Tour de Fruits et de la Crème
I have to say that I am very proud of this one as the recipe isn’t based on anything else and is designed completely from my imagination. There is great texture with crisp biscuit, creamy crème patissiere, crunchy almonds and smooth icing alongside fantastic flavour from the raspberries, honey and cinnamon. It’s also quite easy to make combining simple techniques into a more complex product. I did however struggle with a name, hence me resorting to a pretentious French one…
This serves 10 people.
Ingredients: (Ounce to Gram Conversion Chart)
9oz Plain Flour
9oz Icing Sugar
1tsp Ground Cinnamon
½ tsp Salt
4oz Butter (soften in a microwave for 10-15 seconds, full-power)
8 Eggs (just the yolks needed, save the whites for something else)
500ml Milk (I used semi-skimmed)
2tsps Vanilla Extract
2 ½ oz Caster Sugar
6oz Whole Almonds (blanched or with skins, up to you)
300ml Double Cream
2tbsps Raspberry Jam (preferably seedless)
Start by making the three biscuit layers. Take a cake tin and draw around it on a sheet of baking paper. Cut the resulting circle out to be used as a template. Line three baking trays with baking paper and “glue” the paper down with butter.
Into a large mixing bowl, sieve 8oz plain flour, 4oz icing sugar, 1tsp cinnamon and ½ tsp salt. Mix together evenly with a whisk. Cut 4oz butter into small cubes and rub into the flour mixture with your fingertips until fine “breadcrumbs” are formed.
Add two egg yolks and bring together into a dough with your hands; no other liquid is needed. Wrap the dough in Clingfilm and chill in the fridge for at least one hour.
Pre-heat the oven to 180oC (350oF, Gas Mark 4).
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough with a rolling pin to about 3mm thickness. Turn and flip the pastry after every couple of rolls to stop it sticking to the work surface. Use the circle of baking paper to cut out a circle of pastry with a knife.
Place the circle of pastry onto one of the prepared baking trays and prick all over with a fork.
Gather up the pastry and repeat twice more.
Bake the biscuits for 8 minutes and then take out of the oven and allow to cool completely.
Next the crème patissiere:
In a medium size pan on a medium heat, bring the milk and vanilla to the boil.
In a large glass bowl, whisk the remaining six egg yolks and the caster sugar until pale and double in volume.
Sieve in 1oz plain flour and the cornflour and whisk to combine.
Once the milk has boiled, carefully pour it onto the egg mixture but try to avoid pouring the skin in as well. Whisk together and then transfer the whole mixture to a clean pan on a medium heat. Whisk continuously with a hand whisk until thick and smooth. Transfer the crème patissiere to a bowl to cool slightly.
Line the cake tin that you used earlier with Clingfilm (easier said than done)
Place one of the biscuits at the bottom of the tin. Spread the crème patissiere on top and smooth off. Allow to cool and then place another biscuit on top of the crème patissiere. Place in the fridge to set.
Put the almonds in a plastic bag and bash with a rolling pin to break the almonds into rough chunks. Place in a frying pan with the honey on a medium heat and cook until the honey darkens and the almonds are fully coated. Place on baking paper to cool.
In a glass bowl, whisk the cream into whipped cream. Take the cake tin out of the fridge and spread the cream on top of the biscuit. Place a ring of raspberries around the edge. Fill the middle with the almonds.
Place the remaining biscuit on top.
Mix 5oz icing sugar with some water to produce a thick paste. Spread the icing on top of the biscuit in as neat a circle as possible.
Heat the jam in a small pan on a low heat until loose. Transfer to a piping bag and pipe lines across the icing as shown below.
Use a cocktail stick to “feather” the icing by dragging it through the icing perpendicular to the lines of jam. Place back in the fridge to set.
Carefully remove everything from the cake tin and peel off the Clingfilm. Enjoy.