Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Honey, Lemon and Almond Tartlets – Having a Pollyanna moment!

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Everything you need for a Pollyanna moment!

My parents are watching the Dublin skies with bated breath, hoping that they are not going to be flooded again. I can’t even think about soggy carpets and destroyed books without getting upset on their behalf so I am going all Pollyanna and I am going to bake some golden tartlets and pretend it’s not happening.
These honey, lemon, and almond tartlets are a little bite of summer, and I guess if the worst comes to the worst, my parents could always lash them together and use them as a raft...

For 18 tartlets you will need...
... to pre-heat the oven to 160°C at step 3

Sweet Pastry
175g butter
75g caster sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
1 egg, beaten
260g plain flour
a pinch of fine table salt 

1                    Using a stand mixer (or a large bowl and plenty of elbow grease) cream together the butter, sugar and lemon zest. When light and fluffy and paler in colour, mix in the beaten egg and continue beating until combined. Add the flour and mix until it forms a soft paste. Shape the paste into a ball using floured hands. Flatten into a disc about 2.5cm thick (1 inch) and cover with cling wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or overnight.
2                    Roll out the chilled pastry to a thickness of about 2mm (about as thick as a euro/pound coin). Cut out 18 rounds using a 10 cm (4 inch) round cookie cutter – or a flower-shaped cutter as shown in the photos. Line muffin tins with the pastry rounds. If any holes develop, simply use excess pastry to patch them up, pressing firmly into place – it’s a very forgiving pastry. Return to the fridge and chill for a further 30 minutes.
The pink flower-shaped cutter definitely adds Pollyanna-bility to the process!

4 egg yolks
100g runny honey
170mls double cream
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
100g breadcrumbs
75g ground almond  

3                    Place the egg yolks in a large bowl and whisk lightly while you add the runny honey. (I usually place the bowl on a weighing scales and weigh the honey directly into the bowl as I whisk – anything to save on sticky washing up). When the honey and eggs are mixed, add the cream and grated lemon zest and whisk until combined.  Add the breadcrumbs and almonds and mix until no dry breadcrumbs remain.
4                    Remove the chilled pastry cases from the fridge. Divide the filling between the pastry cases, allowing approximately 1 tablespoon of the mixture per tartlet. Transfer to the pre-heated oven and bake for 20 – 25 minutes until the filling has puffed up, is golden brown and feels spongy when pressed lightly with a finger. Carefully remove from the muffin tins and cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or cold with ice cream or whipped cream. 

Right, I’m off to eat that photo at the top of the page and think pleasant thoughts, although if anyone knows the opposite of a rain dance, please feel free to interrupt my Pollyanna moment.
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