tart

All posts tagged tart

Here Comes The Sun… Sort Of. Super Easy Summery Strawberry and Pistachio Tarts

Published June 2, 2014 by The Feminist

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I used to hate Mondays. It marks the beginning of a week full of work, stress, frantic grocery shopping and much, much more.

Until today. I forced myself to stop worrying about upcoming tasks. I told myself that it’s okay to take some me-time and relax. After all, Archimedes would never have discovered the Archimedes principle if he hadn’t taken the time to relax and take a bath. Isaac Newton would never have discovered gravity if he hadn’t taken the time to chill out under a tree. Shakespeare would never have written Romeo and Juliette, if he hadn’t taken the time to get drunk and pass out on his couch. (Actually, I don’t know whether that is true, but he just looks like someone who enjoyed to drink a lot of wine, so humor me for a second.)

So I asked myself the question: What would Shakespeare do?

He would probably tell me something like this:

Aren’t thou bored, Eveline? Aren’t thou bored of spending thy time doing shitty things? Thou should not spend the greenness of thy youth working thy arse off. Have faith in me, for I have faith in thee”

[In my head, Shakespeare sounds an awful lot like Peter Dinklage]

And then he added:

“Have a cup of tea and some nice strawberries.”

I don’t know about you, dear readers, but Shakespeare surely sounds like a trustworthy fellow. So I followed good ol’ William’s advice and had a very pleasant relaxing afternoon with a cup of tea and homemade strawberry tarts.

Although the weather outside was not exactly screaming heat wave, with these little tarts I was able to create my own sunshine. Call it an eternal sunshine of the spotless mind. (Shakespeare would have loved that.)

This delicious puff pastry tart is filled with a fresh Greek yoghurt-cream cheese mix with fragrant lime zest, and was topped with fresh strawberries and crunchy pistachios. It transported me to sunnier places.

In my head, it looked like this:

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Needless to say, my current surroundings were definitely not that tropical. But the fact that this tart managed to make me believe I was actually in such a magically exotic place, says a lot.

So thank you, Shakespeare. From now on, I will love Mondays!

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Ingredients:

  • One sheet of puff pastry
  • 1 egg
  • Honey
  • Pistachios, finely chopped
  • 250gr cream cheese
  • 120gr Greek Yoghurt
  • Zest of one lime
  • Fresh strawberries, sliced

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Cut the puff pastry into four rectangular shapes and with a knife, lightly score a border of 0,5cm from the edges. Brush the edges with beaten egg. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, or until golden and puffed up. Let it cool completely.
  2. Gently press the center of the tarts to make room for the filling. Brush the edges of the pastry with honey and sprinkle on some chopped pistachios.
  3. Mix the yoghurt and cream cheese together in a bowl. Add the lime zest and 2 tbsp of honey.
  4. Spoon the mixture onto the puff pastry tarts and garnish with strawberries. Finish with some extra pistachios.

Theatrical Thursday: Dramatic Plates and Impressive Tarts

Published May 29, 2014 by The Feminist

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Today is Ascension Day. Although I am not a religious person (wow, that’s an understatement!) and hence do not really feel the desire to commemorate the bodily ascension of Jesus Christ into heaven, I am grateful that I now have an extra day off and can do whatever I feel like doing.

amy-5

Yeah, something like that.

Although I would skip the Chinese food and replace it with something more theatrical this time.

The following dishes are the most delightful vegetarian dishes imaginable. (If you’re not careful, you’ll be ascending into heaven just like good ol’ Jesus did.) They are yummy, astonishingly comforting and embrace a certain sense of drama quite appropriate for a day like this.

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Grilled vegetable platter with Homemade garlic and cumin bread

This dish is ridiculously easy to make but  -holy moly!- sure as hell packs a punch! The grilled Mediterranean vegetables were topped with tangy feta cheese, sweet-and-sour barberries and a fresh sprinkling of coriander, and were served in a huge pan which was put in the middle of table, ready for everyone to dig in. Moreover, I baked some incredible garlic and cumin bread to go with this. The breadcrumb was light and fluffy and the caramelized garlic gave the bread a heavenly sweet and pungent scent.

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Ingredients

For the vegetable platter (serves 4)

  • 1 red pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1 aubergine, cut into 0,5cm slices
  • 2 round courgettes, cut into 0,5cm slices
  • 200gr feta cheese, crumbled
  • Handful of dried barberries (or dried cranberries, if you can’t find barberries)
  • Lots of fresh coriander

For the garlic-cumin bread (makes 2):

  • 500gr strong white bread flour
  • 10gr instant yeast
  • 10gr salt
  • 30gr butter
  • 300 ml cool water
  • 12 cloves of garlic
  • 2 – 3 tbsp cumin seeds

Method:

  1. For the bread: put the flour, salt, yeast and butter together in a bowl (but make sure the yeast does not touch the salt in the beginning). Gradually add the water and mix with your fingers until it starts coming together.
  2. Tip the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough for 5 to 10 minutes until it is lovely and smooth. Put it in an oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave the dough to prove for at least 2 hours.
  3. Meanwhile, peel the garlic cloves, put them on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Put in the oven for 15-20 minutes on 200°C until they are golden brown and mushy. Let them cool slightly before chopping them up.
  4. Tip the risen dough out onto your surface and fold in the caramelized garlic. Divide the dough in two and stretch each piece out into a semi rectangular shape. Let the breads prove for another hour.
  5. Sprinkle on the cumin seeds and drizzle with olive oil.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes in the oven on 200°C.
  7. Meanwhile, for the vegetable platter. Grill all the vegetables in a hot griddle pan. Toss all the vegetables together in a large pan and heat through gently. Top the vegetables with feta cheese, barberries and lots of coriander.

 

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Apple, Cheddar and Caramelized Onion Tart

Hallelujah! This was one seriously delicious tart! Heavenly sweet apples and caramelized onions in perfect harmony with salty cheddar and fragrant thyme… truly an angelic food combination you have got to try!

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Ingredients (serves 3-4)

  • 1 sheet of puff pastry
  • 3 apples, cut into segments
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 onions, finely sliced
  • 150gr matured cheddar
  • Generous splash of Calvados
  • 3 tbsp fresh thyme

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Make the caramelized onions by heating a knob of butter and frying the onions until golden brown and soft.
  3. Unroll the puff pastry and put on a layer of caramelized onions.
  4. Heat a knob of butter in a pan and fry the apples together with 1 tbsp of thyme and a good drizzle of honey. Make sure they have a lovely golden brown colour but don’t let them get soft, because they still need to go into the oven. Finish with a splash of calvados (make sure the alcohol is evaporated before you put the apples on the pastry.)
  5. Grate the cheddar cheese on top of the caramelized onions and now arrange the apples onto the cheddar. Sprinkle lots of fresh thyme over the top.
  6. Fold over the edges of the puff pastry and put in the oven for 20 – 30 minutes.

Lovely Lunch: Fennel, Red Onion and Pecorino Tart with Fresh Citrus Salad

Published May 1, 2014 by The Feminist

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When I woke up this morning and realized that I had a daunting day ahead of me filled with research conundrums and thesis concoctions, I decided it would be wise to cook something healthy, nutritious and delicious to keep me going.

The brain is probably the most important organ of our body. Without it we would not be able to speak, think or distinguish Ryan Gosling from Ryan Reynolds (image the horror!). It is therefore of vital importance to keep those brain cells alive and kicking, and what better way to give your brain an energy boost than by feeding it with yummy vitamins?

This fennel, red onion and pecorino tart with a super duper fresh citrus and rocket salad ticks all the boxes: tons of fruit, tons of veg and just the right amount of cheese to give your calcium level a good buzz. The aromatic aniseed flavour of the fennel works wonders with the sharp and pungent pecorino cheese and the sweetness of the onion. Join those flavours all together on a crunchy and comforting square of puff pastry pride and your brain will be doing summersaults out of utter bliss. The warm tart is accompanied with a fresh and zingy salad with rocket and juicy grapefruit and orange segments.

Even though I was sitting at home, doing a lot of boring and dreadful stuff, my lunch provided me with an escape route to more pleasant and lovable places. This dish is reminiscent of Parisian art cafés, Roman palazzo grandeur and London modernist cool. It is artsy, hearty and brain-bubblingly delicious.

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It is the best.

Exactly what I want my brain to be.

Ingredients (serves 2)

For the tarts

  • ½ fennel, cut into thin slices (use a mandolin)
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • Thin slices of pecorino
  • Puff pastry, cut into approx. 15cm squares

For the salad:

  • 300gr rocket leaves
  • 1 pink grapefruit, cut into segments
  • 2 oranges, cut into segments
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp tarragon vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Line a baking tray with baking parchment and put on your puff pastry squares. Prick the dough all over with a fork but leave  a rim of about 0,5cm.
  3. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a small pan and quickly sauté the fennel with the cumin for just 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Layer some pecorino slices on the puff pastry, followed by some sautéed fennel and red onion. When you have used up the fennel and onion, just grate on some large flakes of pecorino and put in the oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and crisp.
  5. Meanwhile make your fresh salad. (The salad should be done last minute, otherwise it will get soggy.) Put the grapefruit and orange segments in a bowl with the sliced red onion.
  6. Make a vinaigrette with the tarragon vinegar, honey, olive oil and some juice of the orange and grapefruit. (When you are cutting the fruit, juices will come out, just make sure you catch some of it in a small bowl and use max. 1 tbsp of the juice is this vinaigrette) Season with salt and pepper.
  7. When your tarts come out of the oven, toss the rocket leaves in the citrus salad and finish with the lovely dressing.

The Beauty or The Beast: dainty tarts vs. spooky brownies

Published December 9, 2013 by The Feminist

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These two baking extravaganzas couldn’t be more different from one another. One is savory, the other is sweet. One is light, the other is rich and heavy. One is a beauty, the other is a beast.

If you love baking as much as I do, there is one rule you will always have to stick to: flavour. Flavour is the key to producing good food (and on a more melancholic note: the key to a happy soul), because no matter how pretty a dish might look, it will always be the flavour that leaves a lasting impression.

These two dishes are both absolutely delicious! They are packed full of flavour, blend together the most amazing aromas and are a wonderful experience in terms of texture  and stickiness.

Their outer look on the other hand… well… that’s a different story. The fresh fig and camembert tart looks refined, pretty and feminine. The pumpkin cheesecake brownies look butchy , sloppy and masculine.

Which recipe you decide on replicating is entirely up to you, but just remember that they are each so magnificently scrumptious I would consider it a sin if you didn’t give both dishes a go. (Just sayin’)

Fresh fig and camembert Tart

This is the perfect savory tart in every possible way. The pastry is crispy and light…The rich and salty depth of the camembert is in perfect harmony with the sweet and soothing figs… The crunch of the walnut and the aroma of the honey compliments the fragrant notes of thyme so beautiful it will bring tears to your eyes…

PS: if this tart does indeed produce a waterfall of tears, I have one quick message: Get a grip, tart-loving people! (And eat it before it gets cold!  😉

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Ingredients (serves 1)

  • Puff pastry
  • 4 fresh figs, cut into approx. 0,5 cm slices
  • Camembert, cut into thin slices
  • ½ tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 4 walnuts, roughly chopped

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C. Line a baking tray with baking parchment.
  2. Cut out a circle out of your puff pastry. (A big one if you’re starving, or smaller ones if you would like to turn this dish into an appetizer)
  3. Prick the dough all over with a fork and layer the figs and camembert on the pastry but leaving about 1cm space along the edge.
  4. Gently fold over the edges to make sure the filling doesn’t leak out whilst in the oven.
  5. Drizzle over the honey and sprinkle on the thyme and crushed walnuts. Transfer the tart onto your baking tray.
  6. Bake into the oven for 20-30 minutes.

Pumpkin cheesecake brownies

These ugly goodies are devilishly delicious! I made them when my BFF and I were holding a Harry Potter movie marathon ( please don’t judge me!) and we needed a wizardly dessert to create the perfect magical ending to a wonderful evening. These brownies certainly did the trick! The flavour of this spooky brownie is so rich and intense, I can guarantee that after treating yourself to a large slice, you will have no problem whatsoever annihilating some creepy dementors or Death Eaters.

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Ingredients

For the pumpkin puree:

  • One butternut, cut into small chunks
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 3 tbsp honey

For the brownie:

  • 100gr dark chocolate
  • 100gr butter
  • 120gr caster sugar
  • 55gr plain flour
  • 2 eggs

For the pumpkin cheesecake:

  • 250gr pumpkin puree
  • 200gr cream cheese
  • 2 eggs

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C and line a baking tin with baking parchment.
  2. Make the pumpkin puree by cooking the pumpkin in hot water. Drain and mix with the spices and honey until you get a smooth paste. Leave to cool. (Preferably overnight)
  3. Make the brownie. Melt the chocolate au bain marie. Set aside to cool slightly. Mix the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Stir in the flour and mix until incorporated. Gently stir through the melted chocolate.
  4. Pour ¾ of the brownie batter in your tin and spread out evenly. Set aside the leftover batter.
  5. Make the cheesecakes mixture by mixing all the ingredients together. Pour the batter on top of the brownie. Now drop dollops of the leftover brownie batter into the cheesecake to create a cow/marble effect.
  6. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes.

Some things are better left unsaid. But then again, that’s just not my style so I’m going to say it anyway: This was delicious!

Published February 27, 2013 by The Feminist

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Some things are better left unsaid. Other things ought to be shared with every person on the planet. This recipe falls in the latter category (no surprise there, I presume?)This pesto, courgette and mozzarella tart is healthy, hearty and delicious! The pesto is full of flavour and the beautifully grilled courgette slices work so well with the milky white of the mozzarella.
And what’s more: It is ridiculously easy to make and 100% meat-free! Even the most blatantly innate meat-loving cynic will love this bright and sunny dish. Serve with a triple bean and cherry tomato salad (forgot to take a picture of that one, sorry!) and you won’t even remember meat ever existed!

And no, I’m NOT exaggerating!

Pesto, courgette and mozzarella tart

Ingredients:

• 1 sheet puff pastry
• 2 small-medium size courgettes, in slices of approx. 5 mm
• 200gr good quality mozzarella cheese
• Homemade or store-bought pesto (I won’t judge 😉 )
• Basil leaves to decorate

Method:

1. Grill the slices of courgette on a hot grill until nice grill marks appear.
2. Preheat the oven to 200°C and place the puff pastry on a non-stick baking sheet.
3. Generously spread pesto over the pastry base, leaving a 2cm gap around the edge of the tart.
4. Arrange the courgette and mozzarella slices in a spiral shape on top of the pesto, overlapping slightly.
5. Season with salt and pepper.
6. Fold over the edges of the puff pastry and put bake in the oven for about 30 minutes.
7. Garnish with basil leaves and buon appetito!

Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the best baker of them all?

Published November 11, 2012 by The Feminist

Modesty is not my strongest suit. Not when it comes to baking at least. I created this masterpiece – a plum and almond tart – this morning and if I may be so frank: holy crap, it was delicious!

I don’t concern myself with a dainty presentation. (I simply don’t have the patience for it) I prefer big slices of cake with big flavours. Home baking as it should be!

All those in favour of heartwarming homemade pieces of heaven, say AYE!