Plum tart

As I said in a recent post, plums are one of my favourite fruit. I love making crumbles and tarts with them, but wanted to find something different to try.
This recipe is from a Woman's Weekly magazine; it's one of the hundreds of recipes I have to sort out in my cuttings folder!
I bought a punnet of plums from the supermarket which were marked as seconds, and they were really hard. Anyway I thought I'd use them in my new recipe, and they turned out soft and juicy.

250g plain flour
170g chopped up butter
1 egg yolk

I used my processor to make the pastry, putting in the flour, butter and egg yolk and adding a tbspn of water and blitzing till the pastry started to come together. Roll out and line the flan tin and chill for 30 mins. it's a very short pastry and breaks easily, but is easily patched up.

1 tspn cinnamon
2 tbspns soft brown sugar
750g plums, stoned and quartered

1 egg + a yolk
125g creme fraiche
45g soft brown sugar

Preheat oven 200C/gas6
Grease a 28cm shallow flan tin

Remove flan tin from the fridge; mix the cinnamon and sugar together and sprinkle over the pastry base.

Arrange the plums, cut side up and pack them together. If there's any left over, put them skin side up on top in a pattern. I just about had enough fruit to fill the tin.

Mix the ingredients of the topping together and spoon over the plums.

Bake for 25-30 mins till lightly browned.

I really like the flavour of the tart; the cinnamon and sugar come through in the background and the texture of the creme fraiche topping is creamy and not too sweet [for my taste anyway]. I'll certainly make this again, and it would work with other fruit like apples, cherries etc.


Aberffraw cakes

These were mentioned recently on the GBBO, so I thought I'd find out more about them. They're made on the Isle of Anglesey and are a traditional biscuit really, not a cake. They're served sprinkled with sugar and even with cream and jam, like a scone.
The bit I liked was that a scallop shell is pressed into the top to give it a shell-like pattern. Nowadays, a lot of the Aberffraw cakes have the pattern put on with a knife. I have a bag of scallop shells, brought back from France so I used a genuine one to make my pattern.
The recipe is a 3.2.1  - quite common for biscuits. This means 3 parts flour to 2 parts fat to 1 part sugar.

175g flour
110g butter
55g caster sugar
a little milk
more caster sugar for sprinkling over

Preheat oven 190C/gas5.
Grease a baking sheet.

I used a processor to make my dough.

Put flour and sugar in a bowl and rub in the butter. Bind together with a litle milk to make a soft dough.
Roll out and cut out circles. I used a 7cm cutter and made 12 cakes.
Use a scallop shell to press the scallop pattern onto the top, or cut the pattern with the back of a knife.

Put the cakes to cool on a wire rack and sprinkle with sugar. You can eat them served with cream and jam, but they're delicious as they are.

They have a nice crunchy texture, and the butter gives them a rich flavour.


Swedish orange cake

I love citrus cakes so had to try this one; the recipe was given to me by a church friend whose son is married to a Swedish girl. This is Anneke's family recipe, and she calls it a teabread and serves it as a dessert with some fruit salad. It's lovely as a cake with your afternoon cuppa.
 Another easy cake for my repertoire.

150g butter
120g caster sugar
3 eggs
greated zest of a lemon
60ml fresh orange juice
orange essence [opt]
250g plain flour with 2 tspn baking powder added
breadcrumbs to coat the tin

80g icing sugar
orange juice - 1-2 tbspn

Preheat oven 175C/gas4
Grease a 900g loaf tin and sprinkle with breadcrumbs

Beat butter and sugar together till fluffy.
Whisk the eggs in one at a time then mix in the rind, juice and flour. Blend together.
Pour into the tin and bake for about an hour.
Remove from the tin and leave to cool under the upturned tin!

Mix the icing sugar with enough juice to make it the consistency you want; make sure it's smooth, then spread over the cake.

I decided to drizzle the icing over, not easy when the cake has risen considerably. Not very pretty, but the cake is really delicious. It's nice to have an orange cake for a change.

It has a lovely fresh flavour and is light and airy. I enhanced the orange flavour with a few drops of orange essence and used an orange glace icing. I didn't put any breadcrumbs into the tin; am not sure why they're there!

Gratin de choux-fleur

 I was given a medium sized cauliflower and as it's not my favourite vegetable, struggled to know what to do with it. Have kept a few Fr...