'Un déjeuner au soleil'
A french proverb = Lunch in the Sun = A brief but delicious treat!
Un déjeuner au soleil. If only, the weather is not being kind to us at the moment. Thus, food has taken on the role of lifting our spirits. I am endeavouring to create summer in the kitchen, in spite of the grey skies and pouring rain outside. During a recent, brief sunny spell my daughter and I visited The Hawarden Farm Shop to play in their wooden fort and say hello to their animals. As the skies began to darken, we decided to take cover in their café with a hot chocolate and a piece of cake. Before dashing through the rain back to the car I caught a glimpse of these gooseberries which reminded me of a visit by our friends last summer. They arrived with gifts of mini gooseberry tarts and scented sweet peas. Without giving it a second thought I picked some up and off we went home to recreate the taste of summer in the kitchen; a brief but delicious treat.
For the shortcrust pastry
300g plain Flour
150g fridge cold butter cut into cubes
1 tbsp icing sugar
Ice-cold water; enough to bring the dough together.
For gooseberry compote
A slug of elderflower cordial
For the frangipane
100g butter; at room temperature
100g caster sugar
100g ground almonds
A sprinkling of flaked almonds
Form your dough into a disc, wrap in cling film and place in the fridge to rest for about half an hour.
After the rest, Heat your oven to 200°C and roll out your disc on a floured surface; I prefer to do this between two floured sheets of cling film. Then, lift the pastry into a tart tin and gently press into place.
Prick the bottom of the tart with a fork before placing a sheet of baking parchment over the top. Add beans, rice or baking weights. Place in the oven for 15 minutes or until cooked but still pale.
Remove from the oven and take out the baking parchment and beans. Now for the filling...
Put the gooseberries and elderflower cordial into a saucepan and heat on medium until the gooseberries are just softening, check the sweetness and add more cordial if desired.
Beat the eggs and sugar for the frangipane until smooth and pale. Beat in the eggs one at a time, followed by the ground almonds.
Spoon the gooseberry compote into the part baked pastry case, followed by the frangipane, sometimes I dot it around so that the compote bubbles through. Here, I smoothed it out and topped with flaked almonds.
Return the tart to the oven for a further 20 minutes or until the frangipane and pastry are golden.
Happy Birthday William! I hope you have got some yummy cake to eat. See you soon. V, N & G xxx.