White Chocolate, Raspberry & Pistachio Tart

I have a confession to make. I’m not a big tart/pie fan. But after I made this beauty, I changed my mind…

The sweet pastry is rich, buttery and has a crisp cookie-like texture. A lot of people (including myself) get lazy and buy shop-bought pastry to save time and money. But if you are feeling extra special, it is definitely worth making this pastry from scratch. It is very simple to make and can be made in a food processor to save time. I am definitely adding it in my baking repertoire.

In addition, there is actually no proper baking involved in this recipe, apart from blind baking the crust. Just melt the white chocolate and cream together in a bain-marie, fill the pastry along with the rest of the toppings then leave in the fridge to chill.

Ingredients:

For the pastry:

  • 250g plain flour
  • 170g  butter, cubed
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2-4 tbsp cold water

For the filling:

  • 400g good quality white chocolate
  • 42g butter
  • 154g heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups raspberries
  • 20g sliced almonds
  • 25g chopped pistachios

Method:

  1. Roast nuts in medium oven for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Crumb flour, sugar and butter until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add egg and water and work with your hands until the dough comes together. Shape into a disk, cover with cling film and chill for 30 minutes.
  3. Roll the dough into a tart pan. Trim excess and chill for a further 20 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 180C/375F/Gas Mark 4. Blind bake for 15-20 minutes, remove weights and cook for a further 5-10 minutes until the crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely.
  5. Spread the raspberries evenly over the tart case and sprinkle with half of the nuts.
  6. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate and butter in a bain-marie. Remove from heat then add the extract and cream, and stir gently until well mixed.
  7. Pour the chocolate mixture over the case. Sprinkle with the remaining nuts immediately. Refrigerate for at least 4-5 hours.

Latticed Apple Pie

Everyone loves a good old apple pie, right?

Especially when the crust is browned and crispy, the apples are sweetly caramelised, and the pastry’s rich with buttery goodness. On top of that, the lattice topping makes for an attractive-looking pie too. This is one of my favourite traditional apple pie recipe. And definitely best served with warm custard or cream.

Ingredients:

  • 7-10 apples, sliced into 1/4 inch chunks
  • 100g light brown sugar
  • 56g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp cold butter, cut into 1/2 inches
  • 225g butter, room temperature
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 350g plain flour
  • Custard, to serve

Method:

  1. In medium heat, stir apples, sugar, cinnamon, salt and cornstarch. Cook, covered, for 20 minutes.
  2. After 20 minutes, cook with reduced heat uncovered for 7-8 minutes. Remove from heat, stir lemon juice and let cool for 30 minutes.
  3. Beat butter and sugar until just mixed. Break in a whole egg and yolk (save the white for later) and beat for under 1 minute until the mixture resembles scrambled egg. Work in the flour in 3 batches then gather with your hands. Work the pastry into a ball and cover with cling film. Chill in the fridge for 45 minutes-1 hour.
  4. Preheat oven to Gas Mark 5. Line pie tin with 2/3 of the pastry. Leave at least 3/4 inch overhang. Pour the apple filling inside and dot with the cold butter. Cover with lattice topping – here is an awesome tutorial on how to make a lattice pie crust.
  5. Brush with the egg white and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until golden. Remove from the oven and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Then sprinkle with more sugar.

Mini Fruit Tarts

If a butter-filled pastry is laden with fruits, does it count as a healthy snack?

Nahhhh, I wish. Especially if the pastry is brimming with custard.

But that doesn’t stop me from scoffing 1 or 2 of these things. These mini fruit tarts are such wonderful little treats that having one is simply just not enough. And they are so easy to make! The hardest step is probably the shortcrust pastry, but that can be easily whizzed up in a food processor to save time.

Ingredients:

For the sweet shortcrust pastry:

  • 250g plain flour
  • 100g icing sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 150g unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 egg
  • Egg wash: 1 egg yolk lightly beaten with 25ml milk

For the fruit filling:

  • 300g fresh berries or other fruit, chopped – I used strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, red currants, kiwi and orange
  • 1/2 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint leaves (optional)

For the custard filling:

  • 30g caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 260ml double cream
  • 1/4 vanilla pod or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Method:

  1. To make the pastry, sift the dry ingredients together. Add the butter and work into the flour until it resembles rough breadcrumbs. Whisk together the egg and yolks and add them to the mix. Using a cold knife, bring the pastry together into a ball of dough, taking care not to over-mix. Flour lightly, pat into a flat round and wrap in clingfilm. Refrigerate overnight or for a minimum of 1 hour. 
  2. Preheat oven to Gas Mark 6. Grease a 12-hole muffin tray.
  3. Roll out the pastry to about 3mm thickness and cut rounds to fit the muffin tray, allowing extra to come up a little at the sides. Press these carefully into the cavities and refrigerate for about 30 minutes. 
  4. Line, weight down with baking beans and blind bake for around 10-15 minutes until starting to brown. Remove from the oven, brush all over with a thin layer of the egg wash and bake for further 2 minutes to seal. Remove and allow to cool completely.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the custard. In a heatproof bowl, whisk together the sugar, cornflour and egg yolks by hand until light and fluffy. Whisk for 3 minutes, leave to stand for a few minutes then whisk again for another 3 minutes. Heat the cream with the vanilla in a heavy-bottomed pan until it reaches a simmer. Pour the heated cream over the egg yolks, whisking thoroughly all the while.
  6. Heat the bowl on a bain-marie on medium heat, stirring continuously with a spatula until thick and creamy (approximately 7-8 minutes). Pass through a fine sieve and leave to cool completely. 
  7. In a bowl, mix together the fruits and mint. Spoon custard evenly onto the pastry cases and top with the fruits.