Our gorgeous mum Bonnie is in charge of the sweetie treaties at Christmas. She makes the Christmas pudding a year ahead, and the tradition remains that she gets everyone to make a wish while you “have a stir”.
Ellie and Sam say…
On Christmas Day, the year-old pudding gets the royal treatment: a foil covered $2 coin is stuffed in it, a heavy sloshing of brandy that is lit at the table (the blue flames never disappoint) and a big pouring vessel of thick brandy sauce. We can’t give you that recipe as it’s Bon’s well‑guarded secret, and remains under lock and key in a handwritten little notebook.
What we can share, however, is Bon’s Mascarpone Tart, which she rolls out in the days following Christmas. The tart equally encapsulates Mum’s essence and energy – mesmerising, kind, magic, comforting and playful all in one. Most people who meet Bon call her “a diamond”. Whether it’s the last spoonful of Christmas pudding or a slice of this tart, they are always offered something in the afternoon with a cup of Japanese tea and a compulsory game of Rummikub. We know that Mum is in her happy place when her family is around her, enjoying her sweetie treaties, and playing rummy – and to us, that love is what home feels like, too.
2 sheets of titanium-strength gelatine
2 tablespoons full-cream milk
500g (2 cups) mascarpone
60g (½ cup) pure icing sugar, sifted, plus extra for dusting
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
2 teaspoons rosewater
2 tablespoons slivered pistachios
390g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
200g cold unsalted butter, chopped
90g (¾ cup) pure icing sugar, sifted
3 egg yolks
1 tablespoon iced water
To make the pastry, place the flour, butter and icing sugar in the bowl of a food processor and whiz until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolks and iced water, and whiz until the mixture forms a dough. Place the pastry on a lightly floured surface and gently knead into a ball. Flatten into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 180°C conventional. Lightly grease a 22cm tart tin with a removable base.
Roll out the pastry between two sheets of baking paper until it is 5mm thick, then carefully transfer to the tin, pressing it into the base and side, and trimming any excess. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Prick the pastry base all over with a fork, then line with a sheet of baking paper and fill with baking weights or uncooked rice. Bake for 20–25 minutes, until the pastry is lightly golden, then remove the weights and baking paper and bake for a further 10 minutes or until golden. Allow the pastry to cool completely in the tin.
Soak the gelatine in a bowl of cold water for 5–7 minutes. Remove the gelatine and gently squeeze out the excess water.
Heat the milk in a small saucepan over low heat or in a microwave on high until warm. Remove from the heat, add the gelatine and stir until completely dissolved. Set aside to cool.
Place the milk mixture, mascarpone, icing sugar, vanilla and rosewater in a bowl and mix well. Spoon into the tart shell and smooth with a palette knife. Refrigerate, uncovered, for 2 hours or until set. To serve, top with the raspberries and pistachios and dust with extra icing sugar, if you like.
THE BEST THINGS IN LIFE ARE CHEESE BY CHEESE ROYALTY ELLIE AND SAM STUDD (AKA THE STUDD SIBLINGS) IS OUT NOW.
Published in ed#701