I haven’t really been subscribing to the January rush to get back in the gym, I am taking it easy with a few yoga classes until the New Year’s Resolution crowd have chilled out a bit and there isn’t a queue for the machines. January has been rough this year and so I am being very gentle with myself, no swearing off alcohol, no ridiculous resolutions and definitely no post -Christmas diet!
As arguably the most miserable month January is a time for hearty stews, deep filled savoury pies, warming soups and a house filled with the smell of home baking. The second of the two new cookbooks I was gifted at Christmas was Rachel Khoo’s Paris Kitchen. I discovered Rachel Khoo while babysitting for friend’s, I babysit in return for TV privileges since I don’t have any channels at home. My friends get to go out and I mainline cooking shows, it is a win win situation.
Rachel’s food looks amazing, her kitchen is tinier than mine, a thing I never thought possible and I imagine she would be great craic over a glass or two of wine, advising on food, how to keep an immaculate fringe and the best red lipsticks on the market.
The first recipe I made from her book was a raspberry and almond tart. I am a massive fan of frangipane, from the cheapest almond slices you can buy to the most high end almond and fruit tart. This tart was beautiful, the pastry, made with an unusual method worked amazingly well with Gluten Free flour and turned out goldenly crisp and flaky, the filling was almost the texture of a set almond custard, thick, rich and a luscious counter to the tart raspberries. While the tart was baking my kitchen was full of the aroma of almonds and sweet jammy warm raspberries, just the thing to brighten up a grim January day.
Rachel Khoo’s Raspberry & Almond Tart adapted to be Gluten Free
Pastry: enough to line a buttered 9” loose bottomed tart tin
• Beat the sugar and butter together until soft
• Mix in the flour
• Add in the 2 egg yolks, at this pint you may not think the pastry will come together but it will.
• Add in the iced water, one tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together in a soft ball.
• Chill the pastry for 30 minutes
• Remove the pastry from the fridge and place between two sheets of floured baking parchment.
• Roll the pastry between the baking parchment until it will fit your tin
• Ease the rolled pastry in the tin and prick the base with a fork
200 grams of ground almonds
200 grams of sugar
200 grams of butter, softened
300 grams of raspberries
• Beat together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy
• Beat in the ground almonds
• Add the eggs one at a time and beat until fully incorporated
• Scrape the mixture in the lined pastry tin and smooth out with a flat knife
• Arrange the raspberries over the almond mixture, pressing them in lightly.
• Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes, until the pastry is golden and the almond mixture has set
• If you feel that the raspberries are beginning to burn then cover the tart loosely with tinfoil
• Allow the tart to cool and then remove it from the tine.
• Dust with icing sugar
The tart is delicious warm with softly whipped cream or served cold with a hot cup of coffee.