And Finally…

by Sam Bilton on June 1, 2012 No comments

Trio of commonwealth dessertsWhen Queen Elizabeth II ascended to the throne she became the Head of the Commonwealth. These recipes have been inspired by desserts or ingredients from some of the Commonwealth countries such as Canada, Jamaica and Australia. Although they can be made separately the recipes have been designed to ensure there is minimal wastage of ingredients. They can all be made in advance.

 

 

 

A Trio of Commonwealth Tarts

Maple & Pecan Butter Tarts

Makes 18 small tartlets or one 23cm tart

Pecan and Maple butter tart

Ingredients

Pecan Pastry

  • 100g pecan nuts
  • 150g plain flour, sifted
  • Pinch of salt
  • 125g unsalted butter, cubed
  • 50g caster sugar
  • ½ a large egg

Filling

  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 175ml maple syrup
  • 60ml double cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 100g pecan nuts, roughly chopped*

*For a larger tart you could increase this quantity to 150g.

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. For the pastry, put the pecan nuts into a food processor. Blitz until they are finely ground then add the flour, salt, butter and sugar. Process again until a breadcrumb consistency is achieved. With the motor running gradually add the egg until the pastry forms a ball. Squash into a disc shape then cover with cling film and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  3. When you are ready to make the tarts, place the butter, syrup and cream in a small saucepan and heat until the butter has melted. Allow to cool slightly before adding the vanilla extract and the eggs.
  4. Roll the pastry out to a thickness of 5mm. Using an 8cm fluted biscuit cutter cut out rounds from the pastry place them in a bun tin. You will need to re-roll the pastry and repeat this process a couple of times.
  5. Sprinkle each tartlet with a few roughly chopped pecans then carefully fill each one with the maple syrup mix. Bake for 20 minutes until the pastry is golden and the filling has set.
  6. If you are making a large tart, roll the pastry to the appropriate size for your tin. Line the tin with the pastry and prick the base. As this tart is larger you will need to bake the pastry blind first. Line with pastry base with grease proof paper and baking beans. Bake for 5 minutes then remove the beans and paper and cook for a further 5 minutes.  Fill the tart as described above and bake for 30 minutes.
Trio of commonwealth tarts

Brûléed Pineapple Tarts

Makes 18 – 20 tartlets or one 23cm tart

Ingredients

Pastry

  • 225g plain flour, sifted
  • 110g unsalted butter, cubed
  • Pinch of salt
  • 50g icing sugar
  • ½ a large egg

Filling

  • 432g tin of crushed pineapple, drained with juice reserved*
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 4 egg yolks (keep the whites for the pavlovas)
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp corn flour
  • 90ml cream
  • 50g caster sugar (for topping), optional

*You can use the pulp to make this pineapple and ginger cake.

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. For the pastry, put the flour, salt, butter and sugar into a food processor and process until a breadcrumb consistency is achieved. With the motor running gradually add the egg until the pastry forms a ball. Squash into a disc shape then cover with cling film and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  3. Roll the pastry out to a thickness of 5mm. Using an 8cm fluted biscuit cutter cut out rounds from the pastry place them in a 12 hole bun tin then prick the base of each one. Gather up the scraps of pastry and cover until required again.
  4. Place another empty bun tin over filled bun tin (preferably both the same size) and bake in the oven for approximately 7 minutes.  The cases should be light golden and cooked through. Allow to cool slightly before carefully removing the cooked cases. Repeat this process with the remaining pastry. Once your cases have been cooked you can return them to the bun tins ready for the filling. Reduce the oven to 150°C.
  5. To make the filling place the egg yolks, 50g caster sugar and corn flour in a large jug or bowl.  Whisk until light and fluffy then add 150ml pineapple juice and the lime zest and juice. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until the filling has just set.
  6. If you are making a large tart, roll the pastry to the appropriate size for your tin. Line the tin with the pastry and prick the base. Line with pastry base with grease proof paper and baking beans. Bake for 10 minutes then remove the beans and paper and cook for a further 5 minutes (at 180°C).  Reduce the oven temperature to 150°C and fill the tart as described above and bake for 40 – 50 minutes.
  7. When the tarts have cooled, sprinkle each one with a little caster sugar (about ½ tsp per tart should do it). Using a culinary blow torch brûlée the top of each tart.

Diamond Pavlovas

Makes around 16 mini pavlovas or 1 large pavlova

The meringues can be made several days ahead but the pavlova is best assembled immediately prior to serving.

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs whites (reserved from pineapple tarts)
  • 200g caster sugar
  • A few drops of lemon juice

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 100°C.
  2. Find a piece of cardboard to make your diamond template. Draw a 7cm vertical line on the cardboard marking the half way point. Using this point draw a 6cm line perpendicular to the vertical line ensuring they both intersect at the half way point. Draw a line between the end points of each line. This will give you four triangles which together will create a diamond. Cut this shape out and use it as your template. It doesn’t look very big but the meringue will spread while it cooks.
  3. Line a baking sheet or two (if they are small) with baking parchment. Draw around the diamond template with a pencil leaving a good 3cm between each shape.
  4. Place the eggs whites in a clean bowl adding a few drops of lemon juice. Using a hand whisk or electric food mixer with a whisk attachment beat on a high speed for a couple of minutes until the egg whites have reached the stiff peak stage.
  5. Reduce the mixer speed then gradually add the caster sugar. Once all of the sugar has been added turn the speed up to maximum and beat again for 2 – 3 minutes until thick and glossy.Piping pavlovas
  6. Fill a piping bag fitted with a smallish nozzle with the meringue.  Pipe around theborder of a diamond filling in the centre after. Pipe a further row of meringue around the border to create a bowl effect. Repeat with the other diamonds.
  7. Bake in the oven for 1 hour. Turn the oven off after this time but leave the meringues inside the oven while it cools down. When completely cold remove from the baking parchment and decorate with one of the toppings below. The undecorated meringues will keep well in an air tight container for several days.
  8. If you decide to make one large pavlova it will need at least 2 hours at this temperature prior to turning the oven off.

Toppings (halve the quantities if you want to make both)

Strawberry and Elderflower

  • 18 – 20 strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1½ tbsp elderflower cordial (for macerating the strawberries)
  • 400ml whipping cream
  • 3 tbsp elderflower cordial
  • 3 tbsp icing sugar

Place the slice strawberries in a shallow baking dish and drizzle with 1½ tbsp elderflower cordial. Give them a gentle stir then put them to one side while you deal with the cream. Put the cream, 3 tbsp elderflower cordial and icing sugar in a bowl. Using an electric hand whisk beat until the cream forms soft peaks. Spoon some of the cream on each meringue diamond then decorate with a few of the macerated strawberry slices.

Passionfruit and Kiwi

  • 5 small or 3 large passion fruit
  • 400ml whipping cream
  • 3 tbsp icing sugar
  • 5 kiwis, peeled, cut in half lengthways and sliced into half moon shapes

Cut the passion fruit in half then scrape out the flesh and seeds into a sieve suspended over a bowl.  Push the flesh through the sieve to get as much juice as possible then discard the seeds. Put the cream and icing sugar in a bowl. Using an electric hand whisk beat until the cream forms soft peaks. Gently fold in the passion fruit puree. Spoon some of the cream on each meringue diamond then decorate with a few slices of kiwi.

Sam BiltonAnd Finally…

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