Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Raspberry & Pistachio Bakewell Tart

Raspberries are one of my favourite fruits – they have a sweet flavour but with an underlying tartness that I find particularly appealing. It is this quality that makes raspberries the perfect fruit for making into jams and jellies which require large proportions of added sugar. Raspberries can stand up to this sugar onslaught and still retain their distinctive flavour.

Although I love a traditional Bakewell Tart, with almond sponge/frangipane and raspberry jam, I decided that I wanted to try something a little bit different, but something that did not dramatically change the essential characteristics of a Bakewell Tart. The one thing that I was absolutely sure of was that I wanted my version to retain the raspberry element of a traditional Bakewell.

I initially toyed with the idea of making a hazelnut frangipane as raspberries and hazelnut go so well together, but to be honest, the decision had already been made for me by virtue of the fact that a large tin of pistachio paste that I had ordered online last week had been delivered the previous day. A Raspberry & Pistachio Bakewell Tart it would be!

I have made many recipes using pistachios which I have ground myself; whilst the taste has been fabulous they have always had a slightly muddy green colour, mainly because skinning pistachios is one of those thankless and frustrating tasks that just drive me crazy. The only way to achieve that beautiful pure green pistachio colour when they are ground is to ensure that not a trace of their papery brown skins remain. I researched this subject and what emerged is that all the top pastry chefs seem to use pistachio paste in cakes and desserts that require both the intensity of flavour and for the green colour to shine through. The skins are removed and a beautiful green paste is created. Although pistachio paste is not cheap, its colour and taste are amazing. It can be stored for quite a long time after it is opened, so I decided that I would take the plunge and bought a 1 kilo tin of the stuff – I think it’s a fairly good bet that I will be posting quite a few pistachio recipes over the coming weeks!

Anyway, back to my Bakewell… I was really pleased with how the tart turned out and there was no doubt about how delicious it was. It is true how the old saying goes… it IS impossible to invent a new wheel… because I was convinced that I had come up with a rather quirky take on a traditional Bakewell, but there are actually many similar versions to mine out there! Having said that; this one IS really good and the marriage of raspberry and pistachio together is sublime!
 

Ingredients:

Pastry:
200g plain flour
1 heaped tblsp of icing sugar
120g butter, chilled and diced
1 large egg yolk
1-2tblsp cold water
Pistachio Frangipane:
150g butter
150g caster sugar
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
150g ground almonds
65g pistachio paste
25g plain flour
To finish:
4tblsp good quality raspberry jam
150g fresh raspberries
 

Method:

Pastry:
1. Sift the flour and icing sugar into a large bowl. Rub in the diced butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and sprinkle in the water. Using a fork, or your hands, mix until the mixture comes together to form a dough.
2. Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured work-surface, knead briefly and shape into a ball. Wrap the dough in cling film and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to rest.
3. Preheat oven to 180C/ Fan Oven 160C/Gas Mark 4. Grease a 3cm deep, 23cm round fluted tart tin with a removable base) with a little butter. Place a large baking tray in the oven to heat up.
4. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough in a circle large enough to fit into the prepared tin. Use to line the bottom and sides of the tin, trimming it to the top edge of the tin. Set aside.
Filling:
5. Place the butter and caster sugar in a large mixing bowl and using a hand-held electric mixer, beat together until light and fluffy. Gradually add in the eggs, beating well after each addition to ensure that they are fully incorporated. Mix in the ground almonds, followed by the pistachio paste and flour. Set aside.
To finish:
6. Using a small palette knife spread the raspberry jam in an even layer over the base of the pastry. Spread the pistachio frangipane evenly on top of the jam, making sure that you go out to the sides of the tart. Arrange the fresh raspberries on top of the pistachio frangipane, but don’t push them in too far or they will disappear into the tart as it bakes – merely perch them gently on top.
7. Bake in the preheated oven on top of the heated baking tray for 15 minutes and then reduce the heat down to 160C/Fan oven 140C/Gas Mark 2 and cook for another 25-30 minutes until the frangipane is just cooked and slightly risen. Check the tart about half way through the cooking time and if it is browning a little too quickly, cover with a little tin foil – shiny side turned upwards – to protect it).
8. Remove from oven and allow to cool before serving. The tart can be served chilled or as I prefer, at room temperature.
 
Serves 8-10.