Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again. Only I didn’t, I dreamt about Trump. Again. And was suddenly pleased to be woken by a pooping infant.
“Recipe” is probably a generous word for this one. Essentially, we had some kids coming over and there was a giant jar of Nutella in the cupboard and some pastry in the freezer.
Unless you need to make gluten free pastry because you’re a coeliac DON’T DO IT. Just use your normal pastry recipe or buy from the shop. Trying to make gluten free pastry is generally proof of original sin. I have a reliable recipe now but why faff with it if you don’t need to?
Top tip on this one is not to over-bake it once you have put the filling in – you want to have evaporated some of the water in the Nutella so it’s nice and thick and the flavour intensified, but too long in the oven and it gets a bit claggy and burned.
Make sure to use sprinkles that you’ll spend the next three days finding in your bra and your baby’s clothes.
TIME 30 minutes if you aren’t making pastry from scratch
4 large tablespoons Nutella
5 digestive biscuits (gf if required)
Prepare your pastry. To do this, roll it out to the thickness of a pound coin and place it in a standard shallow tart/flan tin. If you don’t have a tart tin, you can use any other shape tin as long as it is shallow, e.g. a brownie tin or the sort of sandwich tins used for Victoria sponge. You’ll just get an unconventional tart or might need to spread across two tins.
Prick the surface of the pastry all over with a fork and then blind bake for 15 minutes at 180 degrees. If, perfectly reasonably, you don’t know what blind baking involves – place a square of baking paper over the pastry and then weight the paper down with a handful of dried pulses (peas, lentils, chickpeas will all do*). Because the pastry takes longer to cook than the filling, baking the case blind before the filling goes in ensures it is crispy and you avoid dreaded Soggy Bottom.
When the pastry is a pale golden colour, take it out, remove the baking paper and pulses, and spread the Nutella over the base. Leave more Nutella on the spoon than strictly necessary and lick it off. Crumble the digestives over the Nutella.
Return to the oven for another 7-10 minutes. The biscuits will brown and become slightly brittle and the Nutella will thicken a little.
*you can buy fancy ceramic baking beads, or once the pulses have cooled completely, pop them in a jar and you can use them for future blind bakes. I have some faithful yellow split peas. Make sure they are completely cool though, or any moisture from steam will turn them manky
GLUTEN FREE PASTRY
After many years of making gluten free pastry that had the texture of a cereal box, I’ve now got a good recipe. Obviously this coincided with supermarkets finally selling pre made Free From pastry, but I maintain this one is better. I adapted from Izy Hossack’s amazing Top with Cinnamon (seriously, buy it). Originally a flaky pastry, when made with gluten free flour it is a light, reliable shortcrust.
TIME 30 minutes to prep
50g salted butter
1 tablespoon Greek yoghurt (I use 0% Fage)
Cut the butter into thumbnail sized chunks. Put in a mixing bowl with the flour and yoghurt. Work the ingredients together with your hands until they form a ball of pastry. Chill in the freezer for 15 minutes before using, or put in the fridge if you’re going to make the tart later.
It’s an easy one: use your favourite vegan pastry recipe and a dairy free version of chocolate hazelnut spread. You can get the spread in the Free From section of supermarkets but generally it’s a bit wank and tasteless. You can always make your spread by roasting 2 cups of skinless hazelnuts (about 7 minutes on 200 degrees or until fragrant and lightly browned) and then putting them in a food processor with melted dark chocolate and icing sugar (amount to taste/keep adding until it’s sufficiently sickly). It’ll take about ten minutes to come to texture in the processor, going through various stages of bread crumby; clumping in a ball; thinning out but sandy; then just right. Keep faith.