Monday, 12 October 2009

Tarting it up: Figgy custard tart

I would never say baking is my fortay. Discounting chocolate rice crispie/cornflake/insert-cereal-favourite-here 'cakes', I've attempted it twice. Peanut butter cookies that I made while nursing a rather nasty eye problem (you may think that cooking when you can't see properly doesn't sound like the best idea but it worked surprisingly well), were a instant success, and disappeared so fast I contemplated coming over all domestic goddess and baking biscuits and muffins and cupcakes every weekend, and becoming the best flatmate, like, ever.

Buoyed on by this success I decided I would really up my domestic goddess credentials by baking Choux Boy's parents some Scottish shortbread (well I'm Scottish, so they are Scottish alright) Christmas tree biscuits for last Christmas. I have to admit this was kind of spurred on by the thought of being outdone by Choux Boy himself, who had told me he was making my mother homemade chocolate truffles (in two varieties no less) for her Christmas. So the the challenge was well and truly set. Unfortunately my shortbread never did and after spending hours making dough, rolling dough, trying to work out why the dough had stuck to my kitchen table and cutting out perfect Chirstmas trees, they went in the oven looking perfect and Christmasy-y and came out looking, well splodged all over the baking tray in one big unset shorebread mess. So that was the end of that.
Until this weekend that is. Round two of impress Choux Boy's parents as they were coming round to see the new flat (first nerves) and for us to cook them dinner (second nerves). Choux Boy got in there first with his Lamb Cassoulet for mains so I was left with dessert. Rather liking figs, custard and a bit of a tart, and rather scarred for life off hot desserts by being force fed them at school dinners (the memory of eating vile rice pudding grain by grain as my friends all played outside still makes me shudder), chilled Figgy Custard Tart it was. Not too many baking ingredients to boot, I knew I was on to a winner.

Making the dough in the food processor caused a little early concern when the flour, butter, egg yolk, sugar and ground almond kept on breaking up into lots of little lumps, but some dedicated time with the wooden spoon and a drop or two of milk and we were set.
It's a lot more fragile than it looks in a big lump but hat gives it all its biscuity goodness.

The big ol' lump of dough ready to go in the fridge for a couple of hours

I could have used two people to do a bit of a lift and whisk the tart tin underneath with the rolled pasty, but Choux Boy was occupied making a mess with his skimming of the lamb fat, so I made do with some patching. 

The filling - sour cream, egg and honey

I slightly over cooked the edges of the pastry, and a bit of monitoring for a turn once it was all fillinged up and in the oven would've helped (it was slightly more golden, er, or brown on one side than the other) but it was as good as I imagined, a winner with Mackies (more Scottishness) ice cream and enough to serve five with a couple bits left over for the chefs tonight. Bring on more seasonal goodness!

Looking tarty!

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