Saturday, 6 August 2011

Summer Fruit Tartlets

I had a rather fabulous dinner with Anna and Preston the other day. We started off with some mussels followed by some really nice salmon with a pistachio crust (you'll get that recipe at some point, I promise!) and then ended it with some fruit tartlets.
Anna and I have made those tartlets on several occasions now and I am in love with them because they are so easy to make, look super pretty and are the perfect end to any meal (yes, the last leftover one was a very lovely end to my breakfast of cinnamon toast crunch yesterday).
I used blackberries and peaches this time, but they are really nice just with blackberries, or apple slices, or cherries, pretty much whatever fruit you have sitting around in your kitchen.

Summer Fruit Tartlets
For the pastry:
90g Wholegrain Spelt Flour
40g Buckwheat Flour
40g Fine Cornmeal (not cornflour, but more like super fine polenta)
50g Butter (refrigerated)
30g Coconut Oil (refrigerated)
1/2 tsp Sugar
A Pinch of Salt
Some Ice Water

For the filling:
Enough fruit to fill 12 mini-tartlets i.e.
24 Blackberries
or 12 Blackberries and 1 Peach
or 1 large Cooking Apple

Some more coconut oil to grease a 12 cup muffin tin.

We are going to make a pastry dough using a method called fraisage (if you're completely lost, have a look at the explanation at Have Kinves, Will Cook). So all you need to do is, mix the flours, sugar and salt, cut in the fats into hazelnut-sized pieces and then rub them into the four mixture until you have pea-sized pieces. You'll want to do this very quickly because otherwise the fat will melt (and the fat is what makes the dough flaky). Bind the dough with some ice water (one or two tablespoons should be enough for this dough) and scrape it together into a shaggy lump.
Now, take a piece of dough and smear it over a floured work-surface. Stare at the lovely thin layer of butter that is now embedded in the flour for a second before you repeat the process with the rest of the dough. Then you shape into a rectangular lump (it doesn't have to be perfect but i find having something to work with makes rolling out the dough a lot easier later) and refrigerate the pastry for at least an hour.

Preheat your oven to 220˚C.

Get the fruit ready - wash whatever needs to be washed, if I'm using peaches, I peel them (stick them into boiling water for 5 minutes, then into an ice-bath, and the skin should easily come off) and then I normally simmer them in a syrup (two parts sugar, one part water) for a couple of minutes. If I use berries, I sometimes only sprinkle them with sugar.

Grease a 12 cup muffin tin.
Take the pastry out of the fridge and roll it out thinly - think 3 mm max. Then cut out 12 round pieces - I use a 6cm cookie cutter, but a glass will work just as fine.
Line each cup with a piece of pastry. You will want to push them in so they are at the bottom of the cup but don't push them in too much or they won't want to come out in one piece.
Fill each pastry with some fruit, sprinkle with some sugar or spices if you feel like it and then bake them for about 20 minutes. I tend to check every couple of minutes towards the end, depending on how much fruit is in the tartlets they will look nice and crisp and fully baked a few minutes sooner or later, so keep checking.

Allow the tartlets to cool slightly on a wire rack and enjoy them with some coffee or ice-cream and a really good conversation :)

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