Raspberry Bakewell Tart

Raspberry Bakewell Tart easy recipe || cityhippyfarmgirl

I’ll admit, there was a small evil mother moment pause in the kitchen that particular morning. It was brief, and the thought process went pretty much like this.

I love bitter almond aroma, it would go perfectly in this tart…

…they all hate bitter almond aroma*

Oh!… And there you have it.

The rather large option of an entire tart to yourself because you put something in there (which is delicious and wonderful and makes your mouth sing) or…you could omit it because you are a considerate mother and probably shouldn’t be eating a whole family sized tart to yourself anyway.

Ahh, the dilemmas…

Raspberry Bakewell Tart recipe || cityhippyfarmgirl

raspberry bakewell recipe || cityhippyfarmgirl

How about you? Do ever have these kitchen conversations with yourself? What would you have done?

* bitter almond aroma is this stuff here if you aren’t sure

Raspberry Bakewell Tart

Pastry

150g cold butter

50g sugar

1 egg yolk

1 tsp vanilla

300g plain flour

1 tbls cold water

In a blender, pulse flour, sugar and butter until resembles bread crumbs. Tip out to a bowl and add vanilla, egg yolk and cold water. Knead lightly until it comes together to form a dough. Roll dough between two pieces of baking paper, to about .5cm and rest in the fridge for about half an hour. Shape into your greased tart tray.

Bake blind at 180C for about 15 minutes.

Filling

150g softened butter

150g raw sugar

150g almond meal

3 beaten eggs

zest of a lemon

optional bitter almond aroma

approximately 125g fresh raspberries

handful of almond flakes

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, except the raspberries and almond flakes. Gently fold through the raspberries and spoon mixture into pastry lined pie dish. Scatter the almond flakes on top and bake for about 45 minutes at 180C or until golden.

a lemon meringue pie to die for

lemon meringue pie- cityhippyfarmgirl

cityhippyfarmgirl

lemon meringue pie- cityhippyfarmgirl

I’m the kind of girl who when reading a menu in a restaurant, goes straight to the dessert list at the back.

I’m also the kind of girl who is happy to squash a nose up against cafe glass in order to see a cake cabinet just that little bit better.

I’m definitely the kind of girl to stare off dreamily, thinking about how I was going to tweak my current Lemon Meringue Pie recipe.

It’s just the sort of girl I am.

Me and Lemon Meringue Pie go way back. Way, way back to the time when as a little girl, I would take just a little longer in the fridge than was necessary, carefully dipping my finger into the lemony mixture of the pie. I’d also watch any baking my mum would be doing using condensed milk, hoping for a quick turn of her back, so I could get into that empty sweet goodness can. As a baby I was known to happily enjoy eating lemon segments in my highchair. You see Lemon Meringue Pie and I, we were always meant to be.

When I first blogged about it with this lemon meringue pie. I thought I had nailed it.

Alas, not so. Not even remotely. How do I know this? I know this as, this is the recipe that I will now take to my grave. Not in a not sharing kind of way, but more, I’d like to be buried with the recipe on me. It’s that kind of love.

Now I know Lemon Meringue Pie is serious business and people generally fall into two categories- you either thinks it ok, or love it to the moon and back, and maybe back again one more time. It’s the latter kind of people who will be scrutinising this recipe and wondering whether this really is the recipe to end all recipes, (and to be buried with.)

I sincerely think it is.

lemon meringue pie

Lemon Meringue Pie

Pastry

180g softened butter

50g icing sugar

2 egg yolks

250g plain flour

In a mixer beat the butter and sugar together until pale, then add the yolks. Gently mix through the flour and a tablespoon or so of cold water to bring it together. Between two baking sheets, roll it out to about .5cm thickness. Into the fridge for about an hour. Grease your pie or tart dish and line the pastry with it. With fork, prick the base all over and bake blind at 180C for about 20 minutes or until light golden.

Lemon Middle

1 can condensed milk

2 egg yolks

125mls lemon juice

zest of one whole lemon

1 tsp cornflour

Whisk in a pot over a medium heat for a couple of minutes. Pour into the pie base and set in the fridge until cold.

Italian Meringue

2 egg whites

175g sugar

60mls water

Whisk egg whites to a soft peak form, while you are doing that, in a pot add the sugar and water. Dissolve over a medium heat, using a small wet pastry brush to brush down any sugar particles on the side. Bring the heat up to 121C (hard ball stage) and with the mixer still going high, pour in the sugar syrup in a steady slow stream. Keep beating until the mixture is thick and glossy (about 10 minutes or so, until it becomes room temperature.)

Pipe it on to your pie base.

Eat with enthusiasm and generous helpings.

Purple Carrot Cake

purple carrot cake purple

Purple isn’t a colour that holds a strong part in my life. It seems to come up in flicks and flecks and then disappears again.

When I think of purple I think of the purple cabbage dish my mum used to make as a child…oh how I used to shudder knowing that was going on to my plate. Any offers of her to make it again as an adult have been politely refused as really…you can’t fight history.

Purple, and I think of the beautifully scented lavander that sits outside my front door. A heady large bush that seems to have a constant stream of buzzing bees dancing on it’s purple flowered heads. Brush past it with your hand just after rain shower and you are rewarded with a heady scented smell that clings to finger tips.

I once had an oversized costume jewellery ring with a purple stone centred in the middle. An old flatmate had given it to me on my birthday. It wasn’t a considered birthday present, it was more the fact that I appeared in the room at the same time as he unveiled the ring. We used to joke that he had got it off someones dying finger….given that he used to keep a large axe in his room, and periods of ridiculously erratic behaviour… probably not a joke I would find quite so funny now.

Purple was on my leg recently. A peach sized bruise that I didn’t have the foggiest idea of how it got there. For two weeks I was reminded of the fact that I didn’t remember how something so big and sore had got there in the first place. (What is it about bruises that make you prod it routinely to make sure it still hurts?)

Purple is also the colour of an old brooch that has sat in a small wooden of mine box for a very long time. I’ve never actually worn it, so it still sits in little drawer surrounded by a purple ribbon, ready and waiting for that one day.

So what does purple have to do with my carrot cake? Well clearly I’ve used purple carrots. Those carrots with the deepest darkest of colour. Carrots that stain your fingers when you peel them, and carrots that scream out to be made into a cake. Not just any cake though. I had played with my carrot cake recipe before, using the purple carrots and all I got was dark coloured flecks through out. Where was the purple? (Like in this sourdough.) I needed to somehow let the carrot cough up its colour without becoming a stodgy lump by cooking it too much. I also didn’t want to put any vegetable oil, or sugar in there. Raising your eyebrows a little? Nope, stick with me.

Local honey and sultanas for sweetness. Pecans and wholemeal spelt for flavour. Carrots for well, purple. And voila, purple carrot cakeMaybe purple is going to hold a bigger part in my life now after all.

Purple Carrot Cake

400g grated local purple carrots

100g melted butter

150g local honey

3 beaten free range eggs

1 tsp cinnamon

50g roughly chopped pesticide free pecans

50g natural sultanas

150g wholemeal spelt flour

150g s/r flour

Grate carrots and melt just the butter just a little with them either in a pot or microwave. Just enough to melt the butter- which also releases the purple colour. Mix through remainder of the ingredients, leaving the flours until last, then folding them through too.

Bake at 180C for approximately 45 minutes, in a greased and lined tin.

Dark Chocolate Honey Ganache Cones

 a little lurker

Dark Chocolate Honey Ganache…

I had been thinking about this combination for at least a year. Dark chocolate ganache… a strong honey… and perhaps some chopped lightly toasted hazelnuts wouldn’t go astray either.

Now pastry or no pastry? A tart could work…

Then I saw the mini cones, done. How easy would that be. Construction began.

Little Monkey liked the sounds of it, he wasn’t leaving my side. No no, not for a second. That little barnacle was tricky to pry off without a wayward chocolatey spoon clasped in his hands.

Left over dark chocolate ganache from the little fella’s birthday cake. Stir in some Leatherwood Honey, and pipe it in to some mini cones. Easy, and now I’m thinking of other possibilities based on this little combination to play with.

What do you think might work?

for the love of italy

You know that bubble of excitement you get some times? It starts at the pit of your stomach, spreading a warmth through out your body, and ending at the very ends of your hair strands. Every fibre of your body has just experienced that warm happy feeling, that if you could capture it in a glass jar, would surely radiate a pulsing soft yellow glow.

A whole bundle of descriptive happy emotions all wrapped up in that one glass jar. You might get that feeling on seeing a loved one, the simple touch of someone who cares, hearing something that truly speaks to you on the radio, giving something to another, or simply feeling a warm afternoon breeze coming down off the mountains.

For every different person there could be a hundred different reasons for generating that wonderful feeling. And the best thing about it? It usually takes you by complete surprise. There you are going about your business, and bam. Every fibre of your body has just been touched by that invisible soft pulsing yellow glow. Leaving your mouth smiling, eyes sparkling and your heart just that bit bigger.

There are several things that can quite often trigger these feelings for me. Without completely leaving my soul out on a canape platter for the whole world to snack on, I’ll mention just the one today.

Italy. Bella Italia.

Now for any long term readers, this isn’t a surprise. I’ve often written of my love of all things Italian. Italy runs through my veins like a good custard slice does. It’s part of who I am. Not because of an extensive family tree, but my branches have definitely self sown themselves in that Italian direction.

Reading this article (here) on Italian street food brought forward a wonderful array of delicious taste bud memories from my different times spent there. Piadinas in darkened bars eaten at late hours. Wedges of thick volcano hot foccacia eaten while strolling up and down the one street as a teenager. Towering gelato eaten on freezing cold days, eaten simply because we could.

And the one that stands out as the most novel of all?

Ending all night club dancing with a crema filled croissant at 4am. Not just any croissant, but one that can only be purchased from the early morning baker who opens a tiny portion of his centuries old wooden door through a darkened cobble stoned alley way to tired dancers on their way home. A crisp and flakey croissant, still warm from the oven with custard like crema that brushes past your lips far too quickly. The secret baker who made this sweet delight and will only open up to the friend, of the friend, of the friend, who knows where on earth that secret wooden door can be found again come the next Saturday night.

********

Watching Two Greedy Italians recently I was inspired to make something similar to their Lemon and Ricotta Tart. I had limes and I had ricotta and if I talked to The Monkeys in an Italian accent while I baked the thing… maybe just maybe I could be transported even for a minute or two, to the land of vespas, pizza and that crema filled 4am goodness.

I was willing to give it a shot anyway.

Lime Ricotta Tart

(the love child of this Lemon and Ricotta Tart and this Lemon Meringue Pie)

one can of condensed milk

half cup lime juice and one grated lime

3 separated eggs

300g fresh ricotta

one sheet of puff pastry

Mix all ingredients together, except egg whites. Whisk egg whites separately, fold into mixture. Grease pie dish, line it with a sheet of puff pastry. Pour mixture in and bake 40minutes at 190C.

Verdict?… Dead easy. Tastes a bit like a light cheesecake, and a bit like a not so sweet lemon meringue pie.

Plum Shortcakes

A good bakery is a wonderous thing. You’ll quite often find me, nose pressed against the glass, eyeballs widened, and probably just the hint of drool coming from the side of my mouth. I don’t usually go in, I don’t need to. I like just looking. Seeing what’s on offer, how they have presented different things, and getting ideas for my own baking efforts.

Many moons ago, I lived for awhile in Germany. Twice a week I would head off, cold crisp air on my cheeks. Hands wedged into pockets and music wedged into ears, I would set forth on my two buses to get to a German language class. I loved this time. I loved the German winter, I loved the alone time, I loved being in a different country, I loved learning the language… and I really loved stopping off at a bakery afterwards.

Germany bakeries are a thing of wonderous beauty. So many different types of wonderful breads, and enough sweet goodies for a young Australian gal to do more than a little drooling. Everything I ever ate was delicious. Really delicious. Sure I probably headed for the same kind of things time and time again, but when you are on to a good thing, why stop eh?

So what did I go for? Anthing vaguely fruity/ sour related. Cherry strudel? You betcha. Plum struesel? Yes indeed. They all had my name well and truly written all over them.

So with a German bakery in mind, Plum Shortcakes it was.

Fruity, not crazy sweet, but enough of sugar kick just to say … ja bitte, das ist lecker.

Plum Shortcakes

200g plain flour

100g self raising flour

150g softened butter

150g sugar

2 tsps vanilla

zest of one lemon

2 beaten eggs

plums

Cream the butter and sugar together, add vanilla, eggs and lemon zest. Then fold through flour. Into your tray/s and add halved plums. Bake at 180C until risen, slightly golden, and smells like you can’t wait to eat it any longer (cooking time will depend on the tray you use.)

Chocolate Hazelnut Surprise- Frugal Friday

So, desserts don’t usually make it in to my Frugal Friday posts. But drown me in amaretto if this one isn’t frugal.

Mr Chocolate’s parents were coming over for lunch and my thoughts had been else where. The lunch bit was sorted, but it would be nice if there was a little sweetie something to follow it up with. Now what do I have?

some cooking mistake freezer brownie

some old cream

some sad looking strawberries

oh and some chocolate (50%)

Now I hate tossing food out. I can generally give something a new lease of life well after it has looked it’s best. I like the challenge of it, and it let’s me be a little creative in the kitchen. I was a little nervous with this one though, as it wasn’t just the usual culprits eating it.

Hmmm, thinking cap on, and…

Chocolate Hazelnut Surprise

crumble up some freezer brownie

then whip up

300mls of cream that needed using

add a good shake

 of some hazelnut meal through it (approx 50g)

and

1 tsp vanilla into the whipped cream

and then slowly drizzle some

melted dark chocolate (about 100g- I used 50%)

in as well (don’t over whip it)

layer it with your brownie (or an old chocolate/plain cake you may have hanging around)

add a few

chopped up sad looking strawberries on top and then

drizzle a little more chocolate on

******

So how did it taste?

Delicious.

Did the inlaws suspect anything less than a well planned dessert.

Hell no.

(This is not a recipe. Not really any way. Just use what you have and play. You will probably end up with a lovely tasty surprise.)