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Prep 20min (+cooling time)Bake 35-40minMakes 8-10 serves
I love this tart – a no-fuss, slice-like affair of buttery shortbread layers filled with jam and nuts. Research has revealed no reason why this tart is Belgian, but it brings back vivid childhood memories of my mum, Jocelyn, making it in two enamel plates, throwing them in the oven and then, once cool, covering them with foil to take to a picnic or tennis day. I remember it so clearly when I make the tart now (with a few small alterations) in my own kitchen.
185g butter, softened slightly
150g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon natural vanilla essence or extract
260g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
165g mixed berry jam (see Baker’s Tips)
70g (½ cup) unsalted raw peanuts (or nuts of your choice)
- Preheat the oven to 160°C (140°C fan-forced).
- Put the butter and sugar in the bowl of a food processor and process until well combined. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and process to combine, scraping down the side of the bowl if necessary. Sift together the flour and baking powder. Add to the butter mixture and use the pulse butter to process until just combined and a soft dough forms.
- Press half of the mixture evenly over the base of an ungreased 23cm tart tin with removable base. Spread evenly with the jam, leaving a 2cm border. Press portions of the remaining dough between your hands to flatten and press over the jam to cover, patching where necessary. Sprinkle with the peanuts and press into the dough.
- Place the tart tin on a baking tray and bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Leave the tart to cool in the tin and then serve in wedges.
- Mum used to make this tart with apricot jam instead of the mixed berry I have used in this recipe but any jam variety works well – fig, blackberry, raspberry - just pick your favourite.
- This tart will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
Prep 45mis (+1 hour 30mins chilling time)Makes about 500g
Also known as mille feuilles (meaning a ‘thousand layers’) in French, you’ll find that most commercial-made puff pastries use margarine and other vegetable fats, and because they have a higher melting point than butter they make the pastry rise more spectacularly. However, the flavour of a home-made version using good-quality unsalted butter you’ll find far outweighs this.
- 200g unsalted butter, in one piece, softened slightly so it is firm but pliable
- Plain our, to dust
- 225g (1½ cups) plain flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 25g chilled unsalted butter, diced
- 100ml-120ml chilled water
- To make the dough, combine the our and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the 25g diced butter to the our. With your palms facing upwards, use your fingertips to rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Sprinkle 100ml of the iced water over the our mixture. Use a round-ended knife in a cutting motion to mix until evenly combined and the mixture starts holding together. Press a little of the mixture between your fingers – if it holds together easily, there is no need to add more water; if it doesn’t add a teaspoon of the remaining iced water at a time water and cut through again until it does. The pastry should be soft but not sticky, and will be ragged in texture.
- Bring the pastry together with your hands and transfer to a lightly floured, cool bench top. Lightly knead the pastry with your fingertips for about 20 seconds or until it comes together but isn’t completely smooth.
- Shape the dough into a rectangle, about 10cm x 15cm, wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 20 minutes to rest and rm slightly.
- Place the 200g piece butter between two pieces of plastic wrap and use a rolling pin to pound and then roll to form a square, 15cm x 15cm and about 1cm thick. Check that the butter is the same pliable consistency as the dough – if it looks oily, it is too soft and needs chilling for a little while for it to reach the same consistency.
- Use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll out the dough on a lightly floured bench top to a rectangle about 20cm x 32cm, always rolling away from you, turning after each roll, and keeping the edges as straight as possible. Place the butter over the top half of the pastry, leaving a border of about 2.5cm. Fold the pastry edges up and over the butter, then fold the uncovered pastry over the butter to fully enclose.
- Use the rolling pin to gently tap the pastry widthways to form neat ridges. Roll out the pastry to a neat rectangle, about 16cm x 36cm, always rolling away from you and giving a half turn after each roll. Take care to keep the sides and ends straight, using a large palette knife to straighten them if necessary.
- Fold the bottom third of the pastry up, then the top third of the pastry down to fold it like a business letter. Turn the pastry anti-clockwise 90 degrees so that the folded edge is to your left. Use the rolling pin to gently tap the pastry widthways to form neat ridges again.
- Roll the pastry out again a neat rectangle, about 13cm x 36cm, always rolling away from you, giving a half turn after each roll and taking care to keep the edges straight. With the folded edge to your left, repeat the folding process (step 8) but do not tap to create the ridges. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.
- Repeat this process (steps 7-9; rolling, folding and turning, then rolling and folding again) two more times making sure the folded edge is to your left every time you fold and chilling between each process. This will give a total of six rolls and folds.
- Wrap the pastry in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes or up to 2 days before using as directed.
- To freeze, roll the puff pastry into a at sheet about 8mm thick. Cut into smaller portions or freeze whole on a tray lined with baking paper. Once frozen, wrap well in plastic wrap and then seal in an airtight container or freezer bag and freeze for up to 6 months.Thaw in the fridge.
Prep 1hr 15min (+ cooling and chilling time)Bake 45-75minMakes 8-10 serves
One of our Make Me a Baker graduates, Dimi Jayawardene, baked this beautiful tart at her graduation ceremony – chocolate pastry filled with a chocolate custard and topped with chocolate ganache, it's the definition of decadent!
Raspberries, blueberries and strawberries
Chocolate Shortcrust Pastry
200g (1⅓ cups) plain flour
Good pinch salt
3 tablespoons icing sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted
150g chilled unsalted butter, cubed
3-3½ tablespoons iced water
Chocolate Custard Filling
4 egg yolks
1 tablespoon custard powder
2 tablespoons caster sugar
200g good-quality dark chocolate, chopped
300ml thin cream
250ml (1 cup) milk
125ml (1/2 cup) thickened cream
250g good-quality dark chocolate, chopped
2-3 tablespoons Tia Maria, or to taste
- To make the pastry, combine the flour, salt, icing sugar and cocoa powder in a large mixing bowl. Add the chilled butter. With your palms facing upwards, use your fingertips to rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs with some larger pieces of butter still visible.
- Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of the iced water over the flour and butter mixture. Use a round-bladed knife in a cutting motion to mix until evenly combined and the mixture starts holding together. Press a little of the mixture between your fingers – if it holds together easily, there is no need to add more water; If it doesn’t add the remaining ½ tablespoon water and combine. The pastry should be soft but not sticky.
- Bring the pastry together with your hands and transfer to a lightly floured, cool bench top. Lightly knead the pastry with your fingertips for about 10 seconds or until it comes together but isn’t completely smooth. Shape the pastry into a disc, wrap well in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 20 minutes to rest.
- Preheat oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced). Roll pastry on a lightly floured surface to a 4mm-thick disc. Line the base and side of a 23cm (base measurement) round, fluted tart tin with removable base, pressing into the sides. Roll the rolling pin over the top to trim any excess pastry. Place in the fridge for 15 minutes to rest.
- Place the tart tin on an oven tray. Line the pastry with baking paper and fill with baking beads, or dried rice or beans. Bake in preheated oven for 10-15 minutes. Remove the rice or beans and bake for a further 5-10 minutes or until pastry is just cooked through. Reduce oven temperature to 180°C (160°C fan-forced).
- Meanwhile, to make the Chocolate custard filling, combine the egg yolks, custard powder and sugar in a saucepan. Add the chocolate, cream and milk and place over low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally with a balloon whisk, for 5 minutes or until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat.
- Pour the chocolate custard mixture into the pastry case (see Baker's Tips). Reduce oven temperature to 180°C (160°C fan-forced) and bake for 20-40 minutes or until custard is just set. (The baking time will depend on your oven and a the depth of your tart tin.) Remove from oven and set aside to cool completely in the tin.
- While the tart is cooling, make the Chocolate ganache. Heat the cream for 30-50 seconds or until bubbling in the microwave. Place the chocolate, butter and Tia Maria in a bowl. Pour the cream into the bowl. Let it sit for 1-2 minutes until chocolate is melted and then start mixing with a small balloon whisk or spoon until the mixture is beautiful and smooth (the butter gives the ganache a lovely glossy look). Pour the ganache over the layer of custard and place in the fridge to set.
- Transfer the tart to a serving plate. Top with berries and slivered almonds, decorate with gold leaf and edible flowers. Serve with whipped cream.
- Adding the filling to the pastry cases while still sitting in the oven on the tray will mean you can fill the tart completely and minimise the chance of it spilling when transferring it to the oven.
- This recipe makes one large tart or it can make 8 individual tarts in 10-11cm tins.
- The tart can be made the day before. Leave the decorating for the day of serving.
Prep 40min (+ pastry making time)Bake 35minMakes 10
Italian meringue makes an elegant topping for these classic tarts. You can caramelize the meringue lightly with a blow torch to add a delicate, slightly burnt caramel flavour to complement the sweetness of the meringue and sourness of the lemon filling if you wish.
1 quantity Sweet Shortcrust Pastry, rolled into a log about 15cm long before wrapping and chilling as directed
Icing sugar (optional), to sprinkle
Cream or ice cream, to serve
110g (½ cup) caster sugar
125ml (½ cup) pouring (thin) cream
100ml strained fresh lemon juice
Italian Meringue4 egg whites, at room temperature
220g (1 cup) caster sugar
60ml (¼ cup) water
Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced).
Remove the pastry from the fridge and cut into 10 even slices. Gently pat a pastry portion on a lightly floured benchtop with the palm of your hand to fatten slightly. Use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll out to a disc about 3mm thick. Line a 6.5cm (base measurement), 2cm deep, tart tin with removable base, with the pastry, pressing it into the side and corners with your thumb and/or fingertips. Roll the rolling pin over the top of the tart tin to trim any excess pastry. Repeat with the remaining pastry portions to make 10 tart cases in total.
Place the tart cases on an oven tray. Use a fork to prick the pastry base of each about 4 times. Line the pastry cases with squares of greaseproof paper or foil and fill with pastry weights, dried beans or raw rice, making sure they press into the corners and fill the cases. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.
Remove the tart cases from the oven and use the paper or the foil to remove the weights from the cases. Return the cases to the oven and bake for a further 5-10 minutes or until the pastry is just cooked through and looks dry.
Meanwhile, to make the filling, use a fork to whisk the eggs, sugar, cream and lemon juice together until well combined. Strain the mixture into a jug. Pour the filling into the hot pastry cases while still in the oven (see Baker's Tips), dividing evenly. Reduce the oven temperature to 160°C (140°C fan-forced) and bake for a further 10 minutes or until the filling has just set in the centre but still wobbles slightly when shaken. Cool the tarts in the tins.
To make the Italian Meringue, put the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and stir with a wooden spoon over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to medium and bring to the boil. Boil for about 10 minutes, occasionally brushing down the side of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in water to dissolve any sugar crystals, until the syrup reaches hard ball stage (120°C on a sugar thermometer).
Meanwhile, just before the syrup is ready, whisk the egg whites on high speed until firm peaks form. Remove the syrup from the heat and stand for a bout 1 minute or until the bubble subside. With the motor running on high speed, gradually add the sugar syrup in a thin steady stream until all the syrup has been incorporated. Continue to whisk on medium speed for another 10 minutes or until the meringue has cooled to room temperature.
Spoon the meringue mixture into a large piping bag fitted with a #13 (1.3cm) plain or #11 (1.1cm) star nozzle. Pipe small rounds of meringue over the surface of the tarts to cover. Use a blow torch to lightly caramelize the meringue if desired.
Dust with icing sugar, if desired and serve with cream or ice cream.
- Adding the filling to the pastry cases while still sitting in the oven will mean you can fill the tarts completely and minimise the chance of it spilling when transferring it to the oven.
- These tarts will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days (although the pastry will soften slightly on keeping). Bring to room temperature to serve.
Prep 30minBake 1hr20minMakes about 8-10 serves
Bakewell tart is simply a buttery almond cake in a tart case with a welcome layer of jam in the middle. On first consideration you may not think this combination would work, but take my word for it, it does!
Ingredients1 quantity sweet shortcrust pastry
115g (⅓ cup) raspberry or cherry jam
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
110g (½ cup) caster sugar
3 drops of almond essence or finely grated zest of 1 lemon
100g (1 cup) almond meal
35g (¼ cup) self-raising flour
icing sugar, to dust
- Preheat oven to 200ºC (180ºC fan-forced).
- Use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll out the pastry on a lightly floured bench top to a round about 3mm thick. Carefully drape the pastry loosely around the rolling pin. Place it over an ungreased round 23cm (base measurement) tart tin with a removable base and then unroll the pastry being careful not to stretch it. Gently lift the edge of the pastry and ease it into the tart tin to line the base and sides and settle it into the corners. Use your fingertips to press it gently into the corners without stretching it. Then, working around the tin, press the pastry into the side using your thumb or finger. Roll the rolling pin over the top of the tart tin to trim any overhanging pastry.
- Place the tart tin on an oven tray. Prick the pastry base with a fork about 12 times. Line the pastry case with baking paper or foil and fill with pastry weights, dried beans or raw rice, making sure they press into the corners and they fill the case. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.
- Remove the pastry case from oven and use the paper or foil to lift the weights out of the case. Return to the oven and bake for a further 15-20 minutes or until cooked through and lightly golden. Remove from the oven.
- Spread the jam evenly over the base of the tart case and set aside. Reduce the oven temperature to 160ºC (140ºC fan-forced).
- Use an electric mixer to beat the butter, sugar and almond essence or lemon zest until pale and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the almond meal and flour, add to the butter mixture and beat on lowest possible speed until just combined. Spread the mixture evenly over the jam in the tart case.
- Bake in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes before removing, dusting with icing sugar and serving warm. Alternatively cool in the tin and serve at room temperature.
- This tart will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.
This recipe is from Anneka's SBS Food online column, Bakeproof: Best of British Baking.
CLICK HERE for more Bakeproof recipes.
Photography by Alan Benson.
Prep 0:40Bake 0:20Makes about 12
Dating back almost a century, this Australian creation of a pastry case filled with mock cream (and sometimes a raspberry jam layer) and topped with sickly sweet icing seems to hit a nostalgic chord – we all remember eating them as a child! For a more contemporary twist, we've added an extra colour punch to the pink icing. Remember that chocolate and white, or pink and white are also popular colour combinations.
- 1 quantity Sweet shortcrust pastry, divided in half before wrapping and chilling as directed
Mock Cream Filling
- 1 tbs boiling water
- ½ tsp gelatine powder
- 65 g (⅓ cup) caster sugar
- 2 tbs milk
- 125 g unsalted butter, softened
- 1 tsp natural vanilla essence or extract
- 185 g (1½ cups) pure icing sugar
- 1 tbs water, plus 1 tsp extra (optional)
- 2 tsp sifted cocoa powder
- Pink food colouring
- Unwrap one pastry portion and place on a lightly floured, cool work surface. Gently pat the pastry with the palm of your hand to flatten slightly. Use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll out on a lightly floured surface until 3mm thick. Use an 8cm diameter plain round cutter to cut out 6 circles, re-rolling the pastry if necessary. Line six holes of a 12 hole 80ml (1/3 cup) muffin tin (the pastry circles won’t fill the muffin holes completely. Repeat with the remaining pastry portion to line the six remaining muffin holes.
- Prick each pastry case base 3 times with a fork and place in the fridge for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced).
- Line each tartlet case with a piece of foil and then fill with dried rice. Blind bake the tart cases for 15 minutes or until the pastry is sealed. Use the foil to lift the rice out of the tartlet cases and bake for a further 5 minutes or until lightly golden and cooked through. Cool the cases in the tin.
- To make the Mock cream filling, put the boiling water in a small ramekin and sprinkle the gelatine over the top. Use a fork to whisk the gelatine into the water and then set aside for about 3 minutes or until the mixture is clear (see Bakers Tips). Meanwhile, combine the sugar and milk in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the gelatine mixture until well combined. Remove from heat and set aside, stirring occasionally so the gelatine doesn't set, for 30 minutes or until cooled to room temperature.
- Use an electric beater to beat the butter and vanilla in a medium bowl until pale and creamy. With the motor running, gradually add the cooled gelatin mixture in a slow steady stream until well combined and fluffy. Divide the Mock cream filling evenly among the pastry cases and smooth the surfaces. Set aside in a cool spot but not in the fridge.
- To make the Icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl and then stir in the water until smooth (the icing should be a spreadable consistency). Put half the icing into a separate bowl and stir in the cocoa powder and extra teaspoon of water. Colour the remaining portion with 2-4 drops of pink food colouring. Use a palette knife or the back of a teaspoon to spread about a teaspoon of the pink icing over the top of half of each tart. Set aside for 5-10 minutes for the icing to set. Spread about a teaspoon of the chocolate icing over the remaining half of each tart to cover the tops and then set aside for 5-10 minutes for the icing to set. Serve at room temperature.
- If the gelatine doesn't dissolve in the boiling water and become clear, add boiling water to a larger heatproof bowl, jug or dish and then sit the ramekin with the gelatine mixture in the water. Stir occasionally until the mixture is clear.
- These tarts will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Serve at room temperature.
This recipe is from Anneka's SBS Food online column, Bakeproof: Childhood Favourites.
CLICK HERE for more Bakeproof recipes.
Photography by Alan Benson.
Prep 45min (+ 20min chilling + 1.5hr cooling time)Bake 55minMakes 8-10 serves
The combination of fig, honey and almonds is a well-loved one. I’ve added the gentle pungency of fresh sage to this and the result is sublime. This tart is something special to reserve for autumn lunches when figs are at their best.
1 x quantity sweet sage shortcrust pastry, shaped into a rectangle before wrapping and chilling as directed
8 medium firm ripe figs (about 50g each), quartered
2 tablespoons honey, warmed, to brush
20 small sage leaves (optional), to serve
Icing sugar (optional), to dust
Honey ice cream or whipped cream, to serve
80g unsalted butter, at room temperature
75g (⅓ cup) caster sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 orange, rind finely grated
2 eggs, at room temperature
50g (⅓ cup) plain flour
120g ground almonds (meal)
- Preheat oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced).
- Unwrap the pastry and place on a lightly floured, cool work surface. Gently pat the pastry with the palm of your hand to flatten slightly. Use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll the pastry into a rectangle about 4mm thick. Line a 11.5cm x 35cm (base measurement) tart tin, with a removable base, with the pastry. Roll the rolling pin over the top of the tart tin to trim any overhanging pastry.
- Place tart case on a baking tray. Prick the pastry base with a fork (about 12 times). Line the pastry case with greaseproof paper or foil and fill with pastry weights, dried beans or raw rice, making sure to press into the corners. Bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and use the paper to lift the weights out of the case. Return the pastry case to the oven and cook for a further 5-10 minutes or until the pastry case is lightly golden and just cooked through. Remove the tart case from the oven and set aside to cool.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 170°C (150°C fan-forced).
- To make the Frangipane, use an electric mixer to beat the butter, sugar, honey and orange rind until pale and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, until well combined. Combine the flour with the ground almonds and mix evenly. Add to the butter mixture and mix on low speed until just combined. Spoon the frangipane into the cooled tart case and spread evenly. Press the fig quarters, cut side up, randomly into the frangipane.
- Bake for 50-55 minutes or until the frangipane is just set and the pastry is golden and crisp. Remove the tart from the oven and place, still in the tin, on a wire rack.
- Brush the warm tart with the honey and set aside to cool (this will take about 1 hour). Sprinkle with the small sage leaves and icing sugar, and serve slices accompanied with ice cream or cream.
- This tart is best eaten on the day it is baked; however, it will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Serve at room temperature.
Photography by Alan Benson.