Saturday, 22 April 2006

SHF 18: Red Wine Tart

Red Wine Tart
First thing that came to my mind for the current SHF 18 are one of those liquour-laced cakes or desserts. But I thought why put a puny little amount when you can have it as a main ingredient. Thanks to a recipe I found in Anne Willan's fabulous book, A Kitchen in Burgundy, I was able to do a certainly interesting dessert.

As usual I made some blunder. Instructions clearly said to bake blind but my eyes were wide open when I did - I forgot the baking beans! So the pastry was too puffed up to my liking but no matter it still did the job. In fact, it was a very nice butter biscuit/cookie base so good that I balled up the excess and baked into cookies.

As for the filling, it didn't quite looked like the sea-of-tranquility smooth as that in Anne's book's picture. More like the Pink Floyd-y dark-side-of-the-moon pockmarked. But I was more surprised by the taste. I was preparing to dislike it or just have a passable 'okay' kind of flavour. However, it was only a little alcoholic, mildly bitter, and had an unexpected grape-y flavour (well *duh* wine is made from grapes for pete's sake!). I used (well actually used up left-overs) Merlot wine although Anne suggested to use Pinot Noir for a more fruity flavour. I have to say this is a keeper of a recipe although I definitely have to fiddle with the sugar in the pastry probably change it to caster sugar maybe even to icing sugar to remove the grittiness. And most of all to remember those blasted baking beans!

Red Wine Tart

*Sweet Pastry (Pate Sucree)
175 g  [1 1/2 cup] plain flour
100 g  [7 Tbsp] butter - softened
3 egg yolks
100 g  [scant 1/2 cup] caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla

2 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp ground cinammon
2 eggs
100 g  [1/2 cup] sugar
250 ml  [1 cup] red wine

1/2 cup double cream for decoration
  • For the pastry:
    1. Mix salt and flour in a bowl. Cut in the chilled butter with a pastry cutter or with 2 butter knives. Rub butter in with your fingers until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
    2. Combine egg yolks and vanilla in a small bowl. Sprinkle this mixture to the butter-flour mixture and gather the dough into a ball.
    3. Knead and press dough between your hands just enough to hold it together. Do not over knead.
    4. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375°F/190°C/fan 170°C.
    5. Roll out into an 11-inch circle. Line and press into a 23cm [9-inch] fluted tart pan. Prick base with fork.
    6. Put an aluminium foil (shiny side down) on the pan and fill this with dry or ceramic beans.
    7. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove foil and beans and bake for another 5 minutes. Cool.

  • For the filling:
    1. Combine cornstarch and cinammon and mix well.
    2. Whisk egg gently in a bowl and add the cornstarch mixture. Keep froth to minimum.
    3. Stir in the wine gently.

  • Place the tart pan on a baking sheet. Put this on the oven shelf and while it's partially pulled out gently pour the filling in the pan. Push it gently in the oven.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes in 375°F/190°C/fan 170°C.
  • Remove from oven and cool 5 minutes. Unmold. Cool completely.
  • Before serving whip double cream until stiff peaks. Pipe on the edge of pie with a star tip.

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