Of the various goodie bags purchased at this year's Good Food & Wine Show, my favourite was the pack of four frozen pastries from 'Careme Pastry'. It was actually the first stall I stopped at and one of the one's which I hovered around for some time trying everything on offer till it got to the point where it only made sense to buy all the products in a goodie bag and take them home to enjoy.
Into the freezer they went when I got home, then I went on holidays for 2 weeks and came back busy at work and it wasn't until the other day when I was opening the freezer looking for a pack of dumplings that I realised that the pastry was sitting there and trust me, it was beckoning me to be used!
Careme Pastry's 'All Butter Puff Pastry'. When using, take out of the freezer and defrost at room temperature for 1-2 hours - each box contains 1 square sheet of deliciousness!
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Start by making the frangipane. In a bowl, mix 75g softened butter, 90g caster sugar, 80g ground almonds, 2 egg yolks and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract by hand until combined.
Refrigerate frangipane until chilled.
(FYI: 1 sheet of puff pastry will make two tarts.) Slice the defrosted puff pastry into two. Lay one half on a piece of baking paper sitting on top of a baking tray. Using the sharp point of a knife, and being careful not to cut right through, score a 1cm border around the edge of the puff pastry.
Prick the entire surface of the puff pastry with a fork.
Brush the puff pastry with egg yolk.
Spread the chilled frangipane evenly over the pastry within the scored area.
Place 150g defrosted cherries which have been sliced in half, cut side up in a single layer on top of the frangipane. Repeat above steps for the second half of the pastry to make the second tart (FYI: you'll use up 1 box of 300g frozen cherries to make the two tarts).
Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with some caster sugar and bake for another 5-10 minutes until the sides are golden and puffed.
The recipe suggests you serve this one with cream but really, it's just as good by itself.
The one sheet of pastry/two starts will comfortably feed 12 and they are really very yummy. The star of the dish is definitely the pastry - layers of flaky goodness when baked and unlike other pastries I've used in the past (including puff pastry I've made myself), you don't have butter seeping out at the bottom soaking up the tart and it doesn't feel like you're eating load and loads of butter. This recipe could definitely be improved using fresh cherries as I found the water content of the frozen ones made the frangipane quite runny but on the whole, tops to Bill Granger for another stella recipe!
The three other boxes of pastry I have at home are all shortcrust pastries so I'm on the search for some good recipes to use. If you have a good one, do let me know!