Weekend's are for baking and these are such a joy giver. I prefer thinking of life, beauty and happiness rather than focus on horror for Halloween. Happy Weekend everyone and do some happy baking!
* Last of my wild strawberries that I grew from seed in May which are extra special and the Ivy leaves and pumpkin gives these shots a real autumnal cosy feel. Love bringing the garden inside and ivy leaves make such a show stopper backdrop
* I used 8.5cm loose based fluted flan cases from Divertimenti you could also use a large 20cm loose based flan, lightly greased
* I used Hedgehog Vegan Pastry Which is excellent and not too rich or sweet. You could use a butter 'sable' pastry. But I find it all too rich for my tastes. I'm always trying to make delicious foods with less sugar. These are rich enough.
* In the Almond Frangipane paste, I've used maple syrup rather sugar. I personally prefer to use sugar with a lower Glycemic count. You could also use honey or coconut sugar.
8.5cm loose based fluted flan cases, or use a large 20cm loose based flan, lightly grease
250g ready made pastry or your liking, unsweetened (see above)
For the Almond Frangipane Paste;
80g softened butter
30g maple syrup or honey
80g ground almonds
2 bsp brandy or whisky
1tbsp vanilla extract or almond extract
100g chunky apple sauce or raspberry chia jam
100g mixed whole fruits and berries, whatever is in season, I used damsons, blackberries, blackberries, apples, frozen is fine
To serve; Coconut yogurt to serve. My stand out favourite.. Coyo.. the only coconut yogurt with live vegan cultures chosen for outstanding cultural activity and 100% natural and certified organic ingredients which are sustainably grown and ethically made.
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4.
2. Remove the pastry from the fridge and allow to stand for 10 minutes. Roll out as thin as possible on a surface lightly dusted with flour, and use it to line a loose-bottomed 6-8 x 8.5cm or 1 x 20cm tart tin. Line the inside of the pastry with small squares of crumpled up baking paper, fill with uncooked beans, baking beans or rice and leave to rest in the fridge for 20 minutes.
3. Reduce the oven a touch and bake the pastry blind for 10- 15 minutes.
Remove it from the oven. Lift out the paper with the beans or rice inside and set aside for another time. Return the pastry to the oven for 5 minutes to dry out the bases, to prevent a 'soggy bottom'!
4. Meanwhile make the Almond Frangipane Paste; In a food processor or using a hand held whisk, combine the butter, maple syrup, eggs, vanilla essence and whisky or brandy together until light and fluffy.
5 Spoon a tablespoon of the apple sauce or raspberry chia jam into the cooked pastry base of each tartlet. And top with a tablespoon of almond paste, just blob in the middle rather than pushing to sides. It will spread when cooked allowing the fruits from beneath to bubble up. Arrange your chosen fruits on top.
6. Cook in the oven for 20 minutes or until golden and firm to touch. Don't over cook as it will become dry, you just need the egg to set in the almond mix.
7 I love to savour these with my morning almond latte coffee sitting somewhere lovely like in a secret spot in the garden, or serve at tea time in front of the fire with a cup of mint tea and a happy softy film like When Harry Met Sally or She's got Mail with a dollop of coconut yoghurt. You could use serve with vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!!!