Sunday, July 19, 2009

Cheeky Tart!!!

"The Queen of Hearts she made some tarts all on a summer's day;
The Knave of Hearts he stole the tarts and took them clean away"

Ok, so I'm not the Queen of Hearts and it isn't a summer's day (in fact it's bloody freezing!) but I have been baking tarts today. I headed into the kitchen this morning to make something to take to work for lunch this week and whilst I was waiting for that to cook, I decided to bake some tarts to use up some spare puff pastry that was taking up space in my freezer. I really didn't fancy the thought of leaving the house to go food shopping, so I hunted around in the pantry for inspiration, determined that there must be some kind of filling I had ingredients for. Well, turns out that I found a little more inspiration than I bargained for, and the result was six different kinds of tarts (although they all start with the same basic beginnings)

I was going for a rustic, free form style with these tarts - no pie tins or cutting out baking paper or blind baking or any of that kind of carry on! I love that every one is different and that they aren't perfect. You could eat them like a pastry with a cup of tea, or serve them as a dessert, warm with a dusting of icing sugar and some cream or a good quality icecream.

My six fillings were: almond and walnut , strawberry, fig, orange, apple and mixed berries. All I did was to place the various ingredients on the top of the tarts. None of the toppings were pre cooked. The figs and oranges are the glace kind (these came from the wonderful Pomona Fruits - best glace fruit ever! ) The apple and the strawberries were just sliced thinly raw, and the berries were just a handful of the frozen kind I had in the freezer. I sprinkled a little bit of castor sugar on the berries and the strawberries before putting them in the oven and when the tarts were cooked I brushed them all with maple syrup when they were still warm to give them a glaze.

I have given the basic tart recipe below, but go with any topping you fancy - I came up with six just based on what I had in the pantry today - the possibilities are endless. The filling is a simple almond based one that isn't overly sweet.

And here is today's tart selection - my recipe makes 16 tarts

You will need: 4 sheets puff pastry, 200g almond meal, 1 egg, 1/2 cup cater sugar, 100g butter, 1/3 cup maple syrup and whatever topping/s you have chosen.

Method: Melt the butter and combine with the almond meal, sugar and the egg. Set this aside. Cut the pastry into 4 rounds for each sheet (this will make 16 tarts) I used a small upturned rice bowl as a cutting guide.

Spoon the almond mixture onto the pastry and spread it out so it almost comes to the edge. Add your chosen topping. Fold/pinch the edges of the tarts the whole way around. Chill the tarts in the fridge for 15mins.

Bake in a moderate oven for 15-20 mins or until puffed and golden brown. When you take them out of the oven, brush them with maple syrup to form a light glaze.



  1. But what did you make for your work lunches? That's frequently my culinary dillema!

  2. I decided to go really old school and made a meatloaf - which I haven't done since I was a kid. I plan to have it in a few ways - with salad (I made a potato one with a creamy yoghurt/homemade mayo dressing and I will have a basic green salad with it too) it will also appear as part of of ploughman's lunch kind of arrangement and also in good old fashioned sandwiches. Michael and I take turns (alternate weeks) taking care of lunch responsibilities so I only have to think of something every second week. The meatloaf turned out sooooooo tasty. Put lots of veges and tasty stuff in it and did a BBQ/Maple glaze. Yummo!

  3. That's an excellent lunch idea - you should post your recipe :-)

    I often do chicken risotto for weekday lunches, or mexican chilli (though not very hot cos I'm a wimp!)