Each morning Pete and the boys wander down to the mulberry bush in David's garden and have fun spotting the ripe berries to pick for breakfast. Along with strawberries and blueberries from the farmer's markets, beautiful berries are plentiful. My thoughts moved from breakfast to dessert and making a berry frangipane became a priority.
Berries of your choice at least two punnets
1/2 cup berry jam of your choice, heated
This quantity will make enough for a 25cm tart.
3 cups white spelt flour
2 tbsp rapadura sugar
185g butter, chilled and finely cubed
1 egg yolk
3 tbsp chilled water
Pastry can be made in a food processor, I don't have one so I make it by hand and enjoy doing so. Using your fingertips rub the butter into flour and sugar until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Then make a well in the centre and using a butter knife 'cut' the egg yolk into the 'crumbs' and then add the water a tablespoon at a time and 'cut' that into the pastry until begins to clump together. If it still looks too dry and crumbly add a splash more water until it comes together soft and pliable into a ball, taking care not to overwork it though.
Most pastry recipes recommend refrigerating the pastry at this point for an hour to relax the gluten so that when you roll it out it doesn't shrink back like a piece of elastic. There is less gluten in spelt flour than wheat so I don't bother with resting and it works out fine.
On a floured surface roll pastry out 3-4mm thickness, round enough to cover the base and sides of the dish you are using. Tip: once you have rolled out your circle, to get the pastry from the bench to the dish, place your rolling pin at one edge of the pastry and gently lift the pastry off the bench and wrap it towards the rolling pin rolling it back towards you like you are rolling up a sheet of paper around a tube. I learnt this from my great-grandmother and perhaps you already do it too, but a friend watched me use this technique recently and said, "oh that's how you do it without breaking it!"so I though it is worth sharing.
Grease the dish you are using and place pastry in and trim excess off edges. Place in the fridge while you prepare the filling.
185 grams butter cubed
3/4 cup rapadura sugar (because rapadura sugar is brown the tart will have more of a golden colour than one made with white sugar)
2 cups almond meal
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 180C.
Using electric beaters, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and beat until mixed in. Fold in almond meal and vanilla extract.
Gently heat jam until runny and then brush over pastry base until covered.
Pour in frangipane mixture and spread to edges.
Gently arrange berries on top pressing them lightly into the mixture.
Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden and completely cooked.
Remove from the oven and brush with remaining warmed jam.
Serve with whipped cream or custard and toasted almond flakes.
spring into spring: time to tackle your children's collections of clothes and shoes. I am enjoying being away from home with very limited clothing options for all of us. Less really is more! So, go to it. Pull out every item of clothing and pairs of shoes your children own and only keep clothes that fit and are in good shape. Goodbye stained, torn, tight items. Sort remaining clothes into piles of t shirts, shorts, singlets, pants and so on. This way you can clearly see what items you are low on or have way too many of - 15 t shirts? 3 jackets? Less clutter, less choices makes for a smoother start to the day and clothes are easier to find.