Hi my name is Edd and im an addict. I have very rarely spoken about my problem here but I think its time to share. I have an addiction to…cookbooks. I finally thought i’d managed to kick the habit but along comes another book that peaks my interest and somehow just ends up in my collection. Thankfully the only people my habit hurts are my bank manager and me. I had decided not to buy anymore books for a while, lord knows I have enough recipes keep me going for plenty of time, but when I saw the new book “Bourke Street Bakery” it just jumped out at me. Its a wonderful book two thirds of which is dedicated to breads and pastries and the other third is centered around the sweeter side of things. There is a very generous section on sourdoughs from the basics to delicious sounding anise and fruit sourdough and even an apple and oat sourdough. The other bread sections cover yeasted and olive oil breads. The pastry section runs the gamut from the traditional croissants and danishes through to interesting sausage rolls and pies such as lamb, harissa, and almond sausage rolls, which are definitely being added to my cook list. There is also a great selection of cakes and desserts but for the purposes of todays post I chose something from the tarts section. There are 12 different individual sweet tart recipes but I chose the Ginger Brulee Tarts with cardamom and cinnamon.
Sweet Shortcrust Pastry (Pate Brisee)
makes enough for 20 individual tarts
400g unsalted butter, chilled, cut into cubes
20ml vinegar, chilled
100g caster sugar, chilled
170ml water, chilled
665g plain flour, chilled
1. Remove the butter from the fridge about 20 minutes before you start to make the pastry, you want the butter cold but just getting soft.
2. Put the vinegar and sugar in a bowl and mix with the water, set aside for 10 minutes after which give another stir.
3. Mix together the flour and salt in a large bowl and toss through the butter. Using your fingertips rub the butter into the flour to partly combine (if using a food processor add the flour and salt and pulse in the butter with 1-second bursts a total of three or four times).
4. Turn the flour mixture out onto a clean work surface and gather together. Sprinkle over the sugar mixture and using the palm of your hand smear the mixture away from you. Gather together again and repeat this process twice more. You may need to repeat the smearing process a further once or twice to bring it together properly. You should be able to see streaks of butter marbled through the final dough, which will give it a slightly flaky texture.
5. Divide the dough into two equal portions and form into round flat disks. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
6. Remove the pastry dough from the fridge 20 minutes before needed. Roll out on a lightly floured surface, regularly rotating by an eighth, until your pastry is 3mm thick.
7. Brush twenty 8cm individual tart tins with a little butter. Using an 11cm plain pastry cutter cut out rounds of dough. Place on top of the mould and use your fingers to gently push the dough into the mould. Using your index finger and thumb force the overhanging pastry into the mould. Put the lined tart tins in the freezer for 2o mins before baking.
8. Preheat the oven to 200c/400f. Line the the tarts with a double layer of kitchen foil and fill the shells with baking beans or dried beans or pulses. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden all over (I prefer my pastry less coloured so baked until the edges were baked but the centres still pale in comparison)
Ginger Brulee Filling
fills 20 tarts
720ml whipping cream (35% fat)
5cm piece of ginger, finely sliced
1 cardamom pod, bruised
1/2 cinnamon stick
10 egg yolks
80g caster sugar
1 1/2 tblsp pistachios, chopped
1. Place the cream into a saucepan over high heat with the ginger, cardamom and cinnamon. As soon as the cream comes to a boil remove from the heat, pour into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
2. Reheat the cream in a saucepans set over medium heat. Bring to a simmer then remove from the heat and set aside.
3. Place the egg yolks in a stainless steel bowl and whisk to combine. Add the sugar and whisk for a further 30 seconds until the sugar is dissolved. Pour the warm cream through a sieve discarding the spices then our the cream over the egg mixture whisking thoroughly to combine.
4. Put the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and continue stirring with a whisk for around 10-15 mins until smooth and thick (I undercooked the mixture at this stage so my custard didnt set as firm as desired).
5. Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk for 2 minutes to help the mixture cool. Over the next hour whisk the mixture every 10 minutes until cooled. Clean the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula then place plastic wrap directly in contact with the custard and refrigerate overnight to set.
6. Pipe the custard with a piping bag slightly overfilling the tart shells. Use a small ofsett spatula to scrape the custard flush with the top of the start shells. Refrigerate for 4 hours.
7. Sprinkle about 1 tsp caster sugar over each tart and burn with a blowtorch to create the caramelised brulee topping. Sprinkle the tarts with the pistachios to serve.