Don’t think I can’t see you rolling your eyes there. Another cherry item? Yes but you see, I am besotted by cherries – the black or the sour kind and when I had to select a jam to use in the Bakewell tart for this month’s Daring Bakers challenge I chose to make a Cherry Jam. Of course you might say smirkingly.
Of course you could use any flavour jam. I had intended to make a Wild Hibiscus jam but when I enquired and found it at $80 a kilo I realised that it was price prohibitive. So I tried to modify it by replacing the almond flavour with a rose water in both the pastry and the frangipane which is essentially an almond, egg, butter and sugar mix. The smell of this baking was wonderful. Tastewise, I am not a huge frangipane lover finding it a touch dry so I didn’t love this as much as others did. However, for the recipients, it was soon eaten in record time.
As I speak best through baking I decided to bake this for the nurses and doctors at Manly Hospital who looked after my husband so well on his recent stay. I figured renaming the Bakewell tart as Getwell tart was appropriate. Because I knew you’d like to see a cross section slice, I knew I couldn’t cut one slice out and then give to them so I sliced the whole thing up.
While we’re on the subject of hospitals, the night my husband went in, I was supposed to attend the launch of Table4Ten, a charity dinner held simultaneously across 50 of Sydney’s best restaurants in aid of the Prostate Cancer Foundation. It will be held at 7pm on the 22nd of September 2009 and the lineup of restaurants includes ARIA, Astral, Australian Museum, Bécasse, Beppi’s, Bilson’s, Bistro Moncur, Bistro Ortolan, Buon Ricordo, Buzo, Cafe Sydney, Catalina, Cato’s Fine Foods, China Doll, Cooking for Blokes, Essence, Flying Fish, Fort Denison, Forty-One Restaurant, Four in Hand, Grand National, Guillaume @ Bennelong, Light Brigade, L’incontro, Longrain, Machiavelli, Marque, Mezzaluna, Otto Ristorante, Quay, Restaurant Associates, Rockpool, Sean‘s Kitchen, Steel Bar & Grill, Summit Restaurant, Tetsuya’s, The Beresford Hotel, The Pier, TOKO Restaurant & Bar, Verandah, Wildfire and more.
Each lucky diner will be served a special menu including beverages and the most exciting part apart from the food? The after party at the end at a top secret location for all 500 guests to celebrate together. Tickets are $195 per head (with the option of an additional voluntary tax deductible donation of $55). See the Table4ten website for details.
So tell me Dear Reader, which charity is your favourite and why?
Bakewell … er Getwell Tart
Makes one 23cm (9” tart)
Prep time: less than 10 minutes (plus time for the individual elements)
Resting time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 30 minutes
Equipment needed: 23cm (9”) tart pan or pie tin (preferably with ridged edges-I used a 10 inch pan without any problems), rolling pin
One quantity sweet shortcrust pastry (recipe follows)
250ml (1cup (8 US fl. oz)) cherry jam or curd, warmed for spreadability
One quantity frangipane (recipe follows)
One handful blanched, flaked almonds
Assembling the tart
Place the chilled dough disc on a lightly floured surface. If it’s overly cold, you will need to let it become acclimatised for about 15 minutes before you roll it out. Flour the rolling pin and roll the pastry to 5mm (1/4”) thickness, by rolling in one direction only (start from the centre and roll away from you), and turning the disc a quarter turn after each roll. When the pastry is to the desired size and thickness, transfer it to the tart pan, press in and trim the excess dough. Patch any holes, fissures or tears with trimmed bits. Chill in the freezer for 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 200C/400F.
Remove shell from freezer, spread as even a layer as you can of jam onto the pastry base. Top with frangipane, spreading to cover the entire surface of the tart. Smooth the top and pop into the oven for 30 minutes. Five minutes before the tart is done, the top will be poofy and brownish. Remove from oven and strew flaked almonds on top and return to the heat for the last five minutes of baking.
The finished tart will have a golden crust and the frangipane will be tanned, poofy and a bit spongy-looking. Remove from the oven and cool on the counter. Serve warm, with crème fraîche, whipped cream or custard sauce if you wish.
When you slice into the tart, the almond paste will be firm, but slightly squidgy and the crust should be crisp but not tough.
Sweet shortcrust pastry
Prep time: 15-20 minutes
Resting time: 30 minutes (minimum)
Equipment needed: bowls, box grater, cling film
225g (8oz) all purpose flour
30g (1oz) sugar
2.5ml (½ tsp) salt
110g (4oz) unsalted butter, cold (frozen is better)
2 (2) egg yolks
2.5ml (½ tsp) rosewater extract (optional)
15-30ml (1-2 Tbsp) cold water
Sift together flour, sugar and salt. Grate butter into the flour mixture, using the large hole-side of a box grater. Using your finger tips only, and working very quickly, rub the fat into the flour until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Set aside.
Lightly beat the egg yolks with the rosewater extract (if using) and quickly mix into the flour mixture. Keep mixing while dribbling in the water, only adding enough to form a cohesive and slightly sticky dough.
Form the dough into a disc, wrap in cling and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes
Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Equipment needed: bowls, hand mixer, rubber spatula
125g (4.5oz) unsalted butter, softened
125g (4.5oz) icing sugar
3 (3) eggs
2.5ml (½ tsp) rosewater extract
125g (4.5oz) ground almonds
30g (1oz) all purpose flour
Cream butter and sugar together for about a minute or until the mixture is primrose in colour and very fluffy. Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. The batter may appear to curdle. In the words of Douglas Adams: Don’t panic. Really. It’ll be fine. After all three are in, pour in the rosewater extract and mix for about another 30 seconds and scrape down the sides again. With the beaters on, spoon in the ground nuts and the flour. Mix well. The mixture will be soft, keep its slightly curdled look (mostly from the almonds) and retain its pallid yellow colour.
The June Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict and Annemarie of Ambrosia and Nectar. They chose a Traditional (UK) Bakewell Tart… er… pudding that was inspired by a rich baking history dating back to the 1800′s in England.
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