I was listening to the
on Food Programme of BBC Radio 4 on Sunday (6 days left to listen!) which featured Michelin starred chef Angela Hartnett preparing a meal for Sheila Dillon using ingredients from the Best Producer category of the 2010 BBC Food & Farming Awards. I was really inspired by the crostata that they made combining 2010 finalist, Tracklement Company's seasonal medlar jelly, with spiced poached pears. I knew right then that Sunday night's pudding would be a crostata, something I have never tackled before. It was quite an easy tart to make and I will definitely be making this again. Here is a recipe:
225g plain flour
75g demerara sugar
1 egg yolk
the zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
After sifting the flour and mixing in the sugar, I grated the butter in so it's easier to mix.
Next, I added in the egg, egg yolk and lemon zest
I put the pastry to rest in the fridge for awhile, it can be made and left to rest overnight, and when you are ready to use it leave it out of the fridge for half an hour or so before you start to roll it out.
While the pastry had its feet up I started stewing some pineapple. I would much rather have made this with apples or pears but I had about half a pineapple left over from breakfast so thought it best to use that up. I put about 30ml of muscat dessert wine over the pineapple, popped in a star anise and left it on a really slow simmer for the half an hour that the pastry was resting.
Then it was time to roll out the pasty which I tried to get as thin as possible. I always think my pastry has been rolled out rather thin and then find out it hasn't so when I think it's thin enough I usually go over it a few more times.
I then placed it over my 12 in pie/quiche dish, trimmed off the edges and kept the remaining pastry for the topping.
I then took some of my beloved Ella Bella Jelly and heated it a bit and poured over the pastry. You can use any jam or jelly but apparently it's better to choose something that isn't overly sweet as the pastry is sweet enough. This is why I chose my Ella Bella Jelly which is a damson jelly made from my Auntie Chrissie's Ella Bella tree. It makes a truly wonderful jelly that is nice and tart. I really cherish it and if you've bought or received any of this from me consider yourself lucky. I am to Ella Bella Jelly as Gollum is to his Precious. I only serve it with special roast dinners but thought that it was the natural choice for this recipe.
I then took my stewed pineapple and arranged it on the jammy tart. I started to get creative and then realised that I didn't have enough pineapple to carry out my crostata vision so I just tried to evenly space them out.
I took my reserved pastry and rolled out some thin strips to lattice over the tart. As above, I then folded the edges over a bit, did a haphazard criss-cross pattern and topped it with a Smy Chutney brandied cherry.
I then popped it into the oven which I had preheated to 180 degrees C for 35 minutes. I let it cool for a few minutes and served with Haagen Dazs vanilla ice cream. I was very happy with it but the sweetness of the pineapple meant it was a very sweet pudding. As I said, I would have preferred it with apples as I prefer my puddings to not be too overly sweet. But that's the beauty of the crostata - you can easily make a pudding with whatever you happen to have in the house. I've got some of Auntie Chrissie's blackberry jelly and I think my next crostata will use that with some kiwis or perhaps a Smy Chutney lemon curd crostata. Thanks to the Food Programme for the inspiration and for being one of my favourite programmes on Radio 4.
it's not your chutney...
it's Smy Chutney.