Alex Mackay's Rhubarb and Almond Pie with Whipped Cream
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Tip - To use up all of the pastry and make your life easier, go free form. This pie is carefully designed not to need a tart tin so you save the complications that can ensue when you have to line one. You just put the pastry onto the baking sheet; pop everything on top and bake away cheerfully. This way you don’t need to trim the pastry at all. No waste.
Tip - Don’t store your pastry in a ball. Instead, to make it easier to roll, flatten it as I have done here before you rest it.
Tip - Roll your pastry between layers of floured clingfilm
From Delia's Food and Wine Workshop, recipe by Alex Mackay Serves 2 Serves 8 (there is no point making less than this)
1. Start with the pastry, in a food processor, blend together the butter, icing sugar and egg yolk until smooth.
Add the flour then blend until just combined. If it’s a bit dry, add the water. (To make the pastry by hand, do the same thing in a large bowl with a wooden spoon) Remove the pastry from the food processor with a spatula. Put it onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead just enough so that it combines (the pastry will be very soft at this stage) Put the pastry onto a large piece of clingfilm and flatten it with your hands into a rectangle of 15cm by 10cm. Wrap the pastry in the clingfilm and place in the fridge to cool for 1 hour.
2. Next, prepare the rhubarb. Get a shallow saucepan. Add the rhubarb, blood orange zest, 4 tbsp of blood orange juice sugar and. Slowly bring to the boil. Put the lid on. Lower the heat and gently poach the rhubarb for 3-4 minutes, turning it halfway through, until almost soft but still holding its shape.
3. Take the pan off the heat. Use a slotted spoon to gently transfer the 8 pink and prettiest pieces of rhubarb to a plate. Turn the heat up high and boil the remaining rhubarb, stirring for 5 minutes, until the rhubarb turns becomes thick and jammy. Stir in the jam. Take the pan off the heat. Dissolve the cornflour in 2 tsp of water. Stir the diluted cornflour into the rhubarb mush. Put the pan back onto a high heat and boil for a further minute, stirring continually. Take the pan off the heat and leave to cool.
4. To make the almond cream, mix together the butter and the icing sugar. Stir in the egg yolk. Stir in the almonds. Set aside.
5. Line a baking sheet with non-stick paper and dust with flour. Roll the pastry to a 35 by 25cm rectangle between 2 layers of floured clingfilm
6. Mark a 25 x 15cm rectangle in the centre of the pastry. Next, use a spatula dipped in hot water to spread the rhubarb over this rectangle. Make sure the almond cream is the texture of soft butter, if not soften it a little in your microwave. Spread the almond cream over the rhubarb. Put the reserved 8 pieces of rhubarb at even intervals over the top.
7. Turn the sides of the pastry over the top of the filling to make a 5cm border to ensure the filling doesn’t spill over the outsides.
8. Brush the pastry with the beaten egg yolk and milk. Scatter the flaked almonds between the pieces of rhubarb and around the pastry. Dust with 2 tablespoons of icing sugar. If any icing sugar spills over the sides onto the baking sheet, wipe it off as it will caramelise and burn as the pie bakes.
9. Bake for 30-35 minutes on the middle shelf of the preheated oven until the pie is golden all over.
10. Dust with icing sugar, slice into 8 rectangles and serve with lightly whipped cream and sorbet if you want to freshen it up a little.
Pre-heat your oven to 200c / Gas 6 / Rack position middle shelf
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