Tuesday, 6 September 2011

The Great British Bake Off - episode two - Pastry

I'm a bit behind with these so I need to catch up, episode four is  tonight and I have reading group so I have put it on to record while I am out having my dinner cooked for me - yummy.  I will not go back and check that I have recorded it correctly - yet again!   If it doesn't record I can watch the repeat on - er - whenever it is on - Sunday I think.  Anyway, I am not going to check - I'm not.

Moving on. The week before lasts  challenge was pastry.  Specifically pastry tarts.  There were big tarts, little tarts and some in-between  sized tarts.  There were savoury tarts and sweet tarts.  As CCV was coming to lunch I decided to make a savoury tart.  I liked the idea of Jason's Salmon and Pak Choi quiche but CCV doesn't do fish so I opted for Ian's Spinach, Potato and Stilton Quiche with a walnut and paprika crust because it looked nice, sounded nice and Ian seemed a nice man.  CCV finds walnuts do not agree with her so I substituted hazelnuts.

I had never added egg to savoury pastry before and I liked the effect although I didn't use all the egg.

The tip of rolling pastry  out between sheets of food wrap was brilliant.  Unfortunately I didn't work the pastry enough as it was a wee bit crumbly when cooked. It wasn't dreadful but could have done with being a bit less flaky.   I found out this was the cause of my crumbliness when I replayed the recording and listened to Paul Hollywood's advice.  Afterwards.  It would have been helpful to watch the programme before I started cooking really.

The pastry went into the fridge for half an hour and I set about cooking the new potatoes and wilting the spinach.  After wilting I had to squeeze the liquid out of the spinach which took forever.  I don't know if there is a special technique or a spinach squeezer contraption available but I did it with my hands.  Messy, messy, messy and having started with 200g I ended up with the smallest amount ever.  There has to be a better way.

Anyway, after blind baking the pastry for far longer than the recipe said (not because I forgot about it - for a change - but because it needed it) I lined it with sliced, cooked new potatoes - seven in total but I found that to be too many so the ends found their way into my mouth.  Cooks privilege.  After crumbling the stilton onto the potatoes I spooned over the cream, egg, spinach,  nutmeg, lemon zest, cayenne, thyme and parmesan mixture. It is on occasions like this  when the recipe says spoon, one should really spoon the whole time, not decide halfway to tip,  because  there wasn't enough pastry for the amount of liquid.  Thus the liquid started to seep over the edges of the pastry and out of the bottom of the  tart tin onto the baking tray so I quickly shoved it in the oven whereby the tart tin started to slide backwards off the baking tray.   I shut the oven door, quickly.

After the required cooking time I opened the oven door to find the tart tin thankfully still on the baking tray.  It hadn't leaked too much and had set nicely.  Predictably it didn't look like Ian's quiche, the spinach having migrated to the middle for starters,  but that's alright because I am embracing the character of my cooking.  CCV thought it looked nice and she thought it tasted very nice and we had seconds and that is what matters.

I was just  happy there weren't any major disasters. 

I would definitely make it again preferably with the walnut crust but I would make extra pastry, any left over could be frozen perhaps.  Also I would possibly leave out the parmesan and increase the stilton.  

I think this could be classed a success. 

I checked again.  To make sure the recorder was set up for tonight.  Is this a problem I wonder? 

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