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Author: Rebecca Baugniet
Few things in life are as inviting as the smell of a fresh baked pie coming out of the oven, and what could be more satisfying than serving up a culinary masterpiece that you have created yourself?
Pies and tarts take on many incarnations; they can contain sweet or savoury fillings, have a top crust or be open faced, may be served à la mode or handheld.
In this book, you’ll find all the classics, including apple pie, peach cobbler and Tarte Tatin, as well as more unusual fare such as pear and almond tart, Jamaican Patties and Epiphany Pie.
500 Pies & Tarts is a comprehensive compendium that will inspire even the most reluctant cook to embrace their inner baker.
For the baker who is looking to expand his or her repetoire, the variations demonstrate just how easily this can be done and offer a wealth of inspiration.
This easy yet elegant tart is just the thing for a delightful afternoon tea in the garden.
1 recipe basic sweet crust (page 20)
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F / Gas mark 6). Roll out the pastry dough and line a 23-cm (9-in) tin. Prick the surface with a fork and chill for 10 minutes in the freezer. Bake blind for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush the base of the tart with lightly beaten egg. Return to the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until the base of the crust is golden.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool. In a medium bowl, whisk the lemon juice, egg yolks and sugar until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a heavy-based saucepan and cook over medium heat until the mixture begins to thicken, about 10 minutes. Take care not to let the mixture boil. When the curd is thick enough to coat a wooden spoon, reduce the heat to low and continue cooking for 10 more minutes.
Remove from the heat and stir in the butter, until melted. Strain the curd through a fine sieve into a medium bowl and stir in the lemon zest. Pour the lukewarm curd into the tart shell. For ease of slicing, chill for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator. Dust with icing sugar and garnish with lemon slices. Refrigerate any remaining pie for up to 3 days. Serves 6-8.
QUICK & EASY SHORTCUT: Replace the lemon filling with 500 ml (17 1/2 fl oz) lemon curd.
Served with a fresh green salad, this tart makes a lovely lunch or light supper.
1/2 recipe basic crust (page 18)
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F / Gas mark 6). Roll out the pastry dough and transfer to a 23 cm (9-in) tart tin. Bake blind for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, prick the surface with a fork and brush the surface with lightly beaten egg. Then bake for 10 minutes more.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Boil the garlic bulb in a saucepan filled with water for 15 minutes, then drain. When cool enough to handle, pop the garlic cloves out of their skins and mash in a bowl with the ricotta and creme fraiche until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Heat the butter and olive oil in a frying pan and saute the mushrooms for 10 to 15 minutes, until they are tender and any liquid has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper.
To assemble, spread the ricotta and garlic mixture over the base of the cooled tart shell. Layer half of the mushroom mixture, then half of the grated Gruyere. Repeat the mushroom and Gruyere layers and sprinkle the pine nuts over the cheese. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the filling is hot and the pine nuts are golden brown. Refrigerate any remaining pie for up to 3 days. Serves 4-6.
In this recipe, pecans add crunch to the sweet streusel topping.
1/2 recipe basic crust (page 18)
Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F / Gas mark 7). Roll out the pastry dough and line a 23-cm (9-in) pie dish. Crimp the edge decoratively Prick the surface with a fork and prebake for 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Lower the temperature to 175°C (350°F / Gas mark 4). To make the filling, combine the granulated sugar, orange juice and pinch of salt in a medium saucepan. Add the pear chunks and toss to coat evenly Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, until the pears are beginning to soften but are keeping their shape.
Remove from the heat. In a large bowl, combine the 6 tablespoons flour and brown sugar. Add the cooled pears and toss to combine. To prepare the crumble, combine the flour, light brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and pecans in a medium bowl. Using your fingers, rub the butter into the flour mixture, until large clumps form. To assemble the pie, spoon the pear mixture into the cooled piecrust. Sprinkle with the pecan streusel and bake for 1 hour, or until the filling is bubbling and the streusel is golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Serves 6-8.