I’ve always found pastry quite daunting – making sure everything is measured, chilled, combined, rested and most of all planned properly ahead of time is not exactly compatible with my make-it-up-as-you-go approach to cooking. But fresh from my (sort of) success with making pavlova on Christmas, I did my best to rise to the challenge of making sweet tarts for a food styling and photography session with Sam of Sam Ee Photography and Sabrina of Sabatomic.com.
This time I decided to tackle on of our cookbooks which I’ve always been a bit intimidated by and have never actually cooked anything from – the Bourke Street Bakery Ultimate Baking Companion. The sweet shortcrust pastry recipe is not difficult but does require a lot of preparation, which is why I’m glad I had the foresight to actually read the recipe beforehand and make it the night before. A warm summer evening is probably not the best time to be making pastry, but I was surprised to see it come together into soft a butter-flecked dough.
After resting the dough for a couple of hours in the fridge to let it ‘relax’, I rolled and cut it to size for my 10cm tart tins, the kind with the removable base. These were then rested overnight and blind-baked, the next morning along with a tray of mini muffin sized cases, using pie weights to weigh them down. As you can see I baked them a bit too long and some nouveaux casinos en ligne ended up a bit beyond ‘golden brown’, so a second batch had to be done at the last minute. Not giving the dough a chance to rest resulted (I think) in slightly more shrinkage when baked, but it was still beautifully short and flakey whilst being surprisingly robust. This recipe requires a lot of planning, but the results felt very much worth it.
We each made different fillings, and after a somewhat failed attempt at crème pâtissière (fancy French way of saying custard) I ended up going with the far quicker and simpler chocolate ganache. Topped up with piped whipped cream and a fanned out strawberry the end result did feel a bit like it was from an 80’s cookbook! Taste-wise I was concerned it would be a bit too rich, but served with some extra berries and contrasted with the crisp, flakey shortcrust shell it was definitely and tasty, if decadent treat.
Sab made a lemon curd filling and brought blueberries, which made for a wonderful contrast of colours and flavours. This one was both my favourite tart that I photographed, and also my favourite to eat!
Here’s a pullback of our basic setup in my living room – we’re definitely getting more efficient compared to last time, both in terms of the amount of props we brought out and in timing. I’m starting to feel much more confident with baking, styling and photography, so hopefully there will be a lot more to come!