March 28, 2014

Blackberry and Almond Slice

Spring has sprung and I'm all for it. Even though anytime I leave the house I still need my coat and gloves. It's cold in Ireland. It's beautifully bright though, relatively dry and you can feel, and see Spring around. Daffodils are everywhere. They're such a happy flower. 

When I think of Spring: fresh berries, lemon, basil, bright evenings, sunglasses and exposed ankles come to mind. The freshest and juiciest of foods, too. I am absolutely OBSESSED with watermelon at the moment. I cannot get enough of the's so refreshing.

 What are your favourite things about Spring? 

This blackberry and almond slice is a take on a Bakewell Tart-it has the backbone of the classic cake but with a personal twist. 

I've used fresh blackberries instead jam and shop bought puff pastry instead of homemade shortcrust pastry. It is assembled differently too. Ok maybe it's nothing like it!!

My friend Hilary is a really cool lady. She is the chef at 3FE . Robyn, the pastry chef, has been taking the 'throw back thursday' hashtag (#tbt) to a whole new level. Every week Robyn bakes an old school classic treat and sells them in 3FE on Lower Grand Canal Street. They go on sale and they sell fast. 

What have they been throwing back too? Goodies like: Jammy Dodgers, Wagon Wheels, Swiss Roll and of course, The Bakewell Tart. What an amazing idea? To be honest, I'm a little jealous I didn't think of it myself!! 

A little brainstorming and recipe research and here we are with my blackberry and almond slice. A blackberries and almond filling, called frangipane, baked inside puff pastry which is sprinkle with sugar and flaked almonds.

I love how blackberries stain everything they touch....except my white clothes! When they bake, they burst and turn cakes several shades of pink. 

SO PRETTY...and so tasty! Chances are if it looks good, it's gonna taste good. 

This slice is a winner. It's sweet, juicy and almondy. 

The blackberry juices bake into the cakey almond centre, the puff pastry crisps beautifully, the sugar on the outside of it caramelises and flaked almonds toast. It's a crowed pleaser and really pretty to look at. 

All it needs is a dollop of cream and you're in dessert Spring heaven. 


Holly, x

For this recipe, you'll need: 1 sheet pre-rolled puff pastry, 75g softened unsalted butter,85g caster sugar, 2 small eggs, 100g ground almonds, 1 punnet blackberries, 1 egg, for eggwash, 1 tablespoons demerara sugar and 
20-40g flaked almonds.

To begin: cream together the softened butter and caster sugar until soft. Try and not whip this, you don't want to add too much air.

Crack the eggs in, one at a time, and stir in until incorporated. 

Add in the ground almonds and stir until you have a thicker paste. 

This is your frangipane. Feel free to add some almond extract for extra flavour. 

Unroll the puff pastry and lay on the lined baking sheet. Place the blackberries in the centre of the pastry, leaving a good border around them.

Spread the frangipane over the berries and...

...make slits, 1 inch apart, on either side of the frangipane.

Egg wash the slits and cross them over the frangipane...

...overlapping as you go to create a nice pattern. 

Fold in and up the ends, egg wash and press to seal to the pastry. 

Egg wash the pastry all over, sprinkle with demerara sugar and flaked almonds. 

Bake in a preheated oven of 180C for 35-45 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before glazing.

Recipe, 8-10 Slices. Inspired by my good friend, Hilary.

1 Sheets Pre-rolled Puff Pastry, 270g
75g Softened Unsalted Butter
85g Caster Sugar
2 Small Eggs
100g Ground Almonds
1 Punnet Blackberries
1 Egg, for eggwash
1  Tablespoons Demerara Sugar
20-40g Flaked Almonds

Preheat an oven to 180C and line a baking sheet with parchment.
Cream together, in a bowl, the softened butter and caster sugar until smooth. 
Crack in the eggs, one at a time, and stir until incorporated.
Add in the ground almonds and stir until you have a paste-this is your frangipane.
Unroll the pastry and place on the lined baking sheet.
Lay the blackberries down the centre of the puff pastry, leaving a 2-3 inch border around them.
Spread the frangipane on top of the blackberries.
Slice diagonal slits in the puff pastry, 1 inch apart on either side of the blackberry and frangipane centre.
Brush the slits liberally with egg wash and fold over the frangipane, alternating to make a criss-cross decoration.
Fold in and up the ends, egg wash and seal.
Egg wash the entire pastry and sprinkle with demerara sugar and flaked almonds. 
Place in the preheated oven and bale for 35-45 minutes. 
Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before glazing. 

Glaze, optional

4-6 Blackberries
4-8 Tablespoons Icing Sugar

Mash the blackberries in a bowl.
Stir in 4 tablespoons of icing sugar.
Keep adding icing sugar until you have a thick glaze which you can drizzle over the completely cooled pastry. 
Depending on how large the blackberries are, you may need more icing sugar. 

1 comment:

  1. Ah holzer! Just seeing your post now. Thanks so much for shout out. Chuffed 😊 #tbt forever!!! See you soon hil xx