Monday, 29 August 2011

For You dbs.......

Sometimes - you get an impression of someone.

Hullo ma wee blog,

Seems like blogger pal dbs has a problem. He's got too many apples and is struggling to know what to do with them. While this may not solve the problem entirely, I hope it goes some way to making the solution that more enjoyable. If I have you sussed out properly - and I think I do, this may make quite a dent in the problem. 


This farmhouse pastry method was taught to me by my wifes's Aunt {and Godmother} in Switzerland who uses it to make the most incredibly delicious tarts {called 'dunne' doon-eh} which we love. There's no need for any of the ingredients to be chilled or to go into the fridge at any time and the speed of making the pastry is breathtaking for a completely hand-made pastry which is used raw without any need for baking 'blind'. While it's ideal for these little tarts, giving a really crisp thin pastry shell for them, I wouldn't use it for tarts where the filling ingredients are really wet. The secret of success is that the whole should be light and flavoursome with a perfectly cooked filling and an extra thin crisp base which cooks quickly in a hot oven. To help this, the liquid mixture should be applied sparingly, poured over all the filling but still barely covering the base for fruit - which makes the fruit the star of the show - and a bit more generously for a savoury filling like cheese which would burn unless there is some protection from the liquid content. These are so easy to make and so quick, that I'm sure a wee bit of experimentation will be only too easy to do.

Take 55 grams of butter or margarine. Melt gently in a pan.
Add 100 mils of water and a pinch of salt.
Add 200 grams of sifted plain flour. 


Stir until the dry and wet ingredients are thoroughly but barely combined. I know this sounds odd but just don't over-work it......

Remove the dough from the pan and press together in a rough ball but do not knead.

Wrap in cling film and leave aside for a minimum two hrs but preferably 6-8 hrs at room temperature 

Once the dough has rested, unwrap and divide into two.

Without kneading roll out each portion into a thin disk sufficient to fill an eight inch tart tin. (ungreased) Don't worry if it tears - this is the ideal pastry for any beginner and is very forgiving - just use any excess to patch any areas of concern. 

Believe it or not - that's the hard part done!

Prepare filling.

Take half a cup of single cream and add one egg and beat together along with one teaspoon of cornflour (cornstarch) dissolved in some more single cream.
Slice the fruit of your choice e.g. Apple, pear or any fruit you fancy into thin or medium slices and arrange neatly in the pastry case. (Unripe or ’sharp’ fruit may need some sugar added before cooking and a wee touch as served) 
Carefully pour over the cream mixture – do not flood the pastry case, use minimum liquid needed to provide a thin layer on the bottom of the pastry case.

Bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 220 degrees. 

This is an odd pastry which is ideal for these small tarts. As well as the sweet fruit tarts, the base is also ideal for savoury fillings such as cheese – I use Gruyère – or cheese, ham and leek. Whatever the filling, these tarts are best made with only a shallow filling that helps the pastry to cook quickly enough in a hot oven so that it doesn’t become soggy once the cream/egg mixture has been added. The pastry may shrink away from the edges of the tin, but that's okay. After all, we're just making something to eat, not something for show.

The sweet tarts are ideal served at room temperature and to be honest I just serve it with some of that really cheap aerosol cream, but lightly whipped fresh cream would be perfect.

 And that's just hard as it gets.

So, dbs, I hope that solves some of the problems you've got with your rather bountiful harvest at present. I don't suppose for a second that will use up all the apples, but these little tarts taste so good and are so easy to make that I'm sure you and the family will really enjoy them and that should get rid of a lot of those apples!

Let me know how you get on.
p.s. They're not fattening until you eat them - so why not give some away????

dbs' highly addictive wee blog can be found here.

See you later.

Listening to:


Antares Cryptos said...

I want Strudel.

Alistair said...

Some people, Antares Cryptos, are NEVER pleased!!

{walks off shaking head....}

dbs said...

Dunne! I am TOTALLY going to make this. On Saturday. Thanks for this Alistair. Slainte!

Alistair said...

OK - Let me know how yuou get on?

Warning - they are addictive!

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