I'm going to start out this post with complete honesty - pie week broke me a little. I had a bit of an Iain style strop halfway through and walked out of the kitchen. It wasn't pretty. You very nearly got a photo of our kitchen bin today instead of a post. I did eventually manage to figure out my many, many mistakes and the post was back on, but one of my favourite things about watching The Great British Bake Off is actually seeing their mistakes and hearing why they happened so that I can learn and improve my own baking so mortifying as it is (food bloggers put a lot of pressure on ourselves to present you with only the best) I'm going to share with you some of the ways this bake went wrong for me the first time and how to do it the right way. So, pies and tarts week here we go...
I've only ever made pies once before and it all went incredibly smoothly considering my lack of experience. Perfectly crispy pastry, no burns, no soggy bottoms, tasty filling - mince pies you were the perfect first bake. So partly out of my complete misunderstanding of how bloody difficult pie and tart week really would be and partly out of wanting to capture the spirit of the show and really challenge myself, I wanted to try something a little trickier technically this week because I am naive and foolish. It all turned out okay in the end though - enter the Peach Iced Tea Tart.
For about the last fortnight I've been completely obsessed with Peach Iced Tea. Probably because it's about to be winter and so is the worst time to be obsessed with a drink that's made of ice but also probably because I'm finding it impossible to make at home and of course the more I can't get hold of it, the more I crave. So after looking at several recipes for peach tarts online ahead of this weeks The Great Blogger Bake Off, I decided the addition of some traditional breakfast tea flavours would be a perfect way to get this flavour combination at home in the colder weather.
I've adapted this from a few other recipes to make small, single serving tarts (a very generous serving though!) because that's the only way it would work for me. It should make at least 4, so enough for a dinner party or for several treats to yourself.
Don't forget to check out the rest of the Blogger Bake Off bakes here, I've been really enjoying seeing all the other bakes and reading your comments about what you've been inspired to create during this series. This week I'd also love to hear about your baking disasters so leave a comment and let me if you've been joining in with pie week and which bakes got the better of you!
100g Granulated Sugar
100g Brown Sugar
250g Plain Flour
Pinch of Salt
For the filling:
750ml Whole Milk
3 egg yolks
100g Granulated Sugar
Pinch of Salt
1tsp Vanilla Extract
1tbsp Brown Sugar
Start by bringing a saucepan of water to the boil and then heat the peaches for about 2-3 minutes. Peel the skin from the peaches and cut into slices, then set aside.
To make the pastry start by creaming your butter and two types of sugar until smooth. This week I am without my electric mixer (yay moving!) and I had not realised how reliant I've become on it until I had to go back to creaming things by hand. First world problems, right? Next stir in the flour and salt until it comes together, roll into a ball, wrap in cling film and pop it into the fridge for 30 minutes.
While the pastry cools you can make your custard. In a small saucepan, heat the milk and tea for about 4-5 minutes or until it turns brown. You don't need any fancy tea for this one, just standard teabags or breakfast tea will be fine. Remove the teabags and whisk in the egg yolks and vanilla extract. In a separate pan mix together the sugar, cornflour and salt then slowly add the milk, a bit at a time, to make a smooth sauce. Cook on a medium heat for five minutes, stirring constantly, to form a thick custard. Here is where it started to go wrong for me, I got impatient and convinced my custard wasn't going to get thick enough so tried to add more cornstarch without sifting it and ended up with huge lumps. Don't do this. You'll have to try and sieve it later which is a huge pain. Just be patient with it. Transfer the custard to a bowl or jug and pop into the fridge - remember that it'll thicken more at this stage too.
Lightly butter 4 small pastry tins. Unwrap the pastry and split into four parts. Roll each out on a floured surface until slightly bigger than your tins then gently lift and place into the tin, pressing lightly down at the edges to fill the sides. Use a sharp knife to trim any excess pastry. This is where I ran into more trouble, you need to cover the pastry with some baking paper and fill it with baking beads or dried beans or rice. The recipe I was adapting the pastry mix from didn't say to do this (and I thought after the problems with the custard I should really stop messing with things!) but if you don't your pastry will move and you'll end up with huge bubbles in the bottom of it which will make it crack and not hold its shape. I nearly cried during my first attempt from not trusting my instincts on this one. Anyway, bake (with your baking beads please!) at 190c for 10 minutes, until golden.
Remove the baking beads and spoon 2-3 tablespoons of custard into each tart then top with peach slices and a sprinkle of brown sugar. Put back into the oven and bake for a further 20 minutes. Let it cool in the tin. My final mistake was cutting into it straight from the oven because I thought it would great warm but it was just a sloppy mess. Let it cool down a little and the custard will hold its shape when you cut into it. Serve with a large helping of extra thick cream.