Dom’s Random Recipe Challenge at Bellau Kitchen this month is to cook something using a recipe taken randomly from a book selected at random from a friend’s collection of cookbooks. So I asked my friend Pat, an enthusiastic baker and colleague at work, to bring me a book chosen at random from her cookbooks and she brought me the one that was stuffed into the magazine rack next to the sofa !!
It was “The New Classic 1000 Recipes” by Wendy Hobson. I flipped the pages and of course on each page there is more than one recipe. On the page I opened I could have chosen from Queen of Puddings, Baked Rice Pudding, Toffee Fruit Cobbler or 2-Layer Lemon Bake, all of which sounded yummy. But I chose the Austrian Lattice Pie because I had never made one before.
I decided to use frozen raspberries, partly because they are about half the price of fresh ones but also because the fresh ones available in our local supermarkets all looked a bit ropey. They seem to be mouldy almost as soon as you get them home at the moment.
There was no picture in the book for me to see what the end result should look like so I had to use my imagination. I don’t have an 18cm flan ring and I wondered if the filling might turn out a bit too skinny if I used a larger one. So I decided to use a small pie dish, an old Pyrex one that I bought for 20p in a charity shop last year, thinking it was too good a bargain to resist and was bound to come in handy one day !!
As I was putting the lattice on top I remembered how neat and tidy Dom made his when he did a lattice pie some time last year. I couldn’t quite figure out how to do it so I went for the easy option – even though it definitely wouldn’t have got me any Brownie points with the Bake-Off judges !! At least it didn’t have a soggy bottom !!
It also reminded me of something I saw on a TV cookery programme and realised that what I was making was almost a Linzer tart. Having checked afterwards I find that Linzer tarts tend to be made using ground almonds in the pastry and raspberry jam.
I ended up with a lovely deep pie with lots of raspberry and almond filling. It was absolutely delicious and definitely one I will be making again. The recipe says it serves four but we got six ample slices from it.
225g (8 oz) shortcrust pastry
75g caster sugar
1tsp ground cinnamon
50g ground almonds
1 egg white, lightly beaten
Preheat the oven to 190°C / 170°fan / gas mk 5. Grease an 18cm flan tin or pie dish.
Put the fruit, two thirds of the sugar, the butter and cinnamon into a saucepan. Heat gently for 5 mins or until the fruit is soft.
Roll out your pastry and line your pie dish or flan ring with about two thirds of it. Sprinkle the ground almonds on top and spread the fruit on top of that. (Because my raspberries were frozen there was a lot of liquid in the pan so I scooped out the fruit and left some of the liquid, which I used later as a sauce.)
Cut the remaining pastry trimming into strips, using a crimper if you have one, and create a lattice on top of the fruit.
Brush the pastry with the egg white and sprinkle with the remaining sugar
Bake for 30 mins 190°C/170°fan/gas mk 5.
Serves 4-6 people. Delicious served warm with cream.