Tag Archives: Pudding

Coffee Shop Pastry

Anna and I like very different things. I like coffee, in fact I’m a bit of a caffeine snob. I’ll regularly turn my nose up at chain coffee, delivered in large paper cups, with just a sniff of an espresso shot. Anna on the other hand is a little fussy on the cake front. It has to have fruit, possibly chocolate and ideally crumble in your mouth. These unwritten rules have always ensured a quick coffee break is a complicated affair….until we discovered [email protected] in Brighton.


They do a bloody lovely cup of java there, and more importantly serve up freshly baked fruit and almond tarts. Yes it’s a little pretentious in there, but we both walk out getting what we want. Perfect right? Until that is, Anna asks the question ‘could you make those tarts at home?’ Confidently, I mumble ‘of course’ while I sip the rich and velvety flat white. Only later did I realize I’d done myself out of any future such coffee experiences.

So if you don’t like coffee, but do like a fruit pastry, make this recipe. It’s really good.


BlackBerry & Almond Tarts Ingredients
350g shortcrust pastry
350g fresh blackberries
125g unsalted butter
1tsp vanilla extract or essence
2 eggs
200g ground almonds
150g blackberry jam
50g flaked almonds

Line a non stick baking tray with baking paper. If you’re making your own pastry, follow the steps in this Lemon Tart recipe. Trim the pastry so it fits the tin. Then gently crimp the edges with your fingers to keep the jam from running. Grab a fork and poke little holes all over the pastry. Turn on oven to 180°C and chill the pastry for 20 minutes, while the oven warms up. Bake for about 15 minutes, until it just starts turning golden.

Leave to cool for a bit, then spread all your jam evenly across the pastry. In a bowl, lightly beat the eggs with the vanilla extract and set aside. In a separate bowl, mix the sugar and butter until all light and creamy. Gradually add your eggy mix a little at a time until combined. Finally fold in your ground almonds until mixed through, but don’t over work it.

Spread your almond butter mix all over the jam as evenly as possible. Don’t worry if it swirls a bit with the jam. Then push the fresh blackberries into the tart. Pop in the oven and cook for 10 minutes. Then sprinkle with the flaked almonds and bake for another 10 minutes. Leave it to cool, then cut into bars. Best served with good coffee.

Lemon Tart

You may have already guessed this, but I’ve got a bit of a thing for puddings. It comes out with a vengence when the weather is dull and I want nothing more than to scoff a chocolate tart, whip up some pancakes and slather everything in toffee sauce goodness. It usually disappears when the sun comes out, but I’m stuck in a rainy April so not really sure where I stand. I need zesty spring flavour that has the heritage of a proper pudding. So I settle on Lemon tart.

This recipe is a real winner and inspired by an old Mrs Beeston book I discovered hunting round a boot fair. Mrs Beeston gives plenty of tips, but using a squeeze of lemon juice in the shortcrust pastry seems to make it that little bit crispier. Plus adding in Jamie Oliver’s tip of using egg wash when blind baking gives it a little waterproof force field ensuring a super crispy base.

The Crust
250g plain flour
pinch of salt
125 cubed or grated and butter.
squeeze of half a lemon
100ml iced water

Sift the flour and salt into the food processor, add the butter and blitz away until it looks like breadcrumbs. In a bowl add about a third of the lemon juice water to the mixture. Bring everything together until there are no dry lumps of flour. Carefully make a ball with the pastry then flatten and cover in cling film. Pop in the fridge to chill.

The Tart 
150g caster sugar
90ml double cream
6 egg yolks
1 beaten egg
150g butter, melted
40g ground almonds
zest and juice of 2 large lemons. Go for half lime, half lemon if you want a real zing!

I know I’ve banged on about this before, but it’s important to have chilled pastry. Make sure it’s been in the chiller for at least an hour before using it. Roll out the pastry on a floured surface and place in a pie dish, leaving extra pastry hanging over the edge. Then line the  pastry with baking paper and fill with baking beans. I’m not organised enough to own baking beans so I used dry rice.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and bake the pasty for 35 minutes, until firm and brown. Remove the paper beans or rice, brush the base with the beaten egg and bake for another 5 minutes.  Remove and reduce the oven down to 120 degrees.

Now make your filling by beating together the sugar and cream. Then beat in the egg yolks. Slowly beat in the melted butter, adding just a little at a time. Fold in the almonds with all the lemon juice and zest.  Pour in the cooled pastry case and bake for 40 minutes, or until set.

Trim the pastry hanging over the edge with a sharp knife and wait impatiently for it to cool to room temperature. This is probably the hardest bit, so let’s say an hours wait at the least. Enjoy.