English is my second language. That is just a fact. What I really wanted to talk about is the beginning of this blog and my thoughts on the topic of language. While I was organising my ideas about this project, luckily at the same time I was reading a lot about it. Books and all reading materials on the subject as much as other blogs. That is how I came across a post by one of the most successful story tellers, bloggers and pastry chefs in the world – David Lebovic. It was actually very simple and practical advice about starting a food blog. It went something like this…”If you are considering starting a food blog and you are a chef, then take writing lessons and if you are a writer, take cooking classes.” I loved the advice, took it seriously and grabbed my English grammar books to start with. Well I am still working on it and it’ll take some time to go through all the chapters, especially at this speed but I am actually enjoying the whole process, so I don’t mind if it takes a long time. Now finally, to make things even more serious I have consulted a dear friend Kim who is one of the most trustworthy persons I know when it comes to the English language. She is running her own business, you can check her web site http://www.communicate4health.com/. Her tutoring is quite unique, tailored to suit personally and as such very effective, also she is very supportive and gives me nothing but nice words (and a few tips and advice) but the bottom line is: we both agree that when it comes to another language – learning never stops.
So any language takes a lifetime to be learnt but if you ask me the real beauty lies in the whole cultural background of the actual language. Look behind the words and you’ll discover a whole new world. A world that will, among many other things, include food as well. These tartlets have some of that multicultural background. I would call these treats pies, in Italy they would be called crostata and of course tarts in France. So I guess I dare to say, they have European background but you could see them anywhere and I am constantly baking them in the middle of Melbourne, Australia so there you go, food like languages, travels with us. We learn, communicate and share – also create a perfect circle of happiness. You should have seen another friend’s face when she tasted these tartlets for the first time.
Spelt and quince tartlets
170 gr wholemeal spelt flour
50 gr plain flour
100 gr olive oil butter or margarine (I used salted one)
70 gr brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
3-4 tablespoons of cold water
200 gr quince jam
1 egg yolk mixed with a drop of water
Preheat oven to 180C. Prepare classic muffin tin, I just spray mine with oil.
In a medium size bowl mix flour with butter until you get floury breadcrumb mixture. Use blender if easier. Make a small well in the middle then add sugar, egg and water. Mix until you get well combined and firm dough. Wrap in a glad wrap and leave to rest in the fridge for half an hour.
Place dough on a slightly floured work surface and roll until get 3-4 millimetres thick sheet. Use a 9 millimetre round cookie cutter to make a perfect base for your tartlets. Use rest of the dough to cut some strips from – that will be used for the top decoration. Fold circles nicely into a muffin tin, pressing dough into a muffin shape with your fingers. Fill in with jam and place strips on the top. Brush with whisked egg yolk to get the nice colour.
Bake for 35 minutes or until done.
I like serving them with creme fraiche, dusted with cinnamon powder.