Unable to make anything involving weights and measures, and desperate for success following the coconut-pie debacles*, we decided to go with something simple this week.
We made Blueberry Tarts
One sheet of ready-rolled puff pastry**
Two punnets of blueberries
One small, or half a large tub of mascarpone
Icing sugar to taste
A little milk or beaten egg
First turn on the oven to a medium heat (200 in our case), get out baking sheets and line with baking parchment.
Next cut the pastry into eight equal squares.
Use a sharp knife to draw a wide border around the outside of each square, then prick the middle of each square with a fork.
Brush the border with milk or beaten egg to make it nice and glossy when it bakes.
If you want to leave the filling uncooked, for fresh, light tarts, pile baking beans into the middle of each tart case and pop them into the oven for fifteen minutes.
When you realise you have no baking beans in the house, scrabble wildly in cupboards until you come up with an acceptable substitute.
Make sure whatever you use is non-toxic and won't get stuck in the pastry***.
You probably ought to buy baking beans at some point, really.
Take them out when they're done and allow them to cool before continuing.
When they have cooled, or immediately if you want to bake the filling, for a more cohesive and somehow richer-seeming tart**** move on to the mascarpone.
Squeeze the juice of the lemon into the mascarpone and beat with a fork.
Add a few tablespoons of icing sugar and beat vigorously.
Taste a little and add more icing sugar if necessary.
If it tastes too sweet, you needed to add less.
Dollop the mascarpone into the cases, or spoon onto the uncooked pastry bases taking care not to over-fill as it will flow out when baked.
Stud all over with blueberries.
If you pre-baked the pastry cases your work here is done.
If you plan to bake the filling, then stick the whole lot into the oven for twenty minutes.
When done replace any blueberries that have been washed overboard and allow to cool before eating.
Serve after something Small and Smaller Cooks don't much like and see how fast they eat it with the promise of tart for dessert.
*I bought a bottle of Malibu for those things.
**The pastry is pre-made as we had no way of weighing ingredients, but obviously this recipe would be even better made with fresh, home-made puff pastry.
***We settled for making little parcels of tin foil wrapped around rice.
****Somewhat galette like, in fact.