Makes a 23cm bakewell tart
For the pastry:
140g plain flour, plus extra to sprinkle
85g cold butter, plus extra to grease
Pinch of salt
Ice cold water
For the frangipane:
110g caster sugar
110g ground almonds
25g plain flour
½tsp baking powder
Zest of ½ lemon
For the compote (or use 100g low-sugar raspberry jam):
250g raspberries (fresh or frozen)
25-35g caster sugar depending on sweetness of tooth
Juice of ½ lemon
25g flaked almonds, to top
To make the pastry, mix the flour and salt in a bowl, and then grate in the cold butter. Rub this into the flour, then stir in just as much cold water as you need to bring it together into a dough; it should not be sticky. Alternatively use a food processor. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for at least an hour. Preheat the oven to 190C (170C fan)/gas mark 5.
Grease a 23cm tart tin and roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface until large enough to line the tin. Do so, then line with baking paper and weigh down with baking beans or dried pulses. Bake for about 15 minutes until golden.
Meanwhile, make the compote, if using, by putting the berries into a small pan with the sugar and lemon juice and bringing to the boil. Simmer for about 12 minutes until thickened. Allow to cool slightly.
To make the frangipane, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy, then beat in the eggs. Fold in the dry ingredients and zest and a pinch of salt.
Remove the paper and beans and return the pastry to the oven for a couple of minutes until golden. Spread the compote over the base, and top with the frangipane. Level out and bake for 25 minutes until golden and well risen. Add the almonds on top in the last 5 minutes of cooking.
When it comes to bakewells, are you a pudding person or a tart fancier? Do you ring the changes with fruit, or stick with red jam? And does anyone still cling to the custard version?
Serves 4-6 (main course/side dish)
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
800g good tinned tomatoes
150ml red wine
Pinch of sugar
1/2 tsp dried oregano
Oil, to fry
200g mozzarella, thinly sliced
125g Parmesan, grated
Handful of basil leaves
Cut the aubergines lengthways into 5mm slices, sprinkle with salt and leave in a colander to drain for half an hour.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a medium pan over a medium-high heat and add the garlic. Fry for a minute, then tip in the tomatoes and wine. Bring to the boil, mashing the tomatoes, stir and then turn down the heat slightly. Add a pinch of sugar, a little seasoning and the oregano, and simmer gently for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Puree until smooth.
Preheat the oven to 180C. Put a large pan of water on to boil if you’re feeling healthy. Rinse the aubergines well, and dry thoroughly with kitchen paper. Pour enough oil into a frying pan to coat the bottom well, and put on a high heat. Fry half (healthy) or all (not), of the aubergine slices until golden brown on both sides, working in batches. Put the cooked slices on paper towel to drain. Blanch the other half, if necessary, in the boiling water for 2 minutes, then drain well.
Lightly grease a baking dish and spread with a thin layer of tomato sauce, followed by a layer of aubergines (packing them tightly), mozzarella, Parmesan and seasoning. Add another layer of aubergines, followed by tomato sauce, the cheeses and seasoning. Repeat this order until you have used up all the aubergine, finishing with a layer of sauce (you may not need all the sauce) – keep a little Parmesan back for the top.
Toss the breadcrumbs with a little olive oil and Parmesan and sprinkle on top. Bake for about 30 minutes, until bubbling and browned, then allow to cool slightly and sprinkle with torn basil before serving.
Aubergine parmigiana: the perfect warming dish for those is it?/isn’t it? spring days, or one best left until aubergines and tomatoes are at their summery peak? Warm or cold, fried or baked – how do you like yours, and what other examples are there of sunny dishes that work well in not-so-sunny climes?