Cookbook Review: The Little Paris Kitchen and raspberry and almond tartlets (+video)
Sometimes French food takes precision and patience, but in 'The Little Paris Kitchen' BBC star Rachel Khoo balances classic recipes with simplicity to make French cuisine achievable every day.
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Tartlets aux framboises et amandes (Raspberry and almond tartlets)
From Rachel Khoo, "The Little Paris Kitchen"
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6 tablespoons soft butter
1 teaspoon sugar
A pinch of salt
1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons ice-cold water
For the almond cream:
2 cups ground almonds
1 cup sugar
Scant 1 cup of soft butter
10 ounces of raspberries or other fruit
1. Using a wooden spoon, beat together the butter, sugar, and salt until soft and creamy (you could also use a hand mixer on low for this step). Mix in the flour, followed by the egg yolks, and ice-cold water. Bring together to make a smooth ball, adding a little more water if the pastry is too crumbly (I had to add about 2 extra tablespoons). Only knead as much as necessary to bring the dough together. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of an hour, or overnight. (I did about 50 minutes and my dough was just a little too soft.)
2. Make the cream: Beat the almonds, sugar, and butter just until smooth, then beat in the eggs.
3. Remove the pastry from the fridge 30 minutes before using and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease your pan(s). Roll out the pastry between two sheets of parchment paper until 1/8-1/4-inch thick (don't go too thin, or it will stick to the parchment paper). Cut your dough to fit your pans. Place carefully in the pans and prick each base several times with a fork (I must confess, I forgot this step and my tarts turned out fine).
4. Spread the almond cream in the pastry shells, leaving a small gap at the top, and arrange the raspberries (or other fruit) on top, keeping them close together so that they almost cover the cream. Trip off any pastry overhang.
5. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the pastry edges are golden brown. (If using tartlet pans with removable bottoms don't forget to place a foil-lined cookie sheet or another pan below them in the oven so the don't drip all over the place. I must confess, I forgot to do this step.) Best eaten warm, cold is fine, too, but definitely not refrigerated.
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