I have so much blogging to catch up on it’s ridiculous. There are cakes, breads, Band of Bakers, wedding bake offs and some glorious dinners to tell you about, but I’ll start with a belated round up of all the food & drink I documented on my Instagram in April. Follow me here if you so wish.
The Lily Vanilli Sweet Tooth cookbook has been out again. Pastry is not my strong point, so I thought I’d give Lily’s shortcrust a try. She gives instructions to make it by hand, food processor & stand mixer – particularly helpful for me with my beloved Kitchen Aid. It was very easy to make up the dough and then I left it in the fridge overnight as recommended. It was a nice pastry to work with, firm & easy to roll out. Managed to avoid too many sticking to the counter disasters when rolling out, then cut out the tartlets & blind baked them.
The two recipe’s in the book are for a classic cherry and a more interesting rhubarb Bakewell tarts, but Lily does mention that they use all sorts of fruit depending on what’s in season so I didn’t let a little hitch like a lack of rhubarb or cherries hold me back. I had some strawberries in the freezer, so I used those. I cooked them down with sugar & squeezed over a little orange juice until it was jam-like and smelling delicious. Then the frangipane. Never made it before and wasn’t even 100% sure what it’s supposed to be like if I’m honest. Turns out it’s ridiculously easy to make, plus Lily’s recipe makes double the quantity needed, so the other half has been frozen for the next tart that calls for it.
The end result was a crisp pastry with a thick strawberry jam topped with light frangipane and an undertone of orange coming through the strawberries and a little zest in the frangipane. Delicious. The pastry needed to be a little thinner and pushed into the muffin moulds a little firmer but other than that I’m pretty pleased with these for a first attempt! I will definitely be making them again! And eating them with breakfast…