……..or, how I just had to make pastry in order to try out my new toy!
When my Mum visited in January, they had brought with them their paper from the plane.
Inside the paper was one of those Lakeland catalogue leaflets that you get inside magazines……
I find it very difficult to resist a bit of Lakeland gadgetry, however in this case it was particularly bad because they had to exact thing that I needed in my life to complement my love of individual Bakewell Tart/ Lemon Meringue Pie making. It can be quite fiddly to get pastry smoothly into the individual cups of a muffin tin, and I had a little gadget, which I purchased from the Pampered Chef an age ago that was great for mini muffin tins, but what I needed was one for my regular sized tin!
Ta dah! The Wooden Pastry Pusher! Snazzy title Lakeland. Real Snazzy.
Yep. It looks like a sex toy.
Thankfully, my friend Lizzie lives in York, where there is a Lakeland so I got her to bring me one over with her.
You just place a blob of pastry in the base of the tin, then use the tool to squash the pastry into the shape of the tin! Easy as (a muffin sized) pie!
My life is complete.
Anyhow, I decided to make some little tarts!
Apricot and Almond Tart Recipe – adapted from the Great British Book of Baking by Linda Collister
Ingredients – makes 12
175g plain flour
a pinch of salt
2tbsp caster sugar
115g unsalted butter
1 medium egg yolk mixed with 2tbsp ice cold water
60g unsalted butter, soft but not runny
60g caster sugar
1 medium egg at room temperature
30g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
50g ground almonds
a few drops almond essence
100g dried apricots, chopped Note: the apricots I used are Californian Blenheim Apricots, and they have ruined me for all other dried apricots ever. They are seriously delicious and flavourful and I can never go back to boring bland ones!
100g icing sugar
1tsp lemon juice
1tbsp cold water
Put the flour, salt, and sugar into a food processor, and pulse to combine. Add the butter, and process until it resembles crumbs.
Next add the egg yolk/water mixture and process until it just comes together.
Wrap in cling film and chill for 20 minutes.
Prepare the tin by greasing and flouring each of the cups.
Use the pastry to line a the cups of a muffin tin, then return to the refrigerator to chill while making the topping.
Preheat the oven to 180C/ 350F, and put a baking tray in the oven to heat up.
Next, put all of the ingredients for the filling except for the apricots in a bowl and beat well with a wooden spoon or electric whisk until thoroughly combined. Then add the apricots and mix until evenly dispersed in the mixture.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared cases, smoothing it out so it covers the pastry, then bake in the preheated oven on the baking tray for 30 minutes, or until the pastry is a light golden brown and the filling is firm to the touch and golden.
Leave to cool, then unmould.
Mix the icing sugar with lemon juice and water, and drizzle over the surface.
Verdict on my Wooden Pastry Pusher? I love it. I am so glad it is now in my life. It was really easy to use, just dip it in flour between uses and it doesn’t stick. My tarts all popped out of the tin with no trouble, I simply popped a cooling rack on top, then turned it upside down.
Note: I was not paid for these opinions, given a free pastry pusher, or any other inducements. This love is all my own!
(If Lakeland would like to send me a load of free stuff then that would be lovely 😉 )