Strawberry Fritters

This is the best week ever because It’s half term so I get to fit in more bakes and also it was Shrove Tuesday which meant I got to eat as many pancakes as I wanted.  My favourite pancake filling is Nutella and strawberries.

So far this week I have made two coffee cakes, shortbread biscuits, two lemon drizzle cakes, mini meringues, Oreo cupcakes and for my blog strawberry fritters.IMG_4448

The strawberry fritters are made by making up a batter made up of 100g plain flour, 3 eggs, pinch of salt, 100ml of milk and 20g of sugar.

The flour and salt is sifted into a bowl, then separate two of the eggs putting the whites in a separate bowl and the yolks into the flour mix    .  Add the remaining third egg to the flour.  Whisk the flour mix until the ingredients are combined then gradually add the milk until the batter is smooth.  Then whisk the egg whites adding the sugar slowly to the mixture until you have soft peaks.   Gently fold the egg whites mixture into the batter mix with a metal spoon.  Place the mixture to one side.

Meanwhile heat a litre of grape seed oil in a saucepan to 180c.  For the filling you will need 30 strawberries.  Place a strawberry onto a skewer and dip into the batter mixture and then place into the hot oil.  Cook until golden.  When cooked place the fritter on some paper towel to remove any excess oil.  Then coat the fritter in cinnamon sugar which is made from 100g castor sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon of  ground cinnamon.  Cook the remaining strawberries making sure you don’t put more than two at time in the oil as this will reduce the temperature and ruin the fritter.

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These fritters were a bit like doughnuts and when you bite into the fritter the strawberry was something like the strawberries you find in jam.  The only sad thing was that the fritters don’t last long and become soggy if left overnight.

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Crumble Pastry

This week my book covered crumble pastry which is a pastry that is crumbled.  I got excited about making this crumble as it as it contains yummy ingredients being ground almonds and cinnamon. IMG_4440 To make the crumble mixture measure out 150g plain flour, 75g light brown sugar, 75g granulated sugar, 150g softened butter, 150g ground almonds, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and a pinch of salt.  Place all the ingredients on your work surface and work the ingredients together until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. For the filling peel 3 pears and slice them, then cover with lemon juice (this stops the pears from going brown).  Mix together 60g castor sugar and ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, roll the sliced pears in the sugar mixture.  Place the pears into individual oven proof bowls and add a few red grapes to each bowl.  Cover the fruit with the crumble mixture and bake in the oven for 20 minutes on 180°C.  Serve warm with custard, cream or ice cream.  Yum yum….. I’m really enjoying following my new book and although I have made some of the pastries before it’s been fun trying out new fillings with them.  Next week I’m making strawberry fritters something     I haven’t made before.

Soft Short Pastry

This weeks pastry is soft short pastry which I used to make a berry & pistachio tart.

To make the pastry

Mix together 185g softened butter with 25ml of warm milk (warm milk helps to bind the pastry together) and one egg yolk.  Then add 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of sugar and beat the mixture until smooth.  Add 250g of plain four and mix together until you have a smooth dough.  Wrap the pastry in clim film and chill for at least two hours.

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The Filling

In a bowl whisk together for about two minutes, three eggs, 25g ground almonds, 100g sugar, 150ml double cream 30g pistachios, 25g of melted butter, and ½ tablespoon of plain flour.

Heat oven to 180°C and grease a 24cm tart tin (with removable bottom).  Roll out the cooled pastry onto a floured surface (it should be 3mm thick) and place over the tart tin and trim the edges.  Prick the base of the pastry with a fork.  Sprinkle 200g of berries on the pastry and then pour over the filling.

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Bake for 40minutes and sprinkle with icing sugar.  Leave to cool.

I like pistachios and I did eat a few of them when I was making the tart.  The pistachios in the tart gives it a nice little crunchy surprise.  The tart is enough on it’s own although if you want something to go with it a little scoop of plain ice-cream would work well.IMG_4415