This simple and delicious recipe makes the perfect dish to cook ahead and serve at a supper gathering, and it’s great for using up old ingredients, too. From Megan Davies’ new cookbook, Home Bird
IMAGE: CLARE WINFIELD © RYLAND PETERS & SMALL
This is a great recipe for clearing out the cupboard. Old chocolate, dried fruit, nuts, flour, sugar, the lot. Make the pastry in advance, if you like. It’s a dessert served cold, so it’s great for a dinner party without any ‘à la minute’ cooking necessary.
Fruit & Nut Tart
- a 23-cm/9-inch diameter tart case parchment paper and baking beans or dry rice
For the pastry
- 100 g (1⁄2 cup) minus 1 tablespoon butter cubed
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 200 g (1 1⁄2 cups) plain/all-purpose flour plus extra for dusting
- 80 g (2∕3 cup) sifted icing/ confectioners’ sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
For the ganache
- 80 g (3 oz.) dried fruit I use raisinssultanas and cranberries, plus extra to decorate
- 80 g (3 oz.) chopped nuts such as hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, pistachios, plus extra to decorate
- 200 ml (scant 1 cup) double/heavy cream
- 200 g (7 oz.) dark/bittersweet or milk chocolate, or a mixture broken into small chunks
- 30 ml (2 tablespoons) whole milk
- Put the cubed butter in the freezer for 5 minutes.
- Add the egg and egg yolk to a mug and whisk with a fork. Next, add the flour, sugar and salt to a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the chilled butter to the flour mixture and blitz for 30 seconds, until it resembles breadcrumbs. Pour in half of the egg mixture and blitz again to bring the dough together, adding a bit more egg if needed. Work the dough for as little time as possible. As soon as it resembles pastry dough, tip onto a work surface, bring together with your hands, very briefly, wrap in a large reusable freezer bag and chill for at least an hour, or preferably overnight.
- Remove the pastry from the fridge 30 minutes before you roll out. Roll the pastry out onto a well- floured surface, 3–5 mm/1∕8–1⁄4 inch thickness, roll up loosely onto the rolling pin and put on top of the tart case. Rip an overhanging corner of pastry off, roll it into a ball and dip it in flour. Nudge the pastry into the rivets of the case, using the ball. Place the lined tart case on a baking sheet, put back in the large freezer bag, seal and place in the fridge for at least 40 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180 ̊C fan/200 ̊C/400 ̊F/Gas 6.
- Tear off a large piece of parchment paper and scrunch it up, then stretch out again. Retrieve the chilled pastry from the fridge and place the parchment paper on top. Pour the baking beans onto the paper, to completely fill the pastry case and place in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, until the pastry looks sandy, dry, but still pale. Carefully remove the paper and beans or rice and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes. The pastry is done when it is dry, golden and sandy. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
- Using a bread knife, carefully trim the pastry edge.
- For the ganache, add the dried fruit and chopped nuts to a small bowl and set aside. Heat the cream in a medium saucepan until it’s almost simmering. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate. Stir very well to melt and combine, and then fold in the milk, fruit and nuts. Pour the ganache into the tart case, then sprinkle the extra fruit and nuts around where the ganache meets the pastry edge. Chill in the fridge for at least 11⁄2 hours (or overnight) before serving.
Taken from Home Bird: Simple Low-Waste Recipes for Family & Friends by Megan Davies, published by Ryland Peters & Small (£16.99)
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