I asked a question on Twitter the other day about using baking beans for blind baking pastry, I've never tried them and was wondering whether people think they make a difference or not. I've been using the same dried lentils for a few years now but they still seem to do the job. The consensus seemed to be that if you can afford to splash out then they are a good buy but lentils or rice etc still works just as well. Maybe I'll treat myself to some one day.
Ingredients - makes 2, easily doubled
For the pastry:
50g plain flour
25g cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 tsp vanilla sugar or caster sugar
1 tsp cold water
For the filling:
1 egg yolk
25g vanilla sugar or caster sugar and a couple of drops of vanilla extract
2 tsp cornflour
100g strawberries, sliced
1 tbsp red jam for glazing e.g. strawberry or raspberry jam
- Make the pastry by rubbing the butter into the flour until you get a breadcrumb texture, stir through the sugar and then add the water and bring together into a firm dough. Divide the dough into 2 pieces and roll each piece out on a lightly floured surface to 3mm thick and use to line 2 x 9cm diameter (measured across the base) tart tins, leave a little pastry overhanging the edge of the tin to allow for shrinkage in the oven. Rest in the fridge for 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 200C and remove the tart cases from the fridge, line with foil and fill the cases with baking beans and bake for 10 minutes, remove the foil and bake for a further 10 minutes until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack, leave the cases until cold before unmoulding and trimming any excess pastry from the edges.
- Make the crème patissière by whisking together the egg yolk, sugar and cornflour. Heat the milk in a small pan until just simmering then pour into the egg mix and whisk to combine, return to the hob over a low heat and stir until the crème patissière begins to thicken, it needs to be like custard. Allow to cool slightly before using to fill the tart cases. Leave the filled tart cases to set in the fridge for at least an hour. Top with the strawberries when you're ready to serve, gently heat the jam and brush over the strawberries to add an attractive glaze to the fruit.
I have a really quick recipe to use up the leftover egg white in these coconut and cardamom macaroons.
I'm entering this into Classic French where I've challenged you to make French fruit tarts and also into Simple and in Season and Made With Love Mondays.