Monday 23rd October 2017
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Serves
Preparation time: 50 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients
For the almond and cream cheese pastry:
300g plain flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
112g caster sugar
150g unsalted butter
100g full fat cream cheese (I used cottage cheese, which was excellent)
75g ground almonds
1 egg yolk, a little milk to bind

For the filling:
500g rhubarb – cut into large chunks
250g fresh raspberries
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons caster sugar

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Recipe by Dominic Franks

With balsamic vinegar and almond shortcrust pastry.

The lambs are frolicking in the fields and the sun has actually shone for a few days running now without the threat of wind or rain. This is quite joyous as, let’s face it, it’s been a miserable start to the year. At Belleau Cottage we try to push the weather boundries as early as we can every year by forcing ourselves, each morning, to sit with our coffees out on the bench at the front of the cottage, which has killer views. Even if we have to wrap up in coats and hats we don’t mind, it’s all about getting that much-needed vitamin D but it’s been particularly rainy of late, so we’ve missed our usual dose. This current warm patch makes me think of laying out the picnic rug and sipping Prosecco on the lawn with a slice of pie. This pie epitomes May with its fresh pink hues and sharp sweetness… spring perfection!

METHOD
Grease well a 20cm fluted, loose-bottomed flan or tart tin.

Start with the pastry – sift the flour, baking powder and sugar into a bowl, add the butter and rub until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the cream cheese, ground almonds and egg yolk, take a knife and mix until it comes together into a dough – you may need to add a little milk here, as I did. Chill the dough for at least 30 mins.

Meanwhile place the raspberries, rhubarb, sugar and balsamic in a large bowl, stir and let it macerate whilst the dough chills.

Pre-heat your oven to 170C.

Once chilled, take one third of the pastry and set aside whilst you roll out the remaining on a very well-floured surface – I am very generous with the flour on the top and underneath this particular pastry – and then roll out (I adore this pastry nice and thick).

Lay the pastry into the case and gently tease it into the fluted sides and press down, then trim the edges.

Pour in the rhubarb and raspberry filling and push down – it will seem very full.

Roll out the remaining flour and cut into strips, then carefully lattice your pie top by weaving the strips over and under each other.

Bake for 30 mins until the pastry is golden and the interior begins to soften, then let it cool entirely and eat it chilled with pouring cream!

Eat and of course, enjoy!

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