This week-end I discovered two lovely shops in my new neighbourhood. A great traditional butcher, the Hook & Cleaver and a lovely fruit & veg shop where I can finally enjoy a large variety of fresh ripe fruit. The place I lived before was lovely, but as it was close to the high street in Ealing, it was full of chain stores. It is too bad that the nicest neighbourhoods are taken over by chains. It becomes difficult to find something authentic.. coffee shops are all Costa, Starbucks or Caffe Nero, and the only places for groceries are the likes of Tesco and Sainsbury. It was tough for me to leave my first flat, but now that we are settled in the new place, I really appreciate the more neighbourly atmosphere here.
I said I was going to make less cakes but then I accidentally passed by my favourite cooking accessories shop and found this rectangular pie tin (that I needed anyway). I happened to have lots of fruit at home, from the fruit shop down the road, but also from a colleague who grows rhubarb in his garden and gave the last ones of the season. I spent some time debating what to bake, and then though that actually, the rectangular tin was perfect to mix up things.
I will detail the recipe for the rhubarb section as this is the bit that requires more work. It is the same principle for the other fruit, except that you don’t have to cook them.
For the crust: 150 g plain flour – 50 g brown sugar – 100 g soft butter – 2 tbsp milk -1 egg.
For the filling: 200 g mascarpone – 5 tbsp milk – 1 tbsp ginger powder -50 g sugar. You can use other types of flavourings from the more classic vanilla to the more unsual violet (works well with raspberries).
For the topping: I have used 200 g raspberries, 5 thin sticks rhubarb and 1 apricot. You can use any fruit you like.
1. Preheat your oven to 180 C. Put all the ingredients for the crust into a food processor and mix until just clinging. Don’t worry if it is a bit sticky. Wrap in cling film and leave in the refrigerator for a least an hour. While you wait you can prepare the rhubarb and the filling.
2. For the filling: Whip together the mascarpone, milk, sugar and ginger powder. Scoop out of the food processor and reserve in a bowl in the fridge.
3. For the rhubarb: Wash the rhubarb. Strip off the tough stringly ribs with a small, sharp knife then slice the stalk into sticks matching the width of the pie tin. Try to match the full with as the rhubarb will lose volume while cooking and this will leave enough space for the crust. Sprinkle with sugar food and stick in the oven for 20 mn while the oven is preheating.
4. Once the oven is hot, put the pie in for 20 mn, and once cool let it cool down (otherwise it will melt your filling).
5. Finally, spread the mascarpone cream evenly on the pie crust. Then carefully place the rhubarb on top, pressing them gently into the cream.
And with the leftover dough, you can make some simple cookies.