I’ll be writing this post in stages, some before, some during or just after, maybe some after that again, but hopefully it’ll all remain coherent. So, dear reader, here we are again. You might have seen my recipe for a Buckweat Flour Bakewell, has it really been two years? Time flies when it comes to pies, er, tarts. I’ve learned a bit since I last made this so it’ll be interesting to see how well it’ll all turn out. You might know the way I write these “tutorials”, depends on your level of devotion, dearly devote reader, you get a step, an elaboration and possibly some extra titbits. Now first I would like to talk about how I approach recipe writing. I think it’s important to be clear and keep it simple, that’s the reason most of my recipes follow a similar structure and style. But what I find important is having a baseline, as in: What’s the recipe at its most basic? It can be a tad confusing when you start with variations, but if you’re unable to piece together the additions and replacements then, not to be rude, you need to get better. I started knowing nothing, all of us do, and me sitting here trying to baby anyone isn’t going to help them learn. You can always ask, learn from mistakes, but if I sat here and thought of all the potential readers and the problems they might face I’d never get started. I can be a bit silly when it comes to these posts, trying for perfection I never expect to achieve or ever ask from anyone else. So, you might have to hunt around, piece these recipes together to suit yourself, but be thankful, arrogant, eh?, that not only do you have a recipe that tells you everything you need to make it, it lists the texture, taste and gives advice, for some of the older recipes that isn’t true, but from a certain point onwards and for the future it is. An unassailable truth. Because I want you to enjoy these recipes, I want you to succeed in making them and I want to make my struggle to get where I am now more worthwhile. I also hate to replace an entire recipe if it works as you never know who’ll find the first version useful. It’s all about finding your own groove and knowing how to adapt to other’s rhythms. No, I’m not demanding you dance to my tune, just boogie with me for a while. So, with all that out of the way, let’s go and see what a better bakewell looks like, yeah?
Step 0: Woah, woah. Man, That Recipe’s Old.
I appear to have stumbled at the gate, I haven’t looked at the recipe until now, though I’ve been planning it for a while. But I do remember making the tart. No egg, which is a testament to the binding power of buckwheat, but a nuisance. It ended up with too little pastry at first which meant making more and pressing it onto the first batch. It was delicate, but it held admirably. We’re going full chia egg in this version. I’ll elaborate on that in the appropriate step. I’m making mini tarts, but it’ll still be the same general idea. The filling needs no alteration as far as I can see. This should wind up as less work than the original. I’ll link from that recipe to here when it’s all finished. You might ask why wait so long, I’d ask the same thing. It’s a mixture of weight-loss, getting to grips with food, stomach capacity, ingredient cost and, if I’m honest, the fact that you could make this every day, but it’d never be as special as the first time. So, read this well, it might be a while before you see it again.
Step 1: Making the Pastry
(I’ll also break up the recipe here because I’m such a sweetheart. *Sigh*)
220g Buckwheat Flour 100g Butter, very cold, cut into cubes 4 to 6 Tbsp Ice Cold Water (Only if you need them, but you won't) 1 Chia Egg (1 Tbsp Ground Chia in 3 Tbsp Water for 10 minutes in fridge) 1 Medium Egg (60-65g in Shell) 2 Tbsp Caster Sugar
Raspberry Jam, enough to provide a thick covering to pie base.
125g Caster Sugar
125g Ground Almonds
1 Large Egg, Beaten
150g Icing Sugar (Probably more, I didn’t measure)
Water as Needed
1. Add the Buckwheat Flour and 2 Tbsp of Caster Sugar to a bowl.
2. Add the Butter and crumble together with hands until it forms a lumpy, dry breadcrumb like mixture.
3. Here we change. Add the two Eggs, Chia and Chicken, and then mix without water. You shouldn’t need it.
4. Dust with flour, knead into a ball and then form into a flat disc and place in fridge for 1 hour.
Okay, we’re working with my buckwheat shortcrust pastry found here, just trust me, this way is best. What we’ll be using is the chia egg and also a medium egg which is about 60g-65g in shell and also doubling the recipe. I’ll say two things before we start in earnest: One: you’ll have to figure some of this out yourself, I’ll tell you everything, but you’ll have to use your noggin. I won’t insult your intelligence and assume you’re an idiot, I’ll instead assume that you can double a recipe and figure out what other changes are needed as I list them. As in: The egg goes in after the Butter crumbing, that’s listed in the chia egg part f the original. I’ll just carry on believing that. If you’re stuck, then ask away, I just can’t think of everyone at every level of skill here. I’d go mad. Madder. Secondly: This isn’t wheat pastry! It’s buckwheat, not buckwheat disguised as wheat. It’s buckwheat in all its glory! Okay? Yeah. That means you get a crisp pastry, that with the two eggs also gains a moistness and ease-of-work-ability. Shush, that’s a word. Buckwheat works well here because it is slightly drier and more crisp than a wheat based pastry which compliments the soft, richly decadently buttery filling. That’s a lot of -ys, but you get the idea. Not wheaty, nor gum-based, starch-added, fake wheaty pastry. New pastry. Adapt! Okay, I’m done. Er, sorry. But if it’s looked upon on its own merits it’s really wonderful. Not tooting my own horn, it just is really great.
So, pastry tips. Let’s see. Everything should be cold. Which reminds me that I have ice water in the freezer I forgot about as I didn’t need it. Oh well. You’re better to work in two halves rather then in one go. The more time this pastry spends in a warm room the more the butter melts, the stickier it becomes and the more of a mess you end up with. The chia egg and hen egg made an amazing pastry. Chia alone could make it too dry, though amazingly like gluten-based flour dough when worked, whereas just a hen egg would mean less of that ease of kneading and working, but moister. So we end up with the best of both worlds in our doubled recipe, with no down sides. To bring it together I work it in a bowl until it’s roughly a dough, crumbly is fine, then turn it out onto a floured work surface and start kneading it. Naturally there’s no fear of overworking the pastry, but do be weary of the butter melting too much. Don’t dust too much flour, a bit here and there works best. There shouldn’t be any cracks in this pastry if you’ve made it right.
Optional Step: Smooth Jam.
Just a quick detour. I really hate the seeds in raspberry jam, hate them with an unholy passion. So I went to the trouble of sieving the jam and left it until later. This is entirely up to you. If you can get a smooth raspberry jam then more power to you. If not and you want a seedless jam you could change it for another jam, but raspberry works best with the almond filling.
Step 2: Rolling out the pastry.
5. Grease the baking tin with Butter and scatter with Buckwheat Flour, shaking out the excess.
6. Let the Dough rest out of the fridge for a few minutes then roll out the Dough into a circle and place over the baking tin. Dough will be fragile (Not this one!) and may need to be dusted and re-kneaded. Prick the bottom with a fork.
So, what are we doing.. Firstly greasing and flouring those tins. What I do is melt the butter, just a note: From here on out say goodbye to moderation, butter and sugar city from this point on, and spread it on with a pastry brush. Then I dust with flour and shake out the excess. I made some in push-up tins and some in the muffin tins. I prefer the push-up tins, they just bake better. Rolling it out: You want it thick enough to hold together, but not so thick that it ends up heavy or taking too long to blind bake. Maybe 3-5 millimetres If you move it and it’s tearing then it’s too thin. You’ll have to gauge it yourself. What you want is a circle bigger than the tin, then you cut off the extra. If you’re making a full sized pie, all you do is drape it over and cut off the excess. Press it gently into the sides with your thumb, just pressing once, turning the tin and repeating until the whole tin is filled evenly. Don’t forget to prick the bottom, it’s important, so are the pastry beads but I’ll get to them in a moment.
Step 3: Blind Baking
7. Blind bake, with baking beads or rice in crumpled greaseproof paper, for 10 to 15 minutes at 180c (Fan). Remove from the oven and remove the rice and greaseproof paper then bake for another 5 minutes or until centre is dry to the touch. Leave on wire-rack. Spread the Raspberry Jam over the base.
These long posts are harder than you’d imagine. There’s a lot to get down and a lot I’m probably missing. So, blind baking. Right. That’s when you put on a blind-fol…no? Oh, it’s when you bake a pastry base without a filling. Why? Masochism. Kidding. It’s to ensure the pastry that the filling is going to be contained in isn’t going to end up mushy or undercooked. The reason for the beads is to prevent the pastry rising. Funny how that only happens when you don’t want it to, right? You can see the small ones did swell a lot. You do bake them without the beads too, but only enough to ensure the base is baked enough. This is a very useful skill to have. It’ll ensure that your pastry is perfect as your filling. You can also use this pastry for closed pies, like mince-pies, for that holiday that’s incoming. All I can add here is to not overcook, you want it dry and firm, but not too browned.
So, that’s the pastry stage. Hopefully it’s all made sense so far. I’m sleepy so if it doesn’t then that your problem. No. I’m joking. Maybe. Ask, but before you do: Read both recipe, read all this over and then after the madness ends conjure a bakewell with your mind. Remember this covers any tart made with this pastry. If it’s an open topped one: Blind bake. If not: Then just wet the edges, seal it and bake until browned. Now onto the topping.
Step 4: Frangipane
8. Melt the Butter on a medium heat until completely melted. (Or microwave it on defrost) Remove from the heat and whisk in the Caster Sugar, then the Almonds and finally the Beaten Egg until a thick Batter has been formed. Spoon into the Pie Base, making sure it reaches the edges.
Heads up! This is going to be vague as hell, because that’s the way these recipes are written. How long it’ll bake is a guess at best. I’ll try to help alleviate it somewhat. I melted the butter in the microwave to make it easier. I then forgot if this was supposed to be runny or thick. It’s frightening in a way because most recipes fail to inform you, erm, mine included. I’ll fix it, eventually. The batter, or dough, or..mess, is thick, very stiff, almost a batter, but much thicker. You’ll spoon lumps of it into the pastry. You won’t be pouring it. So don’t freak if it looks terrible. It’s unappetising at this stage. I mixed it by hand, but the choice is yours. Large egg, 70g-75 in shell. This only takes a few minutes, but you’d be forgiven for being a worry-wart as this is way into the tart’s creation. A mistake here would be deadly. Or at least annoyingly wasteful.
Step 5: Baking the Bakewell
9. Bake the Tart at 180c (Fan) and once it has browned on the top, about 5 minutes (Mine took 15 as there was a lot in the oven. Times vary), cover loosely with tinfoil (Greaseproof!) and cook for the remaining time. The Frangipane when cooked should have a firm top, a skewer will come out clean and will have risen up, but will still feel soft inside. Remove to a wire-rack and let cool completely. It will sink and become firmer.
Now I’m second guessing myself, but you learn a lot in two years. So, you spoon in your thick filling. It was really cold in the kitchen which might have affected the viscosity of the mixture, but as I say above once it’s in the oven it’ll spread. Now, here’s the hard part. The top will brown quickly, maybe too fast, maybe not, but it’ll still be jiggly and raw. So you cover it and test it every, say ten, minutes. More often if you smell it cooking. You want a firm, still slightly soft top. Feeling as if it were a shell rather than a sponge, if that makes sense, as well as a clean inside. Skewer it in other words. Clean is king. How long is anyone’s guess, mine took half an hour, but they are small, but also packed so it varies. Just don’t go assuming or wandering off. Observe, smell and stay vigilant. You’re on the home stretch. Let it cool, I took them out of the tins right away, the pastry was done enough, the top will sink slightly and harden a bit. Then onto the final step. One I can’t help much with, but I’ll try regardless.
Step 6: Decoration
10. Mix the Icing Sugar and Water until a thick Paste has been formed, spread over the tart and place the Cherry Halves around the edge. Let rest for around a day before cutting. (Hah! But seriously, do it for a large tart, it’ll be better)
They might be rough, but they’re delicious. First and foremost: The icing: You could make a royal icing, but that’d be more work than I’d be bothered with. A simple icing like this suits it better. Nothing much to add here, make it thick, let it set and don’t forget to sieve it. The tarts themselves were amazing. The pastry was beautiful, the two eggs really worked wonders. The filling was just right, so decadent and buttery. The two elements worked so well together, a moist filling and a slightly crusty pastry. So that’s that. I hope you’ve learned something from this. This pastry is my own creation and I’m really very proud of it. If you want anything to be made clear just ask. If you want to praise me, whether I deserve it isn’t applicable, go for it. If you want my bakewell, well then, I’ll see you in hell! Ah, that slipped out. See you next time. Now to proofread….*Groans*
P.S It cuts clean, like the original. I just had to try one. I’ll probably take a better photo tomorrow.