Monday, December 5, 2011

A new kitchen for Christmas...

Christmas madness is here, but all I can think of is my beautiful creamy travertine tiles and the mess that will soon be my dream kitchen…I am day-dreaming about what colour to paint the walls to compliment my cream oven and actually feeling a little stressed about getting it JUST right... You see, in true domestic-goddess-style I have planned a house warming slash Christmas garden party before my house has even had time to shake it’s self  from the dirt and debris… what I DO know is that fun will be had, it will most definitely be merry and there’ll be great food.
This year has been a whirlwind of change. I put my blogging hobby on hold to simmer and stew and I am hoping to produce something new and exciting to give my readers something to draw them back after months of silence. Frankly, I realised I needed to lift the bar a little. So, cheers to new beginnings, lots of new blog posts, improving my photo-taking skills, and allowing my blog to change as the seasons do, oh and 2012 of course!
Inspiration will not be hard to come by with my herb garden, my planned sprouting kitchen garden (for sprouts and other baby lettuce varieties to be grown in my kitchen sill) and my long awaited brand spanking new kitchen! The way to a man’s heart might be through his stomach, but the way to a woman’s’ heart (well most) is a brand new kitchen!
So on this cheery Christmas note I’d love to share one of my all time favourites with you - my raspberry, pistachio and frangipane tart. In my mind, this tart doesn’t need an excuse to be baked, it’s simply that good. But if you do need one, the Christmas season is as good as any.

Raspberry and Pistachio Frangipane Tart
The lovely thing about this recipe is that the tart shell doesn’t have to be prebaked. Simply refrigerate while making the filling, fill and bake!
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Pastry Ingredients:

85g icing sugar
250g cake flour
1 egg
125g butter

Mix all the ingredients in a food processor until it comes together. Roll it into a ball with your hands and cling wrap it. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Line the tart shell and refrigerate while you make the filling.

Frangipane Filling

100g butter
125g castor sugar
1 egg
 20 ml fresh orange juice
25g cake flour
100g ground almonds
1 cup Frozen raspberries
1 ml almond essence
Zest of one orange
Handful of pistachio nuts, roughly chopped


Cream the butter and the sugar until pale, add egg.
Simply add the almond flour, flour, essence and orange juice and mix until combined.
Spread the filling into the cold lined pastry shell.
Sprinkle the frozen raspberries and pistachio nuts over the top.
Bake at 180 degrees for approximately 45 minutes.
Glaze with hot smooth apricot jam when cool.

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