I remember very clearly kneeling on a stool in my Gran’s kitchen and learning how to roll out shortcrust pastry. She’d made an apple tart and together, we rolled out and cut ribbons of pastry to make a lattice on top. We also used the scraps to make nibbles for the apéritif, sprinkling them with cumin or gruyère.
Though my Mum is not one for sweets (or so she’s always said, and we’ve always had our doubts), she bakes a remarkable tarte Tatin.
So it’s no wonder that, when faced with a glut of apples – or any fruit – I make shortcrust pastry and get baking.
The guys at work don’t seem to mind.
The “standard” tarte Tatin is made with apples, but on occasion, I’ve made them with bananas, apricot or pears.
I also make a tarte au citron that can be, or not, topped with meringue. I’m in the “not” camp, but if you want meringue, meringue you shall have!
I have no pictures to offer you, but I also love to make chocolate ganache tarts: a layer of dark or milk chocolate ganache covering a surprise (caramelised nuts, or bananas, or raspberries, or…) over a thin, crispy, lightly sweetened crust.
I enjoy making French-style fruit tarts, with glazed fruit over a layer of thick custard, like this rhubarb and custard pie:
I’ve also tried my hand at various styles of custard tart, such as the flan parisien or the very British, nutmeg-topped one:
Purists tell me there should be no frosting or cherries on top. But the customer is king – in this case, the customer specified: with icing and glacé cherries.
I’ve also once had an order for 5 dozen of these tiny raspberry bakewells. Long hours well spent!
And since I hate waste, I finished up the pastry and ground almonds with good results in a “tarte amandine” with … bananas.
Other fruit are often used, such as pears (“tarte Bourdaloue”), peaches, apricots…
Tarte amandine is the French equivalent of the British bakewell tart.
Another leftover-induced bake, with the puff pastry that remained after I made Paneer pies:
When it comes to tarts and pies, I can make the sizes that suit you: from the two-bite mince-pie size to the 30cm centrepiece, narrow or wide rectangular tarts. All pastries are home-made on demand.