Raspberry, Hazelnut and Pine Nut Tart

Have been having another sort out in my baking cupboard to find what needed using up. I found some pine nuts and ground hazelnuts, both very near their 'use by' date, so decided to use them in a tart. 
What would go well with them?  I always have some frozen raspberries ready to use, as they're one of my favourite fruits and thought these would work well with the nuts. For the filling I'd use creme fraîche instead of cream, not to make the tart too rich.

My loose-bottomed tart tin is 23cm. Preheat oven 200C/gas6

You need 300g of shortcrust pastry, bought or home made [ I added a little sugar to it].
Roll out the pastry to fit the greased tin, and put in the fridge.

Break 3 eggs into a bowl and add another yolk, 120g caster sugar and 60g ground hazelnuts. Whisk together , then add 100cl creme fraîche  and 1 tspn vanilla extract and mix together well.

Put 200g of raspberries on top of the pastry and pour over the egg mixture. Sprinkle 80g of pine nuts on top and bake for 35-40 mins till the top is golden. Leave the tart in the tin to get cold before removing.

I really liked the different textures in the tart - the pastry, the creamy filling, the soft tart raspberries and the crunch of the pine nuts. The flavours worked well together. A nice easy summer dessert.


Litle Rhubarb Meringue Tartlets

I made these a while ago when there was rhubarb in my local market. As well as rhubarb and meringue, there's an almond cream in the tartlets.
I cheated and bought a block of short crust pastry, but of course you can make it yourself.

You need: 320g shortcrust pastry, 400g rhubarb and 80g caster sugar, 125g ground almonds, 80g butter, 125g caster sugar and 3eggs, 3 egg whites and 75g caster sugar.

Preheat oven 180C           You need a 12 hole bun or tartlet tin.

Peel and chop the rhubarb then cover it with the 80g caster sugar and leave for 1 hour.

Roll out the pastry and use a cutter to cut out circles to fit your tin. Line these with baking beans and bake for 10 mins; take the beans out and bake for a further 5 mins. Take tin out of the oven and let the tartlet cases cool.

Cream : beat the butter and 125g caster sugar together. Add the eggs one at a time, then the ground almonds - beat the mixture well.

Turn the oven down to 120C.

Meringue: beat the egg whites into peaks; add half the sugar and beat in ,then fold in the rest.

Put some cream into the bottom of the pastry cases, add some rhubarb then top with some meringue - I piped mine on.

Bake again for 15 mins till golden.

Lovely mixture of textures - crunchy pastry, soft cream, tangy rhubarb, then the meringue.

Think I've said before that I don't bake just for me, but these were for friends I'd invited for tea. Made a nice change from scones and cakes.


Peach Loaf Cake

Sometimes you just want a simple piece of cake with your cuppa, and this loaf cake is just what you need. I had a medium sized tin of peaches reaching its 'Use by' date, so decided to add them to a basic loaf cake mixture.

Preheat oven 180C/gas4                      Grease a 900g loaf tin

Beat together 150g butter and 150g caster sugar. Beat in 3 eggs, one at a time.

Fold in 150g flour with 1 tspn baking powder.

Drain the syrup from the tin of peaches and cut them into dice. Add to the batter and stir in.

Spoon into cake tin and bake for about 40 mins.

This is my attempt and prettying up my photo of the cake! I kept back a couple of peach slices and added some flowers that were hanging round in the cupboard!
The cake was nice and moist, with a soft crumb. Good contrast between the soft cake and the fruit. I'll certainly make it again, but with a different fruit, such as pears or pineapple or raspberries. Maybe add a bit of spice. A good standby recipe.

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