Makes one 23cm (9” tart)
Prep time: less than 10 minutes (plus time for the individual elements)
Resting time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 30 minutes
Equipment needed: 23cm (9”) tart pan or pie tin (preferably with ridged edges), rolling pin
One quantity sweet shortcrust pastry (recipe follows)
250ml (1cup (8 US fl. oz)) jam or curd, warmed for spreadability
One quantity frangipane (recipe follows)
One handful blanched, flaked almonds
SWEET SHORTCRUST PASTRY:
Prep time: 15-20 minutes
Resting time: 30 minutes (minimum)
Equipment needed: bowls, box grater, cling film
225g (8oz) all purpose flour
30g (1oz) sugar
2.5ml (½ tsp) salt
110g (4oz) unsalted butter, cold (frozen is better)
2 (2) egg yolks
2.5ml (½ tsp) almond extract (optional)
15-30ml (1-2 Tbsp) cold water
Sift together flour, sugar and salt. Grate butter into the flour mixture, using the large hole-side of a box grater. Using your finger tips only, and working very quickly, rub the fat into the flour until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Set aside.
Lightly beat the egg yolks with the almond extract (if using) and quickly mix into the flour mixture. Keep mixing while dribbling in the water, only adding enough to form a cohesive and slightly sticky dough.
Form the dough into a disc, wrap in cling and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Equipment needed: bowls, hand mixer, rubber spatula
125g (4.5oz) unsalted butter, softened
125g (4.5oz) icing sugar
3 (3) eggs
2.5ml (½ tsp) almond extract
125g (4.5oz) ground almonds
30g (1oz) all purpose flour
Cream butter and sugar together for about a minute or until the mixture is primrose in colour and very fluffy. Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. The batter may appear to curdle. In the words of Douglas Adams: Don’t panic. Really. It’ll be fine. After all three are in, pour in the almond extract and mix for about another 30 seconds and scrape down the sides again. With the beaters on, spoon in the ground nuts and the flour. Mix well. The mixture will be soft, keep its slightly curdled look (mostly from the almonds) and retain its pallid yellow colour.
Assembling the tart:
Place the chilled dough disc on a lightly floured surface. If it's overly cold, you will need to let it become acclimatised for about 15 minutes before you roll it out. Flour the rolling pin and roll the pastry to 5mm (1/4”) thickness, by rolling in one direction only (start from the centre and roll away from you), and turning the disc a quarter turn after each roll. When the pastry is to the desired size and thickness, transfer it to the tart pan, press in and trim the excess dough. Patch any holes, fissures or tears with trimmed bits. Chill in the freezer for 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 200C/400F.
Remove shell from freezer, spread as even a layer as you can of jam onto the pastry base. Top with frangipane, spreading to cover the entire surface of the tart. Smooth the top and pop into the oven for 30 minutes. Five minutes before the tart is done, the top will be poofy and brownish. Remove from oven and strew flaked almonds on top and return to the heat for the last five minutes of baking.
The finished tart will have a golden crust and the frangipane will be tanned, poofy and a bit spongy-looking. Remove from the oven and cool on the counter. Serve warm, with crème fraîche, whipped cream or custard sauce if you wish.
When you slice into the tart, the almond paste will be firm, but slightly squidgy and the crust should be crisp but not tough.
Lavender cod with grilled fennel and potato salad, roasted tomato
Ingredients for 2:
For the cod:
2 cod fillets
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tbs olive oil
For the vegetables:
2 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
3 potatoes, sliced crosswise
1 heirloom tomato, cut in half
1/4 tsp cumin powder
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tbs parsley, finely chopped
1 tbs mint, finely chopped
one pinch cayenne pepper
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp cider vinegar
1 tbs olive oil + 1
salt and pepper
Fleur de sel for the tomato
First prepare the potatoes. Drizzle them with salt, pepper, olive oil and cider vinegar. Place in the oven and broil on both sides until golden brown and cooked all the way through. While potatoes are cooking, grill the fennel on a grill pan. Add fennel to the potatoes.
Drizzle cod with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Broil on both sides until cooked all the way through.
Grill tomatoes on grill pan.
In a small mixing bowl, mix olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, parsley, mint, cumin powder, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Pour on top of fennel, potato mixture and toss.
Add lavender salt on top of cod, drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil.
Add Fleur de sel and pepper on top of tomato halves and a little olive oil.
Serve each item in a plate.
Sweet Corn Ice Cream
1 ear corn (kernels reserved, cut into 1 inch slices)
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 egg yolks
1. Simmer the corn cob in the heavy cream and milk for 10 minutes.
2. Remove the corn cob.
3. Add the corn kernels and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes.
4. Temper the egg yolks and add them along with the sugar and vanilla extract to the pan.
5. Cook at low heat until it thickens and can coat the back of a spoon.
6. Chill the mixture in the fridge.
7. Freeze according to the instructions for your ice cream machine.
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