Pastry week on The Great British Bake Off – another highlight of each series. I am not sure about other bakers, but pastry is my nemesis. I have only ever tried short crust (I am slightly scared of puff pastry) and it has been hit or miss every time. My greatest success so far has been a poppy-seed short crust pastry but I have never been able to repeat it since. As suggested by many chefs, ready-to-roll pastry is easy to use, so I have opted for that on more than one occasion. However after watching the contestants putting their hearts into pastry, I decided to give it another try…. and thank goodness that I did.Many Brits of my generation who suffered through school dinners should remember the Cornflake Tart. It was the highlight of my week in my school days (if I remember correctly, usually on a Thursday or Friday); I first made it a few years back at an international food party, and it went down a hit amongst the beautiful exotic dishes that my friends had made. It is very quick (once the pastry is made) and should hopefully bring back some fond childhood memories.
175g plain flour
85g butter (cold and cubed)
1 tbsp caster sugar
2 medium egg yolks
2 tbsp water (room temperature)
150g raspberry jam
25g golden caster sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup
Start with the pastry – place the flour and butter in a bowl, and use your (clean) fingers to rub together until the mixture resemble bread crumbs. Mix in the sugar with a spoon. Add 1 egg yolk and a tablespoon of water, and mix it in using a knife in a chopping motion. Add the other yolk and tablespoon of water and mix it in with a knife again. Once it starts to come together, use your hands to bring the dough into a ball. Wrap in cling-film and place in the fridge for an hour.Preheat the oven to 200C and generously grease a tart tin (I would highly recommend one with a removable base – as you will see in a minute). Take the dough from the fridge and place in the middle of the tart base. Roll outwards with a floured rolling-pin so that it is large enough to line your tart tin (but not too thick). Try not to over work the pastry too much as it will affect the bake. Once it is rolled out, fold the edges inwards, and carefully place the base into the outer part of the tin (see below). Unfold the edges and gently push into the sides of the tin. Leave any excess pastry on for now.Line the pastry case with some greaseproof paper, fill with baking beans (or rice if you do not have any) and bake for 10 minutes. Take out from the oven and remove the greaseproof paper and baking beans. Gently ‘scrap’ off the excess edge with a sharp knife, and prick the base of the tart all over with a fork. Place back in the oven and cook for 12 – 15 minutes, or until it is a nice pale brown colour and no longer moist.
Lower the oven to 180C and start on the filling. Heat the jam lightly in a saucepan until it is runny, and spread over the base of the tart. Melt the butter, golden syrup and sugar in a saucepan over a medium heat; once melted, remove from the heat and stir in the cornflakes. Spread evenly over the jam, then place in the oven for 10 – 15 minutes, or until the cornflakes turn golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 20 minutes before tucking in, as this will allow the cornflake topping to firm up slightly.This is great served hot with custard, cold with cream, or completely on its own. Enjoy