Baked Goods & Sweet Treats Recipes

The Not So British Bake Off: Week 5 (Tarts)

I was very excited for this weeks challenge of pies or tarts on Bake Off because I love pastries and I really enjoy making them. I find pastry infinitely easier to work with than bread so I was definitely full-steam-ahead for the challenge. If you missed last week’s instalment of sticky toffee pudding you should go catch up – there was a lot of drama, I’m sad to say!

I took part in this week’s signature bake. I really wanted to do the Showstopper Challenge of baking three tiered pies, but I honestly couldn’t justify baking three pies.

Cherry Pistachio Tart
presenting tart
(Adapted from Ruby Tandoh’s recipe.)
(For crust)
90 g unsalted butter, cold and cubed
175 g plain flour
pinch of salt
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon of caster sugar
1 tablespoon of milk

(For filling)
100 g unsalted butter, softened
100 g of caster sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1 large egg
100 g of pistachios, finely ground
65 g of plain flour
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
pinch of salt
4 tablespoons of cherry jam
200 g pitted cherries

For the crust, add your cubed butter to your flour. Then rub the butter into the flour with your fingers, until no more visible chunks remain. Most of the flour should be coated with butter. Then add your salt and sugar. Beat together the egg yolk and milk with a fork before adding it into your crust pastry. Cut the pastry into small chunks with a knife to mix it and then finish it by quickly bringing it fully together with your hands before pressing it into a flat disc, wrapping it in plastic wrap, and refrigerating it for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes is up, remove your chilled pastry from the fridge and roll it out between two pieces of floured baking paper. Roll it large enough to cover the bottom and sides of your tart pan. Carefully place your pastry into your pan, pressing it in to all the corners without stretching the pastry at all. Then put your tart pastry into the freezer for 15 minutes. While this is occurring, preheat your oven to 200 C (400 F).

When you take your pastry out of the freezer, prick it gently all over the bottom with a fork. Then scrunch up a sheet of baking parchment then smooth it out again. Set it inside your pastry and then fill it with baking weights. (Personally, I don’t own baking weights so I just fill it with beans. It does the same thing.) Put your pastry in the oven for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes carefully remove the weights and the baking parchment, lower the oven temperature to 180 C (350 F) and bake for a further 5 minutes.

While your pastry is in the oven, make your filling. Cream together the butter and sugar.  Then stir in the vanilla and egg. Lastly mix in the pistachio, flour, baking powder and salt.

Take your pastry out of the oven and spread the bottom of your tart with the cherry jam. Then pour in your pistachio filling and spread it over your tart evenly. Place your cherries firmly into the tart and then bake for 35-45 minutes, then carefully remove your tart from the tin.

tip toes
I look silly on tip toes, but I had to to get the leverage to press the butter into the flour for the crust.

pistachiosrolling crustfitting crustpricking crustspreading cherries and jamplacing cherriescherry tart topbaked tart

linday's cake
One of my fellow contestants was also very proud of her pastry.

jealous of tart
There’s no jealousy here; everyone in the Bake Off tent are best friends!

judging tarts
The lovely Mrs. Berry comes in to judge yet again. (Thanks for making time in your busy schedule, Mary Berry!)

award presentation
The best part about Bake Off is that we support each other no matter what!

tart slice
A slice of deliciousness!

pistactio cherry tart

proud of tart
I was pretty proud of my bake!

paul hollywood tweet
And in case  you don’t follow me on Instagram or Twitter, I’m still ecstatic that this actually happened! 

Stay tuned next week for European Cakes!

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  • Congratulations, Amanda! Your Cherry Pistachio Tart looks so good. Also, those photos of the “other Star Baker” are hilarious. Lastly, I love your button up!

  • Anya R

    Your tart looks absolutely delicious and that’s so awesome that Paul responded πŸ™‚ These posts are hilarious!

  • Madeline

    The tart looks amazing πŸ™‚

  • Cherry pistachio, sounds amazing!

  • Once again, your bake looks amazing! I’m glad I’ve just eaten lunch!

  • Oh how I love these posts Amanda! Your tart looks amazing and cherry pistachio has me super intrigued! I have to say I LOVE your friend’s expression in the last photo – it literally had me laughing out loud! Congratulations on the win! X

  • Arggghhhh….you got a tweet from Paul Hollywood!! Amazing! Your tart looks delicious! This week’s Bake Off made me crave a pie so badly…this little expat Brit wanted a pork pie! Despite my husband working with cakes we never have any at home…epic fail, especially you’re watching it and craving one!

    • I think you should demand that he make you a pork pie! I was at work when I got my tweet from Paul Hollywood and I definitely made a weird noise between a giggle and a shriek, that got me some stares… x

  • Ahahahahahahaha i love the picture choices! So sad my cake was just crap wasn’t it? We need a post where you show me how to bake…but we’d have to wear safety suits. xx

  • It sounds amazing, cherry and pistachio has to be delicious!!

  • Kate Mitchell

    Looks delicious! And don’t worry – I’m constantly on my tip-toes in the kitchen (although that may be due to being 5’2″…)

    • Yikes, and I thought our cabinets were high (and I’m 5’6”) I must be spoiled. Very spoiled! x

  • I don’t know who Paul Hollywood is but I’m gonna go ahead and assume that was AWESOME he tweeted you. Way to go! Cherries & pistachios… seems like a match made in heaven. The tart looks sooooo good.

    • Thank you Cynthia! He’s one of the actual judges on the show so it was pretty awesome that he acknowledged me publicly. (Especially because he notoriously hard to please!) x

  • I may or may not be getting a little hangry b/c I haven’t eaten yet and your tart looks delicious…but is literally an ocean away. FedEx me a piece? And I hope you gave a great big slice to the “losing baker” this week to cheer her up, haha.

    • Hahaha, the losing baker definitely got to share mine. All in the spirit of competition of course! πŸ˜‰ x

  • Ashley Angle

    Cherry Pistachio?! Yes, please!!! YUM!
    ~Ashley @ A Cute Angle

  • Marju V


  • Reasons to Dress

    I have NEVER baked a pie. Ever. I’m so impressed with that pie and it looks surprisingly easy…I mean, for YOU!
    Congrats on the tweet and being a star baker!

  • That is so cool! I’ve never attempted a pie/tart before! But I love them so much…which is a problem, the moment I start making them I’ll become huge! lol And I love the picture of you on your toes – I find it graceful πŸ™‚

    • Ha! Well I’m glad that you find it graceful! It was just that the counter hit me just at the right height to not get the purchase I needed to really dig into the butter and flour to bring the pastry together. xxx

  • londonkiwiemma

    NO WAY!!!
    Ps. I love that you don’t follow him back…)

    • HA! I never even noticed that! He probably hates me now and i’ll be blacklisted from anything to do with gbbo in the future! x

  • this sounds delicious! i love pistachio, and your apron is so cute!

  • pistachio and cherries sounds awesome! Clearly I need more pie in my life!

    • I love pistachios, but even so, I was a bit worried of how they’d taste with cherries! But now I can thoroughly recommend the combination! x

  • Oh man, that looks amazing! Sad day for your fellow contestant, hehe! πŸ˜‰

  • You saved me a slice, right?

  • I really need to learn not to read these baking posts while I’m hungry. Congrats, Star Baker! πŸ™‚

  • Slightly off topic but do you have a purple kettle? If so I am really jealous as we have a boring black one because I let Fredrik get it when I was not with him and really wish it was some fun color.

    • We do have a purple kettle! (And it wasn’t any more expensive than a plain one.) In fact most things in our kitchen are colourful because we’ve lived in some drab kitchens before that needed a bit of cheering up. x

      • When I am in charge I go for colorful hence why we have a lime green french press and kitchen scale but a white toaster and black kettle. When we move again all things that get plugged in are being bought new and it will be a color explosion!!

  • It looks awesome! Hey- are pistachios not UBER expensive over there? They are here.. I am too cheap to buy them..!

    • Not massively – only because I buy them unsalted and in bulk. If I was buying those nice salty, roasted bags they’d be a million times more expensive! x

  • I am over the moon that Mr Hollywood recognised how fabulous these posts are!! Bravo!! My fingers are crossed for a guest appearance…

  • Your tart looks so delicious and impressive. ^^ Congratulations on getting the “Star Bake” badge ^^

  • Thank you! It’s such a small kitchen compared to anything I had in America but I like it! I’m not sure I’ve ever had an Italian tart- what’s it like? x

  • Anna Berry

    I adore your tart, but not as much as your apron, what a fabulous blog. Glad I found you!

  • !!!!!!! (re: tweet)

    I always go the bought pastry route when I make pies – you are Queen of Womanly Arts!

    • I was at work when I got the tweet and I made a noise that was a cross between a giggle, a shrill and a guffaw. I’m sure it was a terrifying thing to hear.

      Making the pastry was easier than I imagined but I’d still definitely just buy it in the future if I didn’t have a leisurely amount of time to devote to baking. (Shh!!!! DOn’t tell!) x