Friday, 17 April 2015

James Tanner’s Plum and Almond Tart

Fancy a sweet treat? The delicate flavour of the almond, and the texture of the baked plums, makes this a delicious dessert that is sure to be popular with the whole family. Try James Tanner’s recipe, as featured on Lorraine. 

Disclosure: we ate a lot of this before recommending...


·         250g sweet pastry (recipe below if you want to make from scratch)
·         125g unsalted butter
·         125g caster sugar
·         125g ground almonds
·         25g plain flour
·         3 eggs
·         20ml dark rum (optional but tastes a lot better with!)
·         40g flaked almonds (for garnish)
·         3/4 jar plum jam
·         8 firm plums
·         Icing sugar, to dust
·         Clotted cream or vanilla ice cream, to serve

Roll out the pastry to 4mm thick and use it to line an 11” loose bottom fluted or plain tart tin.
Line the pastry with parchment paper and baking beans and blind bake at 180C/gas 4 for 25 minutes.
Next make the frangipane (almond) mix by creaming the butter and sugar with an electric hand whisk. Add the eggs one at a time then add the ground almonds, flour and rum.
Spread a thin layer of plum jam on the bottom of the pre-baked tart case, then spoon the frangipane mix into a piping bag and starting at the centre, pipe a line of the mix in circles to fill the tart (if you don’t have a piping bag you can use a strong standard sandwich bag or spoon the mixture on - but be careful as it will be slippery).
Cut the plums into halves and remove the stones, then gently press the plum halves into the tart, arranging neatly in the almond mixture. Sprinkle over the flaked almonds and bake at 180C for 30 minutes until golden.
Remove the tart from the oven and cool slightly. Dust with a little icing sugar, cut out s slice and serve with a dollop of clotted cream or vanilla ice cream.

To make your own pastry:
100g unsalted butter
250g plain flour

2 medium eggs
100g icing sugar
Pinch of salt

In a food processor mix the butter and flour together.
Add the icing sugar and salt and then the eggs.
Mix until a dough is formed.
Wrap in clingfilm and chill for 1 hour before rolling out.

Tweet us @office_fruit with a picture of your plum and almond tart!

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Snack Wisely

You've eaten the whole pack of digestives but you promised yourself you'd eat just two...
You've bitten your nails in guilt, twiddled your thumbs and rearranged your pencil pot. It must be time for another snack... 
You didn't feel very full after a coffee and that muffin, you best have some crisps.... 
It's a vicious cycle!

We're here to snap you out of the naughty snacking rut! 

Eat slowly
Try eating fruits that take a while to peel, or nuts, like pistachios, which come in their shells. If you eat whilst peeling your fruit, or crack open your nuts, you’re giving your body more time to feel full. You will eat less when eating slowly.

Savor it
If you take the time to put your snack on a plate, sit down and enjoy it, you’re going to savor what you’re eating that much more, and enjoy the taste! 

If you're going to have a treat/cheat, do it in moderation. Don’t sit down with an entire pack; you’re likely to end up eating it ALL, for sure. Just have a small portion and enjoy every last crumb, slowly.

Shop wisely
Avoid the naughty isles - they're usually labelled CRISPS, BISCUITS & CHOCOLATE (in case you can't distinguish...) Don’t keep snacks in the house - you can’t eat what’s not there! Stock your fridge and cupboards with healthy foods and you will eat healthily. 

List it
Make a list of all the healthy foods that you like: Celery, apple, yogurt, peanut butter, cucumber sticks, nuts, dried mango slices, banana... Once you have your list, prepare a few bits to take to work with you in Tupperware boxes. Do not pack a chocolate bar or crisps in your lunch bag.

What's most important when snacking, is that you're fueling your body with goodness. Your insulin, scales and energy levels will not thank you for a quick sugar rush. 

Check out our website for some snacking ideas here!

Tweet us @Office_fruit if you have ways to 
avoid naughty snacking!

Friday, 27 March 2015

The BEST Apple Pie Recipe

We've been baking (and eating) all of the apple pie in the land. The conclusion, 3 stone heavier, is that THIS apple pie is just like Granny used to make. 
We've also been watching Masterchef and feeling like we could take on an exotic Tarte Tartin next week. Doubt it, but stay tuned! 


For the filling
  • 1kg Bramley apples
  • 140g golden caster sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp flour
For the pastry
  • 225g butter, room temperature
  • 50g golden caster sugar, plus extra
  • 2 eggs
  • 350g plain flour, preferably organic
  • softly whipped cream, to serve


    Put a layer of paper towels on a large baking sheet. Quarter, core, peel and slice the apples about 5mm thick and lay evenly on the baking sheet. Put paper towels on top and set aside while you make and chill the pastry.

For the pastry, beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl until just mixed. Break in a whole egg and a yolk (keep the white for glazing later). Beat together for just under 1 min – it will look a bit like scrambled egg. Now work in the flour with a wooden spoon, a third at a time, until it’s beginning to clump up, then finish gathering it together with your hands. Gently work the dough into a ball, wrap in cling film, and chill for 45 mins. Now mix the 140g/5oz sugar, the cinnamon and flour for the filling in a bowl that is large enough to take the apples later.
After the pastry has chilled, heat the oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Lightly beat the egg white with a fork. Cut off a third of the pastry and keep it wrapped while you roll out the rest, and use this to line a pie tin – 20-22cm round and 4cm deep – leaving a slight overhang. Roll the remaining third to a circle about 28cm in diameter. Pat the apples dry with kitchen paper, and tip them into the bowl with the cinnamon-sugar mix. Give a quick mix with your hands and immediately pile high into the pastry-lined tin. 

Brush a little water around the pastry rim and lay the pastry lid over the apples pressing the edges together to seal. Trim the edge with a sharp knife and make 5 little slashes on top of the lid for the steam to escape. (Can be frozen at this stage.) Brush it all with the egg white and sprinkle with caster sugar. Bake for 40-45 mins, until golden, then remove and let it sit for 5-10 mins.

Recipe taken from Good Food magazine, October 2004

Tweet us @Office_fruit if you give this recipe a try! 
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