The appeal of weekend baking is undeniable. What could be better than the smell of starchy goods slowly developing a golden tan in your oven as you sip coffee, tea or herbal infusions all sorts? Getting my hands floury and sticky is my ultimate Sunday pleasure, whether it’s bread, a savory quiches or a luscious, ruby red tart. And this last weekend I hit the jackpot, delivering the three! As my no-knead bread dough was safely baking, I made a batch of rich and flakey pastry, suitable for both sweet and savory dishes. I used some for a lip-smakingly delicious leek and pancetta tart and turned the rest into the perfect shell to contain a crimson concoction made with frozen raspberries, sugar and a few other favourites. It’s Monday now…only 6 days until I can revel in this ritual again…Hang in there, Silvia!
INGREDIENTS, serves 8/10
For the flaky pastry
100 gr (3.5 oz) of butter, cut into cubes and frozen for 30 minutes
180 gr (6.5 oz) of plain (all purpose) flour
1 tablespoon of sugar
1-2 tablespoons of cold water
For the filling
2 cups of frozen raspberries
5 tablespoons of sugar (add more if you like it very sweet)
1 scant tablespoon of butter
1 scant tablespoon of corn flour
1-2 tablespoon of sugar to sprinkle on top just before baking
1. Start by making the filling. Place frozen berries, sugar and butter in a pot and stir over low heat until the berries have released their natural juices and the liquid has reduced by 1/3. This will take about 2-3 minutes. Add the corn flour, stir well and cook for a further 2 minutes until it starts to thicken. Turn off the heat and allow to cool at room temperature, then you can refrigerate it for up to 3 days.
2. To make the pastry, put the frozen butter cubes, flour and sugar in the food processor and pulse until wet crumbs form. Add the water, starting with 1/2 a tablespoon, keep pulsing and continue adding more drops of water until a soft dough is created. Tip the dough onto a floured surface, press with your hands to smoothen it, then flatten it with your palms, wrap it in plastic film and rest in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes, up to 3 days.
3. Heat up your oven to 180 C (350 F). Grease and flour a 20 or 24 inch tart tin. Roll the rested dough into a disk and reserve some to cut into strips and create a lattice pattern to decorate the top with. Line the tin with the pastry disk, pour in the filling and place the strips on top in a criss cross pattern. Sprinkle the tart with some sugar and bake until golden and gorgeous.
4. Cool at room temperature and serve as it is or with whipped cream.
Silvia’s Cucina the cookbook is available in stores and online