To borrow a phrase from the original super brat himself, you cannot be serious.
That was my response (and then some) to an invitation to participate in a so-called “un-potato fest”, which asks participant bloggers to spread, in a jocular fashion, the myth that potatoes are boring, in order to promote a box of (wait for it) instant stuffing mix.
I mean really, who in their right mind would ask me, of all people, to promote the supposed ability of an instant stuffing mix to heroically save us, every one, from the apparent mundanity of all things spud. A mix which, according to this post, contains, among many other things, high fructose corn syrup, MSG and a whole whack of salt. Charming.
Some, I know, will take up the call, and that’s their prerogative, of course. As for me, I’ll choose potatoes over a box of stuffing any day (but I rather suspect you knew that already). Spuds are truly versatile and sometimes even surprising beasts, as, I think, this potato bakewell tart will demonstrate.
Potato Bakewell Tart
As with the use of mashed potato in other baked goods, the addition of potato here brings some additional moistness to the tart’s filling.
The idea for this originated with an old English recipe for potato “cheesecake” , which consists of pastry shells filled with a mixture of mashed potato, butter, sugar and nary a bit of cheese. To be honest, the original recipe really left quite a lot to be desired, so I added some egg and flour for structure and ground almonds for texture and flavour, resulting in a filling that was quite frangipane-like. From there, it seemed only natural to add a layer of jam, to make a kind of potato bakewell tart.
Do use a floury potato for the mash and have the cooked potatoes as dry as possible before mashing, as soggy mash will translate to a wetter filling. As the filling is quite moist and dense as it is, I find it works best spread in a fairly thin layer, so shallow baking tins are recommended.
For the filling:
- 100g butter
- 75g light muscovado sugar
- 2 eggs
- 100g ground almonds
- 2 tblsp plain flour
- pinch of salt
- 0.25 tsp vanilla extract
- grated rind of half a lemon
- 150g plain boiled or steamed potato, mashed, preferably using a ricer, and cooled
For the tart shells:
- approx. 300g shortcrust pastry
- 3-4 tblsp raspberry or apricot jam, warmed
You’ll also need:
- 6 loose-bottomed tartlet tins (about 10cm diameter and 1.5cm deep) or a shallow swiss roll tin, around 27cm x 18cm.
- Preheat the oven to 180C.
- If you’re using pastry that has been frozen, make sure that it’s fully thawed out. If you’re making your own pastry, make it first and let it rest in the fridge while you make the filling.
- Cream together the butter and sugar, using a stand mixer or food processor if you have such a thing, or a wooden spoon and elbow grease if not.
- Beat in one of the eggs, followed by half of the ground almonds, then the second egg and, finally, add in the rest of the almonds.
- Stir in the flour and salt, followed by the vanilla and lemon zest.
- Stir in the mashed potato.
- Roll out your pastry fairly thinly and line your tartlet tins (or swiss roll tin if using).
- Taking each tin in turn, spread the base of the pastry with a thin layer of jam and pour over the potato/almond filling (you should have enough to roughly half fill the tins).
- Bake for around 20 minutes or until lightly golden and firm to the touch.
- Cool on a wire rack, after which you can remove the tartlets from their individual tins or (if using a swiss roll tin) cut into individual slices.
- As with other frangipane-type mixtures, you could try making this with nuts other than almonds.
- 6 x 10cm bakewell tartlets