We’re so delighted to introduce you to HomeStyle’s resident baker, Jess Marsden - otherwise known as Jessie Cakes. She’ll be popping by every once in a while to share some incredible sweet treats and a bunch of her top tips with us – so keep your eyes peeled for her posts, they’re not to be missed!
In her first column, Jess talks summer and gives helpful hints for the perfect pastry – not to mention a recipe for a scrumptious berry tart! So without further ado, Homestylers, meet Jessie Cakes…
Summer is finally here! Well, sort of...
As always with English weather, it’s difficult to tell which season we’re in. You can wake up to beautiful warm sunshine; shorts on, shades on and of course a tasty BBQ, or you wake up to blustery winds and it's back to jeans, woolly jumpers and let's face - it a tasty BBQ with the addition of an umbrella. But fear not! One thing you can be sure of this summer; is that my Summer Berry Tart is the perfect bake to brighten up any day.
Homemade crumbly, zesty shortcrust pastry filled with a creamy broken meringue filling, topped with fresh summer fruits and finished with a dusting of icing sugar. Mmm.
Now don't be put of by the two dreaded words you've just read: homemade and pastry - it's easy, I promise! Shortcrust pastry is incredibly simple to make, just follow my top tips below and you will have perfect pastry every time. Plus, you then get bragging rights as you made it yourself!
I used pre-made meringue nests for the filling, but if you're feeling like a baking goddess - then by all means whip up your own. To decorate the tart I used a mixture of strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and cherries, however feel free to use your own combination.
Tips for perfect shortcrust pastry:
· Before making the pastry, chill the mixing bowl in the fridge for 15 minutes and rinse your hands with cold water. This will help the butter stay cold resulting in delicate, crumbly pastry every time!
· Try to be confident and bring the pastry together as quickly as you can – don't knead it too much or the heat from your hands will melt the butter.
· Don’t be tempted to skip the blind baking step, otherwise your tart shell will shrink.
Tempted to try? You can find Jess’ Summer Berry Tart recipe here.
For more Jessie Cakes recipes, visit her website: www.jessiecakesdiary.com