Summer Fruits Tart

Another week and another episode of the Great British Bake Off. This week as a bit more entertaining as the contestants attempted to flip tarte tatins out of their pans, and put a lattice onto treacle tarts. But I was most excited about the patisserie-style fruit tarts they made for the showstopper challenge.

Every time I pass a patisserie with the windows filled with shiny fruit-covered cakes and pies, my mouth literally starts watering. This tart is super simple to make, it’s just a creme patisserie with fruit on top. The most difficult part for me was not eating all of the fruit before I could put it on top of the cream.

Unfortunately, this tart was a bit to delicate to make the hour-plus trek on the rush-hour Tube to work, so Ben and I had to undertake the incredible difficult task of enjoying this bake all by ourselves. And boy was it lovely! The cream and fruit was so refreshing!

If you’re looking to impress some friends at a get-together without much effort, this would definitely be my recommendation

Ingredients

  • 1 batch of sweet shortcrust pastry
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 100 grams sugar
  • 25 grams flour, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 350 ml milk
  • a mix of summer fruits, in this case, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries
  • 4 Tablespoons raspberry jam
  • approximately 1 teaspoon water

Directions

1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Line your pie dish (preferably one with a removable bottom, it’ll make your life easier) with the shortcrust pastry, then gently prick the base and sides with a fork. Lay a sheet of baking paper over your pastry, then fill with baking beans and place in the oven to bake for 10-15 minutes until it just starts to turn golden. Once finished, remove and let it cool completely.

2. Next, make the creme patisserie. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until they turn light and creamy, then stir in the flour.

3. Bring the milk just to a boil. While continuously whisking the egg mixture, slowly pour in the heated milk. Mix together, then return to the pan and return to the burner on a medium-low heat until it just starts to bubble. Begin stirring and cook for 2 minutes while stirring to allow the mixture to thicken. Remove from the heat, then add in the vanilla.

4. Cover the mixture with plastic wrap, allowing the plastic to touch the top of the creme so that you don’t have a skin forming on top. Allow the creme patisserie cool completely in the fridge. Once cool, spoon the creme patisserie into your baked pastry base and smooth over evenly.

5. Arrange the fruit in any pattern you like on the top of the tart. To create the shiny glaze, place the raspberry jam into a small pan and add a few drops (about 1 teaspoon) of water. Stir continuously until the jam melts, then brush the glaze over the top of each piece of fruit. And that’s it!

Sun-dried Tomato, Rosemary, Basil, and Parmesan Bagels

 

The second part of the GBBO bagel challenge involved making a dozen savory bagels. So to think of something to go along with my Cranberry, Orange, and Cinnamon Bagels, I had to do a bit of thinking.

I decided to do a bagel involving some fresh herbs that I’ve been growing in my balcony garden: rosemary and basil. These bagels really turned out well, and I think that they were my favorite of the two (they were certainly Ben’s favorite!).

Again, thanks to Annie’s Eats for the base recipe.

Ingredients

For the starter sponge:

  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 2 1/2 cups water, room temperature
For the dough:
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 3 3/4 cups bread flour
  • 5 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 small jar of sun-dried tomatoes, drained
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh rosemary, chopped
For boiling:
  • 1 Tablespoon baking soda
  • cornmeal or semolina for dusting
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese

Directions

1. First make the starter by mixing the yeast and flour in a large bowl. Slowly pour in the water, stirring until it forms a smooth, sticky batter. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 2 hours until the mixture starts to form bubbles and get foamy. It should be about double in size.

2. Next make the dough by adding the additional yeast to the bowl with your starter. Then add in 3 cups of flour, sugar, salt, and honey. Mix using your dough hook until the mixture forms a ball. As it starts to come together, slowly add the last 3/4 cup flour until the dough starts to stiffen. Then add in the sun-dried tomatoes and herbs.

3. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes on the countertop. There should be no raw flour – all the ingredients should be hydrated.  If the dough seems dry and rips, add a few drops of water and continue kneading.  If the dough seems tacky or sticky, add more flour to achieve the stiffness required.  The kneaded dough should feels satiny and pliable but not be tacky.

4. Weigh the ball of dough, then divide the weight by 12. Then use that number to divide the dough into twelve rolls of equal weight. Cover the rolls with a damp towel and let them rest for about 20 minutes.

5. Line a few baking sheets with baking paper and spray with a small amount of oil. Form the dough rolls into bagel shapes either by rolling into snakes and then making into a loop, or just by poking a hole through the middle. Be sure to make the hole double the size than what you want the final hole to be, as they will close up a bit when rising and baking. Spray the tops of the bagels with a bit more oil, then cover with plastic wrap and let sit for another 20 minutes.

6. Your bagels will be ready for the next step when they pass the “float test”. Fill a large bowl with water and drop one of the bagels in – if it starts to float within 10 seconds, they’re ready. If not, return to the pan, re-cover with the plastic wrap, and allow them to rest longer, checking every 15 minutes to see if they float. Once they float, place the bagels in the fridge for at least 6 hours, or preferably overnight, to retard.

 

7. When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 500°F (260°C). Bring a large, wide pot of water to boil, then add the baking soda. Line a few more baking sheets with baking paper, mist with oil, then lightly dust with the cornflour or semolina.

8. Remove the bagels from the fridge and gently drop as many that will comfortably fit into the water. They should float quite easily within 10 seconds. Boil for 1 minute, then flip and boil for another minute. Remove the bagels from the oven with a skimmer or slotted spoon, place onto the prepped baking pans then sprinkle with the parmesan cheese.

9. After all of the bagels have been boiled, place in the preheated oven for 5 minutes, then rotate the two pans, lower the oven to 450°F (230°C), then continue to bake for another 5 minutes until they turn golden brown.

 

10. Remove the bagels from the oven and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. If you’re storing the bagels, they’ll keep for 2-3 days in a paper bag.

 

Cranberry, Orange, and Cinnamon Bagels

So a new season of Great British Bake Off has started, and I’m determined play along with the contestants. So each week for the next few weeks, I will be attempting at least one of their challenges. I missed the first episode in time to plan for baking last week, so I’ve had to pick it up on episode two, the one where they made bread.

One of the challenges this week involved making bagels, a dozen sweet and a dozen savory. I’m quite a fan of bagels, but I’ve never actually made them before.

Turns out that they’re relatively simple, just time consuming. So I actually spent my entire Bank Holiday Monday in the kitchen baking rather than relaxing, but it was totally worth it!!

Big thanks to Annie’s Eats for the base recipe, which was really easy to adapt for the different flavors I wanted. These turned out so fantastic that had I not planned on taking them to work, I would eat them for breakfast every day this week.

Ingredients

For the starter sponge:

  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 2 1/2 cups water, room temperature
For the dough:
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 3 3/4 cups bread flour
  • 2 Tablespoons cinnamon
  • 5 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 cups dried cranberries
  • zest from 2 oranges
For boiling:
  • 1 Tablespoon baking soda
  • cornmeal or semolina for dusting

Directions

1. First make the starter by mixing the yeast and flour in a large bowl. Slowly pour in the water, stirring until it forms a smooth, sticky batter. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 2 hours until the mixture starts to form bubbles and get foamy. It should be about double in size.

2. Next make the dough by adding the additional yeast to the bowl with your starter. Then add in 3 cups of flour, cinnamon, sugar, salt, and brown sugar. Mix using your dough hook until the mixture forms a ball. As it starts to come together, slowly add the last 3/4 cup flour until the dough starts to stiffen. Then add in the cranberries and orange zest.

3. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes on the countertop. There should be no raw flour – all the ingredients should be hydrated.  If the dough seems dry and rips, add a few drops of water and continue kneading.  If the dough seems tacky or sticky, add more flour to achieve the stiffness required.  The kneaded dough should feels satiny and pliable but not be tacky.

4. Weigh the ball of dough, then divide the weight by 12. Then use that number to divide the dough into twelve rolls of equal weight. Cover the rolls with a damp towel and let them rest for about 20 minutes.

5. Line a few baking sheets with baking paper and spray with a small amount of oil. Form the dough rolls into bagel shapes either by rolling into snakes and then making into a loop, or just by poking a hole through the middle. Be sure to make the hole double the size than what you want the final hole to be, as they will close up a bit when rising and baking. Spray the tops of the bagels with a bit more oil, then cover with plastic wrap and let sit for another 20 minutes.

6. Your bagels will be ready for the next step when they pass the “float test”. Fill a large bowl with water and drop one of the bagels in – if it starts to float within 10 seconds, they’re ready. If not, return to the pan, re-cover with the plastic wrap, and allow them to rest longer, checking every 15 minutes to see if they float. Once they float, place the bagels in the fridge for at least 6 hours, or preferably overnight, to retard.

7. When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 500°F (260°C). Bring a large, wide pot of water to boil, then add the baking soda. Line a few more baking sheets with baking paper, mist with oil, then lightly dust with the cornflour or semolina.

8. Remove the bagels from the fridge and gently drop as many that will comfortably fit into the water. They should float quite easily within 10 seconds. Boil for 1 minute, then flip and boil for another minute. Remove the bagels from the oven with a skimmer or slotted spoon.

9. After all of the bagels have been boiled, place in the preheated oven for 5 minutes, then rotate the two pans, lower the oven to 450°F (230°C), then continue to bake for another 5 minutes until they turn golden brown.

10. Remove the bagels from the oven and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. If you’re storing the bagels, they’ll keep for 2-3 days in a paper bag.