Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Here comes summer…..

Tarte aux framboises
Phew! What a scorcher! We can’t believe we’re baking in this glorious hot weather. Grandma would be making use of the range of summer fruits to celebrate the pleasure of these wonderful summery days. There would be raspberry pies and homemade raspberry jam especially using what was best from the garden. You can find all her recipes in Grandma Abson’s Traditional Baking book.

I’ve just got back from a fantastic holiday in the Vercors district of the French Alps. I met Dominique Fluzin who along with his wife Marie-Jose runs La Taiga, a lovely hotel  in the village of Villard de Lans. The Hotel gets its name from a link with the Siberian Forest as it hosted members of the Russian Olympic team who stayed for the Winter Olympics in Grenoble in 1968! The sporting links don’t end there as Dominique offers expert guidance for cyclists, walkers and winter sports enthusiasts throughout the year.
Dominique and Marie Jose are particularly keen to offer guests a taste of local traditional food including Tartiflette and Ravioles. I was delighted when he wrote out his family recipe for Tarte aux framboises for me. The flavour is enhanced with ground almonds, akin to Grandma's Bakewell Pudding. I’ve made a British version of his recipe using a thin base of Grandma’s shortcrust pastry not unlike French pate brisee which uses butter and egg to mix with the flour.

Tarte aux framboises / Raspberry Tarte

Line a large flan dish with Shortcrust Pastry (Dominique uses Puff Pastry /Pate feuilletee) and bake blind for around 10 minutes. Allow to cool.

160g/6oz caster sugar
3 eggs
75g/3oz butter (melted)
70g/2½oz ground almonds
150g/5½oz raspberries
Beat the eggs and sugar until they are creamy white. Add the melted butter and ground almonds. Mix in the raspberries.
Pour the mixture into the flan case and bake in the oven for approximately 30 minutes at 180C/Mark 4/350F.
Dominique decorated his Tarte aux Framboises with chocolate vermicelli but you could always dust with icing sugar.

Meryl’s tip :  I made this quantity for 2 smaller flan dishes with one to save for later!  
Let’s make the most of the sun, and our local produce while we can. Dominique's recipe is already bringing back wonderful memories of a fantastic ‘sejour’ in the Alpes. Have you got a summer recipe to share? 

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