Saturday, March 13, 2010
I love fruit flan. I always have. Between that and lemon/citrus tart, I can be a bit predictable. I am however, often, bitterly disappointed.
I have been meaning to make a fruit flan for years, and eventually cracked it for my anti-Valentines day dinner. (I am not anti as a general rule,but rather suffering from the tyranny of distance.)
Although I make short crust pastry all the time, I followed a recipe from a friends french cookbook. I think it included egg yolk to bind it and rather than rubbing the flour and butter between your fingers until it resembled breadcrumbs, you used the heel of your hand in a smooth pushing motion through the mixture on the bench to combine. Although dubious, it worked beautifully, and produced the most delicious tender pastry, which was a joy to work with and a joy to eat.
For the filling I made Nigella's creme patisserie, not feeling brave enough to make one I hadn't tried before. It turned out well, but I should have put the filled tart case in the fridge to set, as although thick, it wasn't set enough when I cut it.
For the fruit, I used strawberries and peaches. I had bought kiwi fruit but they were horribly bitter (and I don't seriously love them), and the peaches took up a lot more room than I anticipated.
All in all I was pleased with my efforts and it tasted amazing. I was quite heavy handed with the vanilla in the creme patisserie it went beautifully with the fruit and the pastry was just lovely. I am still working on making my tart cases look pretty as they always have a bit of rustic charm about them and I marvel at the pictures in the books of painstaking, near impossible precision and delicacy that the cases have. One day.