Category Archives: Pastry

Mushroom & Cheese Tart

One of the things I love about cooking is the presentation of the finished article.  I’m quite happy pottering away in the kitchen working on the finishing touches but with two young kids it’s become less and less about good looking food and more about speed and shortcuts.Mushroom & Cheese Tart This mushroom & cheese tart looks very rustic but is the perfect quick tart.  A couple of minutes to fry some mushrooms and onions, mix up some eggs, cheese and herbs.  Unwrap some ready made puff pastry.  Throw it all together and into the oven and by the time you’ve cleaned everything up you have a delicious tasting tart.  Perfect to take on a picnic, a light lunch with a mixed salad or even as a starter.
Mushroom & Cheese Tart

Mushroom & Cheese Tart

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 2 servings for a light meal or 4 servings as a starter

Mushroom & Cheese Tart

Ingredients

  • 200g ready rolled puff pastry
  • 1 tblsp olive oil
  • 200g mixed mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 small onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 large egg
  • 100g Garlic & Herbs cream cheese
  • 20g finely grated parmesan cheese
  • a handful of flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 50g ricotta cheese
  • 6 fresh thyme sprigs

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 220°C (425°F).
  2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and add the mushrooms and onions.
  3. Stir occasionally until the mushrooms and onions are nicely caramelised. Set to one side.
  4. Add the egg to a mixing bowl and mix well with a fork. (Keep a tiny bit to one side for glazing the tart).
  5. Add the cream cheese to the beaten egg and mix well.
  6. Add the parmesan cheese and parsley.
  7. Mix well and season with salt and pepper.
  8. Place the pastry sheet (should measure approx. 21cm x 21cm) on a lined baking sheet.
  9. Spoon the mushroom mixture onto the pastry and spread out evenly - leaving a clean border about 3cm wide all the way round.
  10. Fold the border up and over the mushroom mixture to create a rim.
  11. Scatter the crumbled ricotta and thyme leaves over the top.
  12. Brush the pastry edges with the left over egg.
  13. Place in the oven for 15 minutes until nicely golden brown.
http://mygoldenpear.com/2015/04/28/mushroom-cheese-tart/

Mushroom & Cheese Tart

Enjoy!

I’m sharing this recipe over on the fabulous Supergolden Bakes Cook, Blog, Share  linky

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Honest Mum’s Tasty Tuesday linkup

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and A Mummy Too’s Recipe of the Week linky

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Recipe source : Australian Women’s Weekly

Italian Almond Tart

Most of us will have heard the saying ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ but may not think of it in terms of food.  Well, this Italian Almond Tart makes me think of exactly that.  It is nothing much to look at – it is all very beige and there is no lovely sauce or chocolate dripping down the sides to make us drool.  A real plain Jane!  Until, that is you cut into it and serve yourself a deliciously moist and fragrant slice to go with your afternoon tea.  It is so good that I made one the very next day for my hubby to take into work and everybody loved it.  I made my own almond paste and I would highly recommend that you try this at least once.  It is so easy to make, it’s fresh and full of flavour and will make all the difference to your tart.  Your choice of jam will also play a big part in how your finished tart tastes.  For my first attempt I used a cherry jam which had whole cherries in it.  It was quite sweet and I wasn’t overly enthused by the chunks of cherry.  For my second attempt I used a smooth Christmas spice fruit jam and I thought this was much better.

The recipe for this Italian almond tart was chosen by Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids, for the Bake Along challenge which she runs with  Joyce from Kitchen Flavours and Lena from Frozen wings.  The original recipe is from Williams-Sonoma and was chosen because it had so many good reviews.  A very good choice Zoe and one that I will be making again and again.

For those of you who are interested in how I decorated the tart – yes I did stand and pick out all the whole slices of almonds from a pack and yes it did take me a long time to place them all so neatly round the entire tart and yes I am completely mad!  I also made a rose from some of the left over almond paste.  I only placed it on the tart 10 minutes before the tart was due to come out the oven to crisp it up a bit and give it some colour.

I hope you give this one a go.

Italian Almond Tart 5

Italian Almond Tart

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 8 - 10 servings

Italian Almond Tart

Ingredients

  • 1 x 9½ inch (19cm) sweet shortcrust pastry case which has been baked blind recipe.
  • 115g butter, at room temperature
  • 225g almond paste, cut into 1 inch cubes recipe
  • 55g caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 50g plain flour
  • 300g raspberry, plum or cherry jam
  • 50g sliced almonds

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
  2. Using an electric mixer on medium speed or a whisk, beat the butter until smooth.
  3. Add the almond paste and beat until smooth.
  4. While continuing to beat, sprinkle in the sugar.
  5. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  6. Stir in the flour and set to one side.
  7. Spread the jam evenly over the bottom of the baked pastry case.
  8. Spoon the almond paste mixture over the top of the jam and spread out evenly.
  9. Sprinkle the surface evenly with the sliced almonds
  10. Bake the tart until the filling is golden and the middle is firm to the touch, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let the tart cool completely.
  11. Serve at room temperature.
http://mygoldenpear.com/2013/12/02/italian-almond-tart/

Italian Almond Tart5

Bake Along

 

Shortcrust Pastry

If you are making a tart which requires a pastry shell to hold the filling then this is the pastry you will need.  Shortcrust pastry is one of the easier pastries to work with because of the low fat content.  It is more common to bake the pastry shell first and then add the filling to ensure a nice crisp bottom but the filling can be added to the raw shell and then baked.  The quantity below is more than enough to make a standard tart using a tin size up to 26cm.  If you have any pastry left over it can be wrapped tightly in cling film and frozen for later use.  There are a couple of tips which help to make the process easier:

Measure all ingredients accurately.

Work with cold ingredients and cold hands.

Rest your pastry in the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour to help with the rolling out process and to prevent shrinkage when baking.

If baking the empty shell then always bake blind.  Use a piece of baking paper slightly bigger than the size of the tin.  Crumple it up and then flatten it out again.  Place it in the pastry case and add enough ceramic baking beans to cover the bottom of the pastry case.  You want enough weight from the baking beans to prevent the dough from puffing up during cooking.  If you can keep the pastry in contact with the hot tin whilst baking this will ensure even baking and a nice crisp shell.

Shortcrust Pastry

Ingredients

  • 115g butter
  • 225g plain flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 whole egg, beaten
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten
  • 60ml cold water
  • For Sweet Shortcrust Pastry
  • Add 75g icing sugar to the above ingredients

Instructions

  1. Cut the chilled butter into small blocks (about 1cm in diameter).
  2. Sieve the flour and salt into a mixing bowl. (If making the sweet shortcrust pastry then add your sugar with the flour and salt).
  3. Add the butter and using your fingertips rub the butter into the flour mixture until it looks like fine breadcrumbs. If the butter starts to melt then chill your mixture or run your hands under cold water before continuing.
  4. Mix in the beaten eggs and combine with the flour mixture until it forms a stiff dough. You may need to add in some of the water at this stage if the mixture is too dry. Do not overwork the mixture.
  5. Wrap in cling film and rest in the refrigerator for a minimum of 1 hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 200°C (400° F).
  7. Using a floured surface roll the pastry out and place in your desired tin, easing in gently. Try not to overstretch the pastry as this will cause the pastry shell to shrink when baking.
  8. Neaten the edge by running a knife round the top edge to remove excess pastry.
  9. Bake blind (see notes above) for approximately 15 minutes.
  10. Remove baking beans and paper from pastry shell.
  11. Return to oven for a further 10 minutes until nicely golden and crisp.
  12. Your pastry case is now ready for filling or can be frozen at this point to be used at a later date.
http://mygoldenpear.com/2013/02/17/shortcrust-pastry/

 

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