Tag Archives: Berries

Strawberry Frangipane Tart Recipe

Strawberry Frangipan Tart Recipe Strawberry Frangipane Tart Recipe

It wasn’t so long ago when I noticed Café Solvey in Berlin on facebook – they had liked my Cooking Coach page and so I checked out what they were doing.  Very glad I did, they make some really scrumptious cakes.  Last week I saw them posting about this one  and I asked for the recipe, which they kindly provided, in German though.  Luckily, google translate gave me just enough information for me to be able to recreate it for myself.

This is made in memory of my mum and her legendary marzipan obsession.

 Preparation: 50 minutes
Baking: 45 minutes
Decorating and Finishing: 10 minutes
Serves: 8 to 10 portions
Use a flan tin with a removable base, measuring 29cm / 11 in. in diameter

For the Pastry
200gr / 7 oz.  plain flour
75gr / 2.5 oz.  unsalted butter, softened and cubed
50gr / 1.7 oz. icing sugar
1 x egg, beaten loosely with a fork
Frangipane
125gr / 4.5 oz. unsalted butter, softened and cubed
125gr / 4.5 oz. sugar
125gr / 4.5 oz. ground, bleached almonds
2 x eggs, beaten loosely with a fork
For the Strawberry Decoration
500gr / 1.1lb. fresh strawberries.  Try to get even sizes and equal coloured fruit – but don’t be too prejudice.
To Glaze and Finish
3 x tbsp strawberry (or apricot) jam
A splash of water

 

Strawberry Frangipane Tart Recipe  

Method

  1. Pastry first. Place the flour, butter and icing sugar in a large bowl and rub together through your fingers until the mix becomes like breadcrumbs.
  2. Add the egg and bring together. I do this at first with a wooden spoon and then move on to using my hands. Work it until it becomes a ball, then remove from your bowl  and knead it, just two or three times on a cool surface.  By this I mean just 2 or 3 kneading movements, that’s all.   This dough is quite sticky and can be a little difficult.  If it is just too sticky to get into a ball, add a small amount of flour, just a tiny sprinkling, you don’t want to dilute the sweetness too much.  Also, the addition of more flour gives a tougher dough if you over do it.
  3. Wrap your ball of sweet dough in cling film and chill in the freezer whilst you make the frangipane. Don’t forget about it though, you just want to cool it, not let it freeze.  If you make the pastry in advance and have more time – chill in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
  4. Set the oven to pre-heat at 170°C / 340°F. Make sure your baking tray is in the oven.  The reason for this is to heat up the tray on which the tart will cook so that the bottom of the tart comes immediately into contact with a hot surface and aids an even bake.
  5. Then the frangipane. Cream together the butter and sugar in a food processor or with an electric mixer, this will take a few minutes.  Of course you can do this by hand, if you feel the need for exercise.
  6. Then mix in the eggs, and add the almonds, stir everything through until even.
  7. Take your pastry from the fridge and on a cool, lightly floured surface, roll out, turning it is you do to keep it in a round shape. Roll until  it is about 2mm / 0.08in to 3mm / 0.10 in. thick.
  8. Lay the pastry dough over your flan tin and push gently, but firmly into the corners and the sides. To pick it up, you can wrap it over your rolling pin, or carefully lift by putting your hands, splayed underneath.  However you chose to do it, a swift movement is best.  Trim any excess pastry that is hanging over the top of your tin.  The pastry will shrink back a little while cooking, so make sure you leave a little lip.
  9. With a fork, prick lightly all over the entire base of your pastry dough. Spoon the frangipane mix into the pastry case and spread evenly with the back of a spoon or a spatula.
  10. Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 45 to 50 minutes. I check after 40.  The tart is ready when it is an even golden brown colour.
  11. Let the tart cool and then remove it from the flan case. I often leave it sitting on the metal bottom and only remove the side.  This makes it easier to transport to your serving dish.
  12. In a saucepan, heat the jam and water, stir with a metal spoon until it has warmed through and mixed together.
  13. Place your strawberries in circles starting at the outer edge of the tart and working your way to the centre. Brush over the jam glaze allowing any extra to drizzle into any little gaps between the fruit.

 Tips and Variations

  • This tart is best eaten on the day it is made.
  • Serve with a bit of crème fraiche or mascarpone with a dash of Marsala wine on the side for some extra indulgence.
  • If you have some pastry left over, you can keep it in the fridge for a couple of days, or you could make a couple of extra small tarts. I tend to put it in the freezer and keep it for emergency repair work!
  • Try with raspberries, really yummy or a mix of berries works really well too.
  • If you make the pastry the day before, I tend not to leave the dough in a ball shape, but flatten the ball out – this makes it easier to roll.

Strawberry Frangipane Tart Recipe

Duck Breast with Redcurrant and Port Sauce

Duck Breast with Redcurrant and Port Sauce

Duck Breast with Redcurrant and Port Sauce

Duck is my favourite poultry.  That said though, for some reason I seemed to struggle when cooking it.  Overcooking, undercooking, drying it out or ending up with a smoke filled house because of all that hot duck fat.  I decided it was time to focus on getting it right.  Getting it right every time.

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 to 40 minutes

Ingredients for 4 Servings
For the Duck
4 x duck breasts (skin on) each weighing about 180gr / 6.3 oz. to 200gr / 7 oz. (give or take)
Some rough sea salt
Freshly Ground Black pepper

For the Redcurrant and Port Sauce
300ml / 10 fl. oz. good quality chicken stock
200gr / 7 oz. red currants
20gr / 0.7 oz. unsalted butter
1 x shallot chopped finely
2 x tsp of fresh thyme leaves
4 x tsp of port (ruby or tawny)
2 x tbsp of honey
Salt and pepper to taste

Method

For the Duck

  1. Put the oven on to heat it to 200°C/400°F. While the oven is heating, start the cooking process in a heavy bottomed frying pan/skillet.
  2. Sprinkle the salt and pepper on the skin side of the duck and rub it in.
  3. Place your pan on the hob/stove top. Put the duck breasts in the cold pan, skin side down. Turn on the heat to medium high and allow the duck to cook, leave it alone while this happens. If it starts to smoke too much, turn down the heat a little.
  4. Once you can see that the duck has cooked about a little more than half way by looking at the side of it to see the colour change, it should be transferred to the oven. This should take about 10 to 15 minutes, but of course it depends on the thickness of your duck and the intensity of the heat you use to cook it. You can do this in your pan if it has a metal handle, or you can transfer the duck to a roasting tray if your pan has a plastic or other unsuitable handle which won’t withstand the heat of the oven. I do the latter. If you are planning to do this too, heat the roasting tray in the oven beforehand. The easiest way to do this is to place it in there whilst you wait for the oven to reach temperature. The duck should be placed in the oven skin side down.
  5. Once in the oven, cook it for a further 7 to 10 minutes.
  6. Remove and allow to rest for a further 7 minutes before slicing it.

Duck Breast with Redcurrant and Port Sauce

For the Redcurrant and Port Sauce

  1. Place half the butter in a pan and allow it to melt. Then add the shallots and cook them until softened on a medium high heat.
  2. Add the thyme, chicken stock, port, honey and a little salt and pepper. Add about ¾ of the red currants, keeping the rest back to add at the end of cooking.
  3. Turn up the heat to reduce the sauce until it is about 1/3 of its original volume.
  4. Turn down the heat, add the rest of the butter and whisk through until it is melted. Add the remaining berries, check for seasoning and serve poured over the duck.

Tips and Variations

  • It may seem strange to start the duck cooking on a low heat. After all, I’m always going on about getting pans hot before placing meat in them. The reason for this cold start with the duck is that it helps render the fat from the meat gradually, giving an even cook and a crispy skin.
  • The sauce works really well with cherries and blackberries too. Normally they are a little sweeter than redcurrants, so you could cut down on the amount of honey or add a squeeze of orange juice to balance the flavour should you prefer.
  • The redcurrant sauce works nicely with venison and other game birds like pheasant, partridge and quail. I have been known to serve it with game sausages, or a game pie which is great too.
  • You can make the sauce in advance and heat it up when you are ready to serve. It will keep in the fridge for a few days.
  • Keep the duck fat and use it to make roast potatoes.

Amsterdam Private Food Tours

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Duck Breast with Redcurrant and Port Sauce