.
Set your jam to one side to let it cool.. your boyfriend will then come in to tidy up around you, and pour the jam you just made down the sink!!!! So do that first step all over again... or is that just my bad luck?!
2. Next up is the pastry... this was less eventful. You need to put the flour and butter into a bowl and rub it, with your fingertips, until it forms breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar, then stir the beaten egg into the mixture. You then need to stir and mould the mixture, again using your hands, until it forms a dough. At this point you may need to add (a lot) more flour. My mixture was very wet at this point and I think it was due to the size of the eggs. Just keep adding flour until it holds together and doesn't stick to your hands.
|Let the dough chill for at least 30 minutes.|
3. Role the pastry out, until it is 3mm thick and cut out circles with a 5cm cutter. Line the base of a muffin tray with the circles. Then cut strips of dough that are 1cm x 15cm long and line the edges of the muffin tray with the strips.
|You could cut the circles a little larger and a push them up against the edges of the muffin tray... Chill again for 15 minutes.|
4. At this point pre heat your oven to 170c. Next up you're going to make the frangipane. Just put all of the ingredients into an electric mix and give it a good whirl until it is all combined.
5. Take the pastry cases out of the fridge and prick the bases. Put a small amount of jam into the bottom of the cases and then top with the frangipane mixture.
6. Place the muffin tray in the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the golden in colour.
7. Allow the tarts to cool on a wire rack before decorating with runny icing a fresh blueberries.
8. Make a cuppa and you're done...
A super simple recipe to help mark the start of Spring (I hope!)