Baking with honey! <3

Do you ever use honey in your baking? 

Baking lover and friend of the honey farm Francesca has made a delicious honey tart, perfect for anyone who loves cakes & honey.

For this recipe Francesca used our Clear Devon flower honey, and best of all she is going to share with us how she made it!

If you love baking or just love cake (who doesn’t?) you may also want to check out her blog for more mouth-watering bakes!

I’ll be straight up here – the only thing that makes this remotely Valentine’s related is the fact I put red rose petals all over the tart when I was finished. But hey, why not.

Now we’ve got that out the way I have another confession to make – I am completely and utterly, truly hopeless at baking pastry. There, I said it. I have in the past been known to actually throw things across the kitchen when my pastry stuck to the worktop, or the edges burnt to a crisp in the oven. What I will say is I actually managed to combat both those things with this bake so it ended up looking a little bit less like a dog’s dinner. I won’t lie and say I’m completely happy with the presentation of this tart, but it’s an improvement from previous bakes and something to work on in future!

Anyway, on to the bake. I have been wanting to bake something containing honey for a long time and I have had a recipe for a honey tart sat on my shelf for a while so I thought it was about time I gave it a go.

The recipe was from Tom Kerridge’s everyday book and it looked so beautiful it was almost too good to be true. I knew mine would never look that good, but I’d hoped the taste would be up to scratch. The recipe recommended using good local honey where available; when I read that there was no doubt in my mind that I had to call on Quince Honey Farm in South Molton.

Quince has been providing the good people of North Devon with the absolute best honey since 1949 and trust me, once you’ve tasted it you’ll never pick up a jar from a supermarket ever again. If you live in North Devon (or further afield!) and haven’t tasted Quince honey you don’t know what you’re missing. For this recipe I used their clear Devon flower honey in all its golden gorgeousness, but it’s also available in a set consistency. They also have an Exmoor heather variety which is unbelievable on toast, plus spring blossom.

Ingredients

For the pastry

170g butter

80g caster sugar

270g plain flour

1 egg, lightly beaten

For the filling

5 free range eggs

1 vanilla pod (I used vanilla essence because I’m cheap)

Pinch of salt

250g soft light brown sugar

100ml double cream

85g honey

70g butter

65 ml white wine vinegar

2 tbsp golden syrup

50g polenta

Method

  1. Make the pastry in advance – I made mine the night before just I could crack straight on with it the next morning. Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth and pale and then slowly add in the flour – it will look very dry. Then add just enough egg to bring everything together – don’t use all of it as the mixture will be wet enough as it is! I used about half.
  2. Roll the lovely pastry into a ball (I like to squeeze it a few times purely because it feels nice), wrap it in cling film and pop it in the fridge overnight (or at least a few hours).
  3. Preheat your oven to 160C fan. Roll the pastry out between two bits of cling film – this was the first of my two major successes with this bake. This pastry is super fragile and wet so there was no way I could have rolled it out straight onto the worktop. Thanks for the tip, Tom! Roll it out so it’s big enough to fill a 25cm round loose bottomed tin (the recipe suggests you can also use a 36 x 12cm rectangle tin, too).
  4. Take the top layer of cling film off, put your tin on top of the pastry upside down and then carefully peel the bottom layer of cling film off your worktop and flip the whole thing up the right way. You might get a few little cracks or holes here and there but the pastry is so pliable you can just use your hands to push it back together.
  5. Put the tin on a baking tray, line it with greaseproof paper and fill the tin with baking beans. Blind bake for around 20 minutes.
  6. Take the tart out of the oven and remove the beans. This is where my second success came in. In the past my tarts have browned around the edges to the point of looking burnt while the centre was still raw. This time I cut out a foil ring and placed it around the edges so they didn’t brown as fast. Put the foil on at this stage and then bake for another 10 minutes until the whole thing is lovely and brown. When you take it out next trim off the excess pastry with a serrated knife.
  7. Lower the oven temperature to 150C fan and start making the filling. Whisk the eggs, vanilla essence (or seeds if  using) and salt until well combined.
  8. Put the sugar, cream, honey, butter, white wine vinegar and golden syrup into a medium saucepan and heat until boiling, stirring all the while.
  9. Take it off the heat once boiling and mix in the polenta. Then, VERY slowly add in the eggs. I added mine a bit too fast and, as I suspected, they started to cook! Luckily I spotted my mistake straight away so I was able to sieve the mixture and get rid of any cooked egg.
  10. Heat everything for five minutes on a low heat, then put it in a big bowl for a couple of minutes.
  11. Pour the whole lovely lot into your pastry case and bake for about 25-30 minutes until the mixture is a gorgeous golden brown on top and has just a little wobble to it when gently shaken.
  12. Decorate with whatever fancy pants flowers you like.~
    Fran x

     

If you enjoyed reading Fran’s blog then head over to  www.frantaffsticbakes.co.uk