And so, a few weeks ago, I prepared to try this out and made the pie crust from my Cordon Bleu book. This is the first time I've managed to roll the pie crust, in the past using different recipes, I've always had to form it in pieces with my fingers and sort of press it into the pie dish, so this was quite a treat for my ego.
Since it was to be for a dessert, I made the pâte sucrée, which is the same as pâte brisée with added sugar.
3 dl plain flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp caster sugar
1.2 dl unsalted butter
2 tsp water
some egg yolk or egg white
1 large can of pears in syrup
1 large can of peaches in syrup
2.5 dl pomegranate jelly
- Sift the flour into a bowl, then blend in the salt and sugar.
- Dice the butter, then rub it into the flour until it's even in colour and looks like small crumbles.
- Lightly beat the egg, then add to the crumbles and stir in well, followed by the water a tea spoon at a time. It will now come together to a dough.
- Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4 or 180 degrees C.
- Work it a bit onto a work surface and shape into a dough, but don't overdo it because it will become tough.
- Roll the dough out to be about 5 cm bigger than the pie dish, then roll up onto the rolling pin and transfer to the pie dish. It's very important to roll the dough and not stretch it, because stretched parts tend to shrink during baking.
- Prick it all over with a fork, then brush with either egg yolk or egg white and bake until it just begins to get a bit of colour on the edges. Cover the bottom of the pastry with baking parchment and add baking marbles if you have these. I baked mine for 25 minutes, but it might be shorter.
- Once it's done, it can be allowed to cool and then covered tightly with clingfilm and stored in a cool place for quite some time. Or continue to complete the tart.
- Drain the fruit from the syrup and save it for something else. Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6 or 200 degrees C.
- Cut the fruit into smaller pieces if necessary and arrange in the pie shell in a nice symmetrical pattern.
- Put the jelly into a saucepan and melt it on low heat, then pour it over the fruit.
- Bake for about 20 minutes to heat through the fruit.
- Serve hot with hot custard or ice-cream.
Also I don't have baking beans, but I found out that ordinary beans do the trick too. The beans will heat up and help distribute the heat of the oven better than the air and will speed up the blind baking, as this is called. But they will also provide some weight to help keep the pastry flat and not rise and bubble up here and there.
I still have to work out what to do with all the spare syrup. I think it would be good for moistening cakes. There aren't any birthdays coming up though, so I might end up throwing it away, but I hope it won't come to that.