If you watched this weeks episode of GBBO you will be forgiven for being a little confused by the rules for Botanical Week. Lemon Meringue Pies, Herb Fougasse and a three tier iced cake, makes me think they are playing fast and loose with the term ‘Botanical’.
However, this left me free to have a little fun and combine my pastry and botanical entries this week. I had been really keen to have a go at baking a Cherry and Frangipane Autumnal Tart. It is hardly botanical but certainly no less botanical than a lemon meringue pie.
This was my first attempt at making my own pastry. I had no idea how easy it would be and it turned out really buttery and crumbly and generally delicious.
Basic Shortcrust Pastry Recipe:
225g of plain flour
100g of butter
a pinch of salt
4 tbsps of cold water
The butter, flour and salt should be rubbed together until it is combined and resembles breadcrumbs.
Add a tablespoon of cold water at a time until the mixture comes together into a dough.
Wrap in cling film and chill for 20 mins.
Then I rolled out the pastry to 3-4mm and lined a tart case with the dough. I pricked the pastry all over and blind baked it at 180 degrees for 20 mins. I used the left over pastry to cut out leaf shapes using cutters.
Whilst the pastry case is blind baking I made the frangipane filling.
170g ground almonds
1 egg yolk
Mix all the ingredients together to make the frangipane.
When the pastry case is out of the oven and cooled, spread the frangipane in the bottom and cook for a further 15-20mins until it starts to go golden.
Layer tinned cherries (make sure there are no stones) on top of the frangipane and then decorate with pastry leaves.
Obviously you don’t have to use leaves. Snowflakes would look gorgeous at Christmas, hearts for Valentines day or flowers for Mothers day.
Brush egg onto the top of the pastry leaves and bake in the oven at 180 degrees until the leaves are cooked and golden, approximately 50mins.
It is a perfect treat for the changing season. It is both sweet and tart with gorgeous gooey Frangipane and crumbly buttery pastry. Not a soggy bottom in sight!