The past two weeks have been taken up with various trips and visitors, namely a skiing trip to the Pyrenees, five turbulent ten-year-olds, a labrador puppy and a couple of adolescent hens. Our skiing trip was wonderful, if slightly hair-raising at times. Once on skis, Léo doesn’t believe in doing anything that might slow himself down. I imagine that it’s a bit like skiing with a talking torpedo. According to him, speed control is for sissies and mothers and, as such (I fall into both categories), I was on the receiving end of several barbed ‘what kept you?’ rebukes. Despite this, the snow was abundant, the sun shone everyday and, all things considered, we managed to escape remarkably unscathed. The group of people knocked flying by my human bobsleigh son fell like dominos but won’t be pressing charges as it is thought his actions were not premeditated :-?, so that’s a relief.
These tarts make excellent chairlift food: delectable, nourishing and not too fragile. They are also a good source of milk and eggs for growing
torpedoes children. Cooked milk is easier to digest than pasturised milk as the cooking process breaks down the complex proteins, making them more accessible.
Ingredients for pastry (makes about six mini tarts):
110g buckwheat flour
25g virgin coconut oil
Roughly 6 tablespoons of cold water
Ingredients for custard:
250ml whole milk
4 tablespoons honey
3 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
To make the pastry, begin by cutting the butter and coconut oil into small cubes. Add to the flour in a mixing bowl and add a pinch of sea salt. Blend by hand until the mixture becomes crumbly. Add the cold water, mixing rapidly with a spoon. Remove the mixture from the bowl onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until you obtain a ball of pastry (if the mixture isn’t ‘sticky’ enough to form a ball, you may need a drop more water). Wrap in a clean cotton tea towel or some cling film and leave to ‘rest’ in the fridge for about two hours. This relaxes the dough and makes it easier to use.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Roll out the pastry on a clean, lightly floured surface and fill the tart tins. Bear in mind that buckwheat pastry is extremely crumbly as it contains no gluten to ‘stick’ it together. You’ll probably need to patch and press the pastry into the tins as opposed to just cutting and placing it in as you would with normal pastry. Precook the pastry for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the custard filling by cooking the milk and cream over a low heat. Beat the honey and egg yolks together and slowly add the heated milk and cream mixture, beating constantly. Add the vanilla, blending well and fill the pastry cases with the mixture. Bake at 180°C for about 20 minutes or until the surface begins to brown. Serve chilled.