Week 3 of the 6 week pastry making class I have been attending was all about chocolate pastry. We learnt how to make a chocolate pastry which was cooked and then filled with ganache. The pastry was the same recipe as the sweet pastry we learnt in week two, but with the addition of 40g cocoa in place of some of the flour.
I haven’t made these again since the class as it is just too much chocolate for me (I know, I’m strange). However the recipe for the sweet pastry (including the note on how to make it chocolate) is here and I have previously posted a recipe for chocolate ganache here.
Last week we made apple and berry lattice tarts which was something I was really looking forward to (I love anything with berries in it). This tart uses a very short pastry that is equal parts flour to butter. It can be used for either sweet or savoury baking and for this tart the filling and pastry are cooked at the same time. The basic filling recipe can be adapted with many different combinations of fruits, with our teacher Sarah Brigden (from babyCakes) recommending rhubarb and raspberry . I didn’t really eat rhubarb growing up (my Dad doesn’t like it). However it is now one of my favourite fruits to use in desserts (along with citrus and berries) due to its tartness. So I had to give it a try.
The rhubarb filling is wetter when it cooks than the apple filling, so it seems to take a bit longer to cook the pastry as a result. The end result though is delicious. The tart, tangy sweetness of the rhubarb and raspberry contrast the rich buttery pastry perfectly. I would definitely recommend giving this one a go. The pastry is a bit trickier to work with than the other sweet pastry we learnt in week 2, so I wouldn’t recommend it for a first attempt at pastry. But if you give it a little time to rest in the fridge, and return it to the fridge when it gets too warm, it is easier to work with.
I have found that with practicing at home outside of class, I am getting a lot better and quicker at handling pastry. Also, with all the classes I have attended over the last year, I have found that if I try and replicate the recipes fairly soon after attending the class, I remember the specific techniques and tricks a lot better.
Rhubarb & Raspberry Lattice Tart
You need a tart tin (or tins) with a removable base for this recipe. The filling is enough for one 20cm tart tin or eight 7.5cm tart tins (with removable bases). You will have some pastry left over, which you can freeze (well wrapped in cling film) for a few months.
- 250g plain flour
- 250g unsalted butter – diced and cold
- 30g beaten egg (about half an egg)
- Water to bind (only if needed – I did in the class but didn’t when I made it at home)
- 160g Rhubarb (or apples or a combination of both) – cut into 1cm squares for the small tartlets (slightly larger if doing a large tart). If using apples peel and core them before chopping.
- 40g caster sugar
- Juice of 1/4 of a lemon (just a squeeze really)
- 80g frozen berries (I used raspberries but you could use mixed berries)
- 15g flour
- Extra caster sugar to dust on top
- Preheat the oven to 160C fan forced (180C). Spray the tart tins with baking spray and place on a baking tray (the filling may bubble over the sides).
- To make the pastry, rub the butter into the flour in a medium sized bowl until it looks like course bread crumbs (don’t worry if there are still a few lumps of butter). Don’t use a food processor for this pastry, due to the amount of butter.
- Add the egg and mix with your hands to form a dough. If it seems a bit dry and is not coming together, add a very small amount of water. Once it starts to form a dough, remove from the bowl and place onto a clean, lightly floured work surface. Knead until it just comes together and forms a smooth ball. Wrap the dough in cling film and rest in the fridge for at least 15 minutes (although you can leave it in there for longer). You can also freeze the pastry dough for up to 3 months before using. Just wrap it well in cling film and place in a sealed bag. The pastry will have some flecks of butter in it.
- After the pastry has rested, roll it out to about 2mm thickness and cut into circles slightly larger than the tart tins (if using small tins). Line the tins, pressing gently into the sides and trim off any overhang (this can be done easily using the edge of the tin). Keep the remaining pastry as you will need this to make the lattice.
- Place the lined tins in the fridge to rest again (along with the extra pastry) and make the filling by mixing all the ingredients (except the extra sugar) together in a bowl.
- Place the filling into the pastry cases. Roll out the remaining dough to the same thickness as the tart shells. Cut it into strips 0.5 – 1cm wide (or wider if you are making a larger tart). For the small tarts, place three strips horizontally across the top of the tart, pressing the ends into the edges of the tart tins to cut them off, and then place three strips vertically to form a criss-cross pattern. Don’t place the strips too tightly, as the pastry (and filling) will move a bit when cooking. Scatter over the extra sugar and place the tarts on a baking tray.
- Place in the oven and cook for about 25 – 35 minutes for a 7.5cm tart tin until the filling is bubbling and the pastry cooked and lightly golden (time will depend on how thick your pastry is and how large you cut the fruit or even the type of fruit you use). The 20cm tart will take approximately 50-60 minutes.
- Allow to cool slightly and then remove gently from the tin. It may get caught at the edges where the filling bubbles over. Dust with extra caster sugar or icing sugar. Serve as is or with cream, custard or icecream.
Recipe adapted from Sarah Brigden’s (babyCakes) Apple Berry Lattice recipe