Bacon in desserts. It’s the best thing you can ask for.
Whether it’s bacon in cookies, brownies or ice-creams, it is simply divine. That intense, salty flavour of bacon has made it one of the most wanted ingredient in every baker’s life.
And, including it in my Apple and Peach Tart was by far the best decision I had ever made.
Somehow combining sweet and salty flavours has always worked well for me. But I must admit, at first, it felt a bit strange to add it to my tart.
Tarts may not have a surprise element but could be even more tastier than pies at times. They are so simple. No need for precision. Once you roll the dough out, transfer it to a tart shell and you’re done.
The most crucial part while making a tart though lies in the pastry. Once you get that right, whatever you may throw in it, will taste brilliant.
The good thing these days is that the readymade stuff is a great way out for all the lazy cooks but I CAN NEVER RELY ON THAT. I love making my own pastry and it definitely turns out much better.
The three core ingredients of pastry are butter, flour and water. The ratio of these ingredients will tell us how flaky our tart will end up being. Shortcrust pastry will generally have a “half-fat-to-flour” ratio.
My next challenge was finding a good tart crust recipe. I have always turned to Nigella Lawson when it comes to baking traditional pies but I was actually reading a great article in The Guardian at that moment, and the recipe there caught my attention. Gave it a try and it was such a big hit.
I always love to incorporate an egg so added it in this recipe has it enhances the flavours as well as helps to bind. But if you’re a vegan, then you can use an egg substitute. (add 1 tsp of vegetable oil and 2 tsps of baking powder to 2 tbsps of warm water)
You can always make your dough in advance and store in the fridge. The longer you keep it, the easier it becomes to roll out. The gluten in the dough, which has developed as you rolled it, relaxes and become less elastic.
Another great tip while blind baking is to place rice on the tart as this stops the pastry from puffing up when the water in the butter turns to steam.
The crumbliness of pastry is determined by the extent to which gluten molecules are allowed to form in the dough so make sure that you get the quantities right or else you will not enjoy your tart as much.
The flavours that I’ve tried to bring about here go ‘bang’ in your mouth. the bacon, apple and peach complement each other so well with the crunchiness of the walnuts.
Give it a try and let me know how it goes!
Adapted from The Guardian