Saturday, 16 April 2011

Recipe for posh Manchester tarts!

Not a very Asian dish, but in honour of the amazing spitfire pilots and RAF heroes from this weeks show, I made these cute little Northern inspired tarts, with a few tips from Michel Roux Snr...

400ml organic double cream
1pt whole organic milk
1 vanilla pod
125g caster sugar
6 free range eggs - yolks only
40ml chambord raspberry liqueur
2 punnets of fresh rasperries
50g dessicated coconut, rehydrated in hot water
50g dessicated coconut, lightly toasted
icing sugar for dusting
1 block of puff pastry

Makes 24 miniature tarts

Traditionally, Manchester tarts are made with shortcrust pastry, but the light flakiness of the puff pastry is like a little cloud of raspberry custardyness which I think works really well.  It's just a matter of taste I guess. 

Grease 24 small miniature cupcake cases with melted butter.  Roll out puff pastry to 2mm thickness.  Cut out 12 rounds using 2" cookie cutter and press gently into cases. Prick the bottoms of pastry cases with a fork, & line with circles of baking parchment, then fill each case with ceramic baking beans.  Bake 170o for 15mins or until light golden colour.  Remove parchment and beans, brush with egg wash and bake for another 4-5 mins until golden in colour. 

For shortcrust pastry, use these quantities for a light crumbly texture: 300g plain flour, 125g of unsalted butter, 30g sugar, 1 free range egg & milk as needed.  Unless you have cool hands (which I don't) place the flour, butter and sugar into a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add one of the eggs and pulse until the mixture comes together to form a rough dough. If the dough is too dry, add a bit of milk. Shape the dough into a ball and wrap in cling film. Chill in the fridge for 20 minutes, then follow instructions above.

Raspberry coulis:
Add 2 cups of fresh raspberries and 1 tbsp of caster sugar to small pan, and heat gently until fruit breaks and you reach jammy consistency.  Add 2-4 tbsp of raspberry liqueur & blend with hand blender.  You can add more sugar to taste, but keep the coulis quite sharp, to cut through the sweetness of the custard.

Creme anglaise with chambord:
Split the vanilla pod and scrape the seeds into 1 pint of whole milk in a small pan.  Add in pod, and heat gently to infuse.  Leave to stand for 10 mins then strain through sieve.  Whisk 6 eggs yolks with 125g caster sugar until light and creamy.  Then add very slowly to warm milk, whisking vigorously.  Heat gently until custard thickens, add 2-4 tbsp of raspeberry liqueur (to taste, but don't add too much or it'll be too runny).  Set aside to cool.  Whisk double cream until forms firm peaks, then fold gently into cooled custard.

Once pastry cases have fully cooled, spoon a small amount of jam into bottom, and sprinkle generously with rehydrated coconut.  Then using piping bag or small spoon, fill each case (about two thirds) with the custard filling.  Top with three fresh raspberries, then sprinkle generously with toasted coconut.  Lightly dust with icing sugar just before serving.

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