Entry 3: Peach and Almond Tart

Clearly the confidence I gained from my previous two efforts went to my head, otherwise I’d have gone for something a little less ambitious:

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/625639/peach-and-almond-tart

The inspiration this week was a baking competition at work. I put this together on the weekend so that if my legendary baking skills failed me, I’d have time to whip up a plan B.

Not that anything would go wrong.

At all.

Let’s start at the beginning though. The last time I made something pastry based was way back in secondary school in Home Economics. (This should give you an idea of how old I am – do schools even do Home Economics and cooking classes anymore? ). Yet even though it was such a long time ago, I still remember one very interesting lesson. The cooking class followed on from a very muddy game of rugby for physical education and I remember looking across the table at someone else whose hands were still muddy. After kneading his pastry, his hands were clean, especially under the fingernails.

I made a point of steering well clear of his work when it came to tasting. oO

So, after washing my hands, I put together my ingredients for the tart:

 

So apparently from this stuff, pastry happens.

So apparently from this stuff, pastry happens.

 

Unfortunately the recipe I used wasn’t very clear about how to mix pastry properly. After adding the second egg and second teaspoon of water, the pastry really wasn’t binding together very well. I vaguely recalled adding small amounts of water in the past to help pastry bind together, but how much? Another teaspoon? A tablespoon? Should I just hook it up to a hosepipe? It was mildy frustrating. I settled on adding a teaspoon of water each time until the pastry started to get slightly tacky to the touch and then popped it in the fridge:

 

At least Steve McQueen didn't have to hit his Blob with a rolling pin.

At least Steve McQueen didn’t have to hit his Blob with a rolling pin.

 

The almond sponge filling proved a little easier and mixed together in a way I was happy with. I think this is the point where I made a fatal mistake. The recipe called for the pastry to be partially baked before the sponge mix was added and when I took the pastry out of the oven, it looked very close to being done. Instead of following my instinct, I stuck to the recipe, baking times and all:

 

The finished tart.

The finished tart.

 

The result was not entirely successful. The pastry turned out over done and very solid – not very nice at all. -.- When it came to the almond sponge centre, I think things went a little better. It was fairly moist – possibly a little too moist but baked properly. All in all, I think if I’d managed to get the pastry to a satisfactory point, I’d be chalking this one up as a “win”. Pastry is definitely something I need to practice more before I start making it for anyone else. Perhaps part of the problem was the way I mixed it together:

 

It took two seconds for him to push the "On" button and two hours to clean the walls afterwards.

It took two seconds for him to push the “On” button and two hours to clean the walls afterwards.

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