Friday, March 20, 2009

Challenge Book #35 - Plum Baklava Tarts

Traditional nursery rhymes are all very well, but I prefer my own versions. Like this.

Little Jack Horner sat in a corner eating a plum baklava tart.
He put in his thumb and pulled out a plum.
And then scoffed the lot.

Much better. Or this.

Mary had a little plum backlava tart
It's cream as white as snow.
Everywhere that Mary went
These tarts were sure to go.

She took a batch to school one day
And they all scoffed the lot.

Just wouldn't make sense any other way.

These tarts tick all the boxes - they are easy, attractive and taste darn good. The baklava component is a bit of an abstract interpretation. Demerera sugar, ginger, cinnamon and ground almonds (the recipe specifices walnuts, but I hate them) is layered between sheets of filo pastry. The sugar provides a great crunch and the ginger is just inspired. It complements the plums beautifully.

I think you could make these with any manner of fruit. I think pears or apple would be fantastic. Or how about some poached quinces. I think that would be really superb!!!!!

This recipe is of course from Challenge Book #34 in the KJ wants a kitchen Aid Challenge. This is the Best which is the book from the TV series of the same name. I adored this show. It starred Ben Donoghue (right) , Paul Merrett (left) and Silvana Franco (middle). Each week they would cook a dish based on a given theme like sweet breakfasts or cheesy snacks. The dishes were judged by a group of three food lovers. I am so disappointed that it never went to a second series.

This particular recipe was by Paul, who was my favourite. At the time I was more enamored of his smile than his food. But every recipe of his that I have tried has been excellent. In fact every recipe I have tried from this book has been excellent. Silvana's recipe for spaghetti carbonora is the best I have ever tasted.

Plum Baklava Tart
(adapted from the Best)

12 ripe plums, stoned and quartered
85gm caster sugar
50gm ground nuts (walnuts or almonds)
2 tbspn demerera sugar
1/4 tspn ground cinnamon
1/4 tspn ground ginger
6 large sheets of filo pastry
85gm butter, melted

Cook the plums with the caster sugar for 10-12 minutes. The plums should be soft but still hold their shape.

Mix together the ground nuts, demera sugar, cinnamon and ginger. Cut the filo pastry into 12 equal sized squares, which are large enough to fit into a muffin mold. Brush a layer of filo with the melted butter and sprinkle with the nut mixture. Place another square on top to form a star shape and repeat. Add a third and final filo sheet.

Push the pastry square into a greased muffin mold. Allow the points of the pastry to stick up. Place a ball of foil into the middle of the pastry. Bake in a 190C oven for 5-8 minutes until just beginning to colour.

Remove the pastry cases and spoon in the plum mixture. Serve immediately with a dollop of thick cream or ice cream.


At 4:19 am, Blogger grace said...

i definitely prefer your versions of those nursery rhymes. anything involving baklava deserves praise. :)

At 8:19 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ooh .. that looks very good. :)

At 6:00 am, Blogger Elle said...

Marvelous interpretation of the nursery rhymes. The tart looks sooo good. Bet it would be good with cherries or apricots, too.

At 5:50 am, Blogger Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

These are certainly way up there on Bellini's list of things to try:D

At 11:25 am, Blogger DamnCuteBunny said...

Ha! I made it past your baked fudge easily, only to be stopped in my tracks by the plum baklava tarts. Fruit, pastry and cream will always do that to me. Thanks for posting, I'd love to make (and eat) them!

At 7:24 pm, Blogger Amanda at Little Foodies said...

I love baklava but often want something fruity alongside it so these sound perfect. I used to watch The Best but didn't ever see a book. Not that we need any more cookery books...


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