As you may have gathered from the limited number of pie recipes on my blog, homemade pastry is really not my strong point. After a food technology lesson when I was about 13 which resulted in pastry that would just not bind together I pledged my allegiance to Jus Roll more or less (except when it comes to baking club and baking with friends). Enter my Dad, a man who has no fear when it comes to pastry making. Apparently all you need is a food processor (never fear my fellow warm handed friends; you too can make excellent pastry!)
Anyway, this pastry recipe makes enough for one large tart, plus 2 smaller tarts, you need to factor in time for your pastry to chill when making this, I really would recommend leaving your pastry to chill for at least half an hour. It is important not to let the pastry get warm. The below pastry recipe is intended to be used to make pâte brisée which, when cooked, produces a thin crisp shell which is an excellent carrier for both sweet and more savoury recipes.
To make the above tarts you will need:
For the pastry
250g plain flour
125g butter cut into small cubes
2 egg yolks
1 level teaspoon salt
3.5 – 4 tablespoons cold water
For the frangipane
100g caster sugar
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
100g dessicated coconut
2 level tablespoons flour
The zest of 2 limes and the juice of 1 lime
For tarte tatin
2 apples per tart
A good sized chunk of butter
Put your flour, butter and eggs into your food processor (with the knife blade attachment) and mix until breadcrumbs are formed.
In a separate container dissolve your salt in your cold water. Gradually add the water to your breadcrumbs while mixing until your pastry starts to bind.
Put the dough into a plastic food bag and press together until the pastry has bound. Then put the dough in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.
Grease your larger tart tin with a good amount of butter, generally in baking I would recommend proper butter but spreadable butter is fine for greasing tins.
Roll out the pastry (you shouldn’t use flour for this step, the pastry is so cold it won’t stick much). It should take quite a lot of effort to roll the dough out as it is cold. If your pastry starts to stick to your board but it in the fridge to chill for a few minutes. Line your tart tin with the pastry and use a sharp knife to trip off any excess from the sides. If you have any bare patches in the tin press in some of your excess pastry and trim it. To prevent the pastry from rising when cracking use a fork to prick the base of the tart several times. Keep the remainder of the pastry back for your apple tarts.
Preheat your oven to 200°C. To make your coconut frangipane put the butter and caster sugar in your clean food processor (apparently washing up as you go along while baking is a thing!). Mix until it looks pale and fluffy.
Add your egg and egg yolk to the mix. Then add your coconut and the lime zest and juice.
Spread the frangipane in an even layer over your pastry and bake for around 15 minutes until everything is golden brown. If the pastry starts to brown too fast turn the oven down to 180°C.
Once baked dust with icing sugar and serve with cream or ice cream.
To make the tarte tatin first line your tart tins with foil to prevent losing all the apple juices when cooking.
Peel and slice your apples. Melt your butter in a frying pan, add the apples and cover in sugar. Cook until the apples are soft and the sugar has caramelised.
Put the apple in the tart tins and cover with a thin pastry lid with a steam hole.
Bake at 200°C until golden brown, again turn the oven down to 180°C if the pastry browns too fast.
Remember to resist the urge to strut too much if your pastry is a success. Perfect pastry and modesty is always a winning combination.