Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Chocolate Truffle and Strawberry Pie.

I went Pick Your Own-ing last week. On maybe the rainiest day of July. It's a gooood job those strawbs grow undercover or I think you'd have to front crawl down the lanes of plants. My plan was jam, stash some in the freezer for smoothies, and this beast of a pie.

I'm always fairly conservative when I'm PYO-ing...I always think it seems like you've got SO MANY berries in your basket and that it might be really embarrassing when you get to the til and they're like 'that's £50bajillion pounds please' and then you take them home and they spontaneously combust into a pile of mould in under half an hour.

But then what always happens in real life is that they say 'that'll be 53 pence please' and I'm all 'uuuurrrm are your sure' and then I get home and think, yep, could easily have handled double the amount, dammit. MUST remember that for next year....

What I must also remember is that things that are best chilled before eating are also best chilled before photographing. You see I got ahead of myself and photied this luscious lady of a pie before she'd had her chill time and it means you don't get a good enough sense of the chocolate velvetyness that's shining beneath all that cream and fruit. You'll have to take my work for it word is MAKE THIS PIE. With Love and Cake. 

Chocolate Truffle and Strawberry Pie.
Adapted from a Bakers Royale recipe

A few notes:
  • Eat ASAP...I mean, why wouldn't you.
  • You could just throw a lovely layer of fresh strawbs on top rather than cooking them up...I did both.
Serves 8
You will need

1 x 18cm tart tin or pie dish

For the pastry
175g plain flour
25g cocoa powder
50g icing sugar
100g butter, cold from the fridge, cubed
1 egg yolk
2-3 tbsp cold water

For the chocolate filling
170g dark chocolate
1 tbsp butter
225g cream cheese, at room temperature
30g icing sugar

For the top
250ml double cream, lightly whipped
350g strawberries, halved or quartered
75g icing sugar 
2 tsp cornflour 

  • First we must make the pastry. Pulse together the flour, cocoa and sugar in a food processor (or sift into a bowl).
  • Then add the butter and pulse until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs (or rub in with your finger tips).
  • Add the yolk and 2tbsp of cold water and pulse until a soft dough forms, adding more water if necessary.
  • Remove the dough from the processor and gently form into a disc. Wrap in clingfilm and rest in the fridge for around 15 minutes.
  • Next, roll the pastry out to about the thickness of a pound coin on a floured surface. I used the cling film it was wrapped in to cover the pastry as I rolled, to stop the rolling pin sticking, which worked well.
  • Line your prepared tin with the pastry without trimming the edges, just let the excess overhang. Gently prick the base with a fork and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 200°c.
  • Blind bake the pastry case by lining it with a scrunched up piece of baking paper and filling with baking beans, or uncooked rice or dried beans (save them to continue to use for the same purpose, just don't cook them to eat).
  • Place the tart tin on a baking tray and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Remove the beans and paper and bake for a further 10 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and leave to cool and crisp up while you get on with the filling.
  • Melt the chocolate and butter gently in a saucepan.
  • Stir in the cream cheese until well combined and then remove from the heat.
  • Beat in the icing sugar.
  • To get the pastry prepared, gently slice off the excess before pouring in the chocolate filling.
  • Leave to cool while you get on with the strawbs.
  • Combine the strawberries with the icing sugar and let them stand for about half an hour.
  • Then drain the liquid off, saving the lovely ruby juice.
  • Pop the juice into a little saucepan and add the cornflour.
  • Heat the juice gently to a bubble so that it thickens and becomes syrupy, then remove from the heat and leave to cool completely.
  • Mix the cold syrup back into the strawberries.
  • Now you're ready for the final assembly...spread the whipped cream over the chocolate layer and tumble over the strawberries. 
  • Chill in the fridge for at least half an hour before turning out of the tin and serving. 

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