After last week's #BakeOffFail (although the jam has been going down a treat on toast) and a reluctant return from holiday I was beyond keen to catch up with the show to distract myself from the copious amounts of rain we've been having of late. I mean, come on. It's getting silly now. I actually managed to get through the week without finding out who'd been ejected from the Bake Off tent. One lazy Sunday saw my heart strings severely twanged when Alvin left the gang. You were a champ, my friend!
I was initially drawn to the prospect of those cheesy square pastries, but when they said 'mastic' I said 'huh?' and vowed not to even bother looking for it. I do love a vol-au-vent, but the idea of leaving prawn cocktail in pastry with no room-full-of-guests to eat them sent me into a food poisoning related fever. Nuh-ah. Frangipane, here's to you being the best of a bad bunch.
I fancied making individual puddings this time, so deviated from the brief a little to make these Zesty Peach and Frangipane Tartlettes. Let it be known that I am not a fan of making pastry from scratch and these were a struggle. Nevertheless, here's my recipe!
For the Pastry:
115g unsalted butter
35g ground almonds
200g plain flour
For the Filling:
95g caster sugar
4 tablespoons of melted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract paste
65g ground almonds
zest of 1 lemon
For the Glaze:
4 tbsp apricot jam
1 tsp water
To Prepare the Pastry:
1 // Combine the sugar and room-temperature butter together in a medium sized bowl until combined.
2 // Beat in one egg until mixture is smooth. Gradually add the ground almonds and the flour until dough is combined and sticky.
3 // Wrap the dough up in cling-film and place in the fridge to chill for at least one hour.
To Make the Filling:
1 // Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
2 // Slice up the peaches very thinly and put to one side.
3 // Combine the sugar, melted butter, 2 eggs, vanilla paste, ground almonds and lemon zest together in a medium sized bowl. Whisk to combine.
4 // Take your pastry out of the fridge and roll into 1 inch balls. Push these into each muffin tray ensuring a consistent thickness of less than 50mm.
5 // Spoon the mixture so as to fill 3/4 of each pastry case. Arrange the peach slices in an over-lapping fashion to create a rose-petal like effect.
6 // Glaze the tartlettes with the apricot jam mixed with water.
7 // Bake for 25 minutes until slightly browned.
8 // Top with physalis to decorate if you wish!
// Make your pastry the day before. Much less faff and it will be properly chilled so you don't get a sticky mess when you try and handle it.
// If I was to do these again, I would use a smaller pitted fruit, like plums. The slices were too long and didn't fan as nicely as I'd hoped. They'd be great in a full sized tart though!
// Find an effective way to roll out the dough. Seriously, I spent about 15 minutes smushing dough into the muffin tray with my thumbs in a very inelegant and ineffective fashion because I couldn't roll it out to save my life. Why?! Comments containing tips much appreciated!
Pastry, you're still not my friend. I might get smited by the baking gods here, but I just don't see the point in making pastry from scratch when you can buy it pre-made. It's cheaper, less faff and usually nicer than the stuff I could make. I get the whole 'rustic baking' vibe and it's great for bragging rights, but seriously?! More effort than it's worth! What do you think?
I cannot tell you how excited I am about the Historical Baking episode tonight. Cake + History = my happy place.
How did you get on in this week's challenge?
Find all my other Bake Off Bake Along posts here.
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