Thursday, 10 October 2013

Great British Bake Off Challenge - Week 4 - Custard Tarts

Finally, after 4 weeks of our Milk, Egg, Wheat and Soya Free Challenge, the nice people at The Great British Bake Off have given us a slightly easier technical challenge! Not sure how Gemma from Iced Gem Bakes is getting on this week though, go and check out her blog here

On my first go, this amount made 12, but next time I did it, I wanted them to be deeper. There was enough for 6 muffin tin sized ones and a tray of sunflower biscuits.

On my first attempt I just used a thick custard, with a little gelatine to give it a better line when cut. But then it didn't have the smooth top of a real custard tart so I had another go with a panna cotta type filling. Much better than thick custard as even has the slight 'wobble' of the real thing.

We're lucky that at home we don't need to be nut free (shame can't say same for school, preschool or childminder as it's a great source of protein that Mini Monster doesn't react to) and I love the taste of a custard made with the Almond cream in a cold tart (used it for the fruit tarts for afternoon tea, posted some time in July...), but works equally well with Oat cream, which is my default custard cream. Not actually tried the rice cream yet, but it is becoming more readily available.

175g Wheat Free Plain Flour (can use ordinary plain flour if you don't need wheat free, as original recipe was not wheat free) 
1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
65g Dairy and Soya Free Spread (Pure/Vitalite)
30g Sugar (I used soft brown to give pastry a bit more colour)
2tbsp Dairy and Soya Free Cream (Oat, Almond or Rice Cream) or Milk Substitute (but this gives slightly tougher pastry)
2tbsp Golden Syrup
1/2 tsp Vanilla Paste (or extract)

Put dry ingredients in a bowl.

Rub in dairy and soya free spread and vanilla.

Add syrup and 'cream' and mix with a blunt knife until it comes together.

Kneed lightly, and roll out on a floured surface.

Cut rounds slightly larger than the dips in the tin you are using.

Gently press into the greased tin.

Bake at 180ÂșC for about 12-15 mins, until they are just beginning to colour and coming away from the sides of the tin.

To stop the pastry going soft, brush the insides with apricot jam while still warm (or, I brushed with gelatine - 1 sheet soaked in water for 10 mins, drain, microwave for 10 seconds until dissolved, brush generously over inside of pastry cases.)

1tbsp Custard Powder
1tbsp Sugar
1/2 tsp Vanilla Paste
200mls Milk Substitute
200mls Dairy and Soya Free Cream (Almond, Oat or Rice)
4 Leaves of Gelatine (soaked in water for 10 minutes) or 2 Sachets of Veg Gel if need to be vegan
Grated Nutmeg

Mix custard powder, vanilla, sugar and some grated nutmeg (depends how strong you like the taste, I used about 1/4 tsp - better to use less if you're not sure and adjust taste by grating on top if not strong enough flavour in custard) to a paste with a little of the milk substitute (if using Veg Gel, needs to be added at this stage - follow instructions on box).

Add rest of milk substitute and heat gently, stirring constantly until boiling and beginning to thicken (or bung in microwave for 1 minute, stir and microwave again for 1 1/2 - 2 mins until boiled.).

Add Gelatine (if using) and stir until dissolved.

Mix in the cream.

Carefully pour into the pastry cases. Pop any bubbles on the surface.

Grate on a little more nutmeg and put in fridge to set (at least 3 hours).