Tag Archives: pastry


Ok – I know I’ve been neglecting you, and I know that if I were taking this seriously I’d be posting every week, but I’ve been busy. I’m not quite sure doing what, but I’ve been busy nevertheless. Today however the sun is shining, the boys are smiling, Tortoise is launching, New York is buzzing, the team are happy and The New Yorker is nearing, so I thought now might be a good time to throw a new recipe on the pile. So here goes:

Apple Tart

The most exciting thing about his tart is the base – I used pretty much a standard shortcrust pastry (200g plain flour, 100g cold butter, one egg, a splash of water, a dash of lemon juice, and tablespoon of sugar and a pinch of sea salt) but I substituted a handful of flour for a handful of crushed brand flakes. Genius. It makes the crunchiest base you can imagine.

While blind baking the base, I made the filling – a thrown together version of a frangipane with 100g of butter creamed into 100g caster sugar and then beaten together with two eggs and finally folded into 100g of ground almonds. Drop the frangipane into the now cool pastry base and layer sliced apple over the top, hopefully in a much neater pattern than I managed. I’d go for two layers, which will require about three apples. Don’t bother peeling them.

Now sprinkle dark brown sugar over the tart and stick it in the oven at 180c for 30 minutes. Take it out. Let it cool. Eat it. Preferably with a glass of Sauternes.




And so it was with nothing but a handful of red peppers, some goats cheese and a couple of eggs I had to whip something up when a friend of mine popped over for a bite to eat and a goss…hold on, what on earth am I talking about? I’m not bloody Nigella and I am not going to get drawn into fabricating scenarios within which to pose a few plates of food. I really don’t understand why she gets this bizarre sex symbol/nation’s sweetheart thing from people up and down the country – she’s very nice and all, but she’s not sexy, she just likes eating. A lot. And why every programme has to end with her, sitting across from a broken-hearted friend and consoling her about her latest aborted love tryst, while simultaneously stuffing her face with massive handfuls of cream cake/pie/chocolate torte or whatever is beyond me.

To be honest – I just wanted to try making a little goats cheese tart, so I went out and bought some stuff, came home and cooked it. So here it is…

Roasted red pepper and goats cheese tart (makes two)

Take a couple of long sweet red peppers, cut them lengthways in half or thirds and lay on a roasting tin, sprinkle with salt and olive oil and put into a hot oven for about half an hour. Keep an eye on them so that they don’t badly burn (a little charring is good though). When you’re done, take them out, let them cool and then peel the flesh from the skin. Chop the flesh roughly and pop in a mixing bowl, making sure you get as much of the lovely salty oil from the roasting tin in there too.

Now take a small tub of mild goats cheese (are they 100g?), add about half (or as much as you want) to the red pepper and mix well with some chopped herbs – parsley actually works pretty well with this – and season well.

Ok – rewind a second – while the peppers are cooking prepare a small batch of shortcrust pastry – you can look it up in any recipe book – just don’t make the sweet variety. Once it’s made pop it in the fridge for half an hour or so…

So now you have you red pepper and goats cheese mix and your pastry has nicely chilled…

Get the pastry from the fridge, roll it out and pop it into a tart mould (I have these cool little stainless steel jobs with loose bottoms and sharp edges – they work a treat). Leave a little lip of pastry over the top of the mould and blind bake (with baking beans or rice to stop it rising) for about 15 mins. Then, before they cool too much, trim off the excess pastry with a very sharp knife so you have a good straight edge.

Now you’re pretty much done and you can leave the tart cases and mixture as long as you like, until you are about 20 mins from serving…

…at which point you fill the pastry cases with the mixture and pop back into a hot oven for about 20 mins, take them out and serve with a rocket salad dressed with a little good olive oil and balsamic vinegar (no drizzling please). I don’t advocate the overuse of balsamic vinegar, but it really does work well with rocket and goats cheese, so it’s allowed here..

I know the pic is poor (as ever) but believe me it tastes very good…