The June Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict and Annemarie of Ambrosia and Nectar. They chose a Traditional (UK) Bakewell Tart… er… pudding that was inspired by a rich baking history dating back to the 1800’s in England.
For this occasion, I made prunus cocomilia jam. This fruit grows wild all over Serbia, and I’ve never seen it sold on the markets. It resembles plum, just, it’s a lot sourer and smaller, can be red or a bit larger, yellow. We used to eat this a lot when we were kids, as they mostly grow in parks or on abandoned fields. And if it’s used for something here it is for making rakija Serbian names would be dženarika, dženerika, šljivciga, purkača, ringlov… and while searching the net for it’s common name I found a page saying it was Italian plum. But, I don’t know about that, I know it grows all over the former republic of Yugoslavia. During the communist regime here, the state used to take away land from the farmers to build factories. This happened to my grand grand father’s land in Grocka, and they took half of his household to build jams and preserves factory (Grocka is famous for it’s peaches). When the turbulent times begun, it was shot down like the most of the state’s factories. We sometimes jump over the fence as there’s a lot of dženarika. In 20 years, the nature took over that place
500 g dženarika (prunus cocomilia), seeds removed, skins on
300 g sugar
innards of 1 vanilla bean
1 Tbsp Vinjak (Cognac can be used here, but I think it would be a blasphemy not to put Vinjak in here if you can find it ;))
Put fruit, sugar and vanilla in a pot and cook on high heat until it thickens. Don’t worry if there are a large pieces of the fruit. When the jam thickens enough, add Cognac and cook a little more, then, wait until it cools and transfer into jars. Stir occasionally while cooling.
Sweet Shortcrust Pastry
225 g flour
30 g sugar
1/2 tsp salt
110 g butter, frozen
2 egg yolks
15-30 ml cold water
Sift together flour, sugar and salt. Grate butter into the flour mixture. Using your finger tips only, and working very quickly, rub the fat into the flour until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Set aside.
Lightly beat the egg yolks and quickly mix into the flour mixture. Keep mixing while dribbling in the water, only adding enough to form a cohesive and slightly sticky dough.
Form the dough into a disc, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
125 g butter, softened
125 g powdered sugar
125 g ground almonds
30 g flour
Cream butter and sugar together for about a minute or until the mixture is primrose in color and very fluffy. Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. With the beaters on, spoon in the ground nuts and the flour. Mix well. The mixture will be soft, keep its slightly curdled look (mostly from the almonds) and retain its pallid yellow color.
Assembling: Place the chilled dough disc on a lightly floured surface. If it’s overly cold, you will need to let it become acclimatised for about 15 minutes before you roll it out. Flour the rolling pin and roll the pastry to 5mm thickness, by rolling in one direction only (start from the center and roll away from you), and turning the disc a quarter turn after each roll. When the pastry is to the desired size and thickness, transfer it to the tart pan, press in and trim the excess dough. Patch any holes, fissures or tears with trimmed bits. Chill in the freezer for 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 200C. Remove shell from freezer, spread as even a layer as you can of jam onto the pastry base. Top with frangipane, spreading to cover the entire surface of the tart. Smooth the top and pop into the oven for 30 minutes. Five minutes before the tart is done, the top will be poofy and brownish. Remove from oven and strew flaked almonds on top and return to the heat for the last five minutes of baking. Serve warm.
My notes: I don’t know why my paste wasn’t firm. Maybe, because I added too thick layer of jam. It got a lot firmer later when it cooled a bit. The amount was enough for one 20 cm and two 10 cm diameter tart pans.