butter me up...

Pear and Pecan Frangipane Tart


So, I had my hair trial for the March wedding.
My hair was cut to a graduated bob 6 months ago, so it is short at the back. I have been begging and pleading with it to grow so the hairdresser will have sufficient material to work with and because I have this romantic dream of a sophisticated 50s style updo.

True to all trips to the hairdresser, the topics soon moved swiftly from hair to dieting.
It went something like this: Hair do- Weddings- Clothes- Sales- London- Travel- Weightloss- Nutrishakes.
One of the hairdressers was travelling to London in March and wanting to lose some extra weight. If I was on my way to London I wouldn’t bother losing the extra kilos, its so darn cold, you need all the insulation you can get over there! Anyway.

So my hairdresser, mentioned she should drink a nutrishake for breakfast because “ they contain all the vitamins and minerals for your daily needs and when you take them the weight just drops off”.

Ironically my hairdresser has never drunk nutrishakes so this was just heresay, and of course no one ever mentions the down sides do they…

Well, you know my position on nutrishakes. If you don’t, just put me and a nutrishake in the boxing ring.

I just get cranky thinking about any type of meal replacement. And yes while you are starving yourself of proper food and nutrition your friends and family have to put up with your moodiness and then they start avoiding you because everytime they haul out some food, you stare at them like a crazy person and start drooling.

The conversation ended with me and the soon to be travelling hairdresser agreeing that eating croissants for breakfast were much better ;) (Yesss, Lara- 1, Nutrishakes-0).

So without further ado, next on my list of:

10 Foods I will gladly eat myself fat on 
Number 9 : Butter

Unbeknownst to most normal folk, butter was slowly taking over the world since the day it was created in France on a misty November morning by a giggling milkmaid. No actually it was first created ages ago, when humans first started to domesticate animals.
People in the world are divided into two sections. Those who eat butter and those who don’t (well it is now).

There are all sorts of fats in this world that masquerade as butter, the worst being margarine. Marge is made from hydrogenated vegetable oils. It was at one point pink, and at another you could buy it with the yellow food colouring separate to "knead in before serving". Ugh. I think what annoys me most about margerine is that it is trying to be butter, but it just isn't, like pink, its just trying to be red, but doesn't quite get there (yes, I don't like pink either).

People think that by eating margarine ultimately it is better for you much like the real food vs Nutrishakes debate. And then there are the anti-fat people who don't believe in eating fat at all, which is just silly really, how are you supposed to absorb fat soluble vitamins?

Now I'm not here to rap you on the knuckles or the encourage you in anyway to indulge often in high fat foods (all of you gasping at cholestrol etc.)
I just want you to be making decisions on your own not based on the popularity and supposed “healthiness” of a food product.
A good rule of thumb is any food which is as closest to its natural form as possible is good for you. Think apples off the tree, fresh veg, fish straight from the sea, naturally milled flour for bread, farm churned butter... But a little cake once in a while, never hurt the soul...
But anyway,
enough of that.
On to the peice de la resistance
Butter at it finest ladies and Gentlemen...

Pear and Pecan Nut Frangipane tart.
Makes a 23-24cm tart.

Pate Sucree
72 g flour
Pinch salt
30 g butter, cubed
30 g castor sugar
1 egg yolk

Sift  flour onto a surface area with the pinch of salt.
Mix in the cubed cold butter, castor sugar and egg yolk.
Mix until just combined, chill for 30 mins.
Line pastry into dish, about 3mm thick, and blind bake.
For 5 mins at 190°C.

Pecan Frangipane
120 g butter
120 g castor sugar
2 eggs
130 g ground pecan nuts
10 g four
3 pears, peeled and fanned

Cream butter and caster sugar.
Beat in eggs and ground pecan nuts.
Add flour, and mix well. Chill.

Spread the Frangipane into the cooled pastry shell.
Fan 3 pears out or slice and arrange in whichever way you desire.
Cook at 180°C for 30 to 35 mins or until Frangipane is firm and golden brown.

Slice and serve with creme fraiche.

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