Happy (nearly) Christmas!
By Well Seasoned, Dec 16 2017 10:00AM
Well, hopefully you’ve seen that the book is now available to pre-order (if you haven't we've failed!)
Having put so much hard work into writing and photographing over the last couple of years it’s a really exciting time for us now as we can start to reveal some of the recipes and content.
Since we’re in the festive season, how about this as a little present? It's from the Decemeber chapter.
Clementine and sultana frangipane tarts
They are as enchanting as any bauble on a Christmas tree: the shine, the vibrant orange colour and, occasionally, the contrast of green leaves. The clementine is, to my mind, inextricably linked with the festive season, and so one thought led to another and an alternative to a mince pie came to the fore. Baked as small tarts or as one large tart to slice, this brings together so many of my seasonal favourites. Add some clotted cream or spiced brandy butter, a little of the fresh fruit and just a touch of the clementine confit and dessert is sorted. Or, of course, as the cook, you can indulge in some quality control straight from the cooling rack…
I make no apologies for this being a complex recipe and, in mitigation, all the elements could be made separately over a number of days and then assembled before baking. The confit will keep for several weeks, the frangipane and pastry freeze well and you could even blind bake the pastry cases the day before you cook the tarts.
(If you need a bit more guidance, you can also find this recipe with step-by-step photos on Russell’s website HERE.)
Makes 12 small tarts using a deep muffin tin
For the sweet pastry
115g unsalted butter
85g caster sugar
2 Blackacre Farm free range egg yolks
2tbs cold water
55g corn flour
180g soft plain flour
2g Maldon salt, fine ground
For the clementine confit
(makes much more than required but has many other uses)
500g granulated sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
10 black peppercorns
For the frangipane
100g unsalted butter
100g dark muscovado sugar
1½ large, free-range eggs (100g)
1 tbs self-raising flour
100g roasted almonds, blitzed to a powder
1 tsp mixed spice
pinch of finely ground Maldon salt
For the sultanas
First make the pastry. Cream the butter and caster sugar together. Beat until the mixture starts to go pale. Combine the egg yolks and the water and beat gradually into the butter mix. Mix the flours and the salt and sift onto the butter mix. Use a rubber spatula to fold the flour in – you are aiming for dough that is homogenous but has been worked as little as possible. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and bring together into a cylinder. Wrap in cling film and chill for at least 30 mins.
Then, when you're ready to cook.
1. Preheat oven to 170C.
2. To make the clementine confit, start by blanching the clementines. Cover with cold water, bring to a boil then simmer gently for 10 minutes, then drain and refresh in cold water. Repeat three more times.
3. In a clean saucepan, combine the sugar, water and spices and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Prick the blanched clementines several times with a cocktail stick, add to the syrup and cover with baking parchment. Use a saucer or small plate to keep the clementines submerged and simmer very gently for around 1½ hours. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a blender and purée until completely smooth. Use a little of the cooking syrup if necessary. You are looking for a consistency similar to lemon curd.
4. For the frangipane, cream together the butter and sugar. Gradually beat in the egg, adding the flour in stages along with it. Fold in the almonds, mixed spice and salt and combine thoroughly. Transfer to a piping bag.
5. Simmer the sultanas in the cider until all the liquid is reduced/has been absorbed. Allow to cool.
6. Roll out the sweet pastry to approximately 4mm thick and use to line your chosen tart tin. Chill and then blind bake at 170C until just set and a light golden colour.
7. Add enough clementine confit to the sultanas to create something akin to mincemeat. Place a generous teaspoonful in the tart shells if individual, or spread across the base of the tart if making a large one. Pipe on the frangipane and bake at 170C for around 20 minutes until the frangipane is risen and firm when pressed lightly.
8. Allow to cool slightly in the tin and then remove to a cooling rack. Store in a sealed container at room temperature.
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