Madison, WI

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Ralph from Madison, WI

Ralph participated in Week 5: Pastries, and attempted the Bakewell Tart Challenge. Let's see how they did!

How do you rate your baking performance?

Absolutely lovely.

Have fun giving your creation a name and please describe your recipe.

"Ms. Elder Berry's Tart." Making this tart was a first for me, so I pretty much followed Mary Berry's recipe for the crust, filling, and the icing. All turned out very nicely. Blind baking is key for getting a firm crust that does not soak up the jam and butter from the frangipane. Given the summery temperatures, I gave the filling mixture 30 minutes in the fridge so I would melt while I baked the crust. Since I used jelly as the fruit filling (see Wisconsin twist) I wanted to make extra sure that I don't have a buttery soup before I put everything in the oven. I might have had the oven temperature a tad too high (I used convection), which might be the reason why the frangipane rose beautifully but left a ring when it collapsed. But, that had no impact on the taste. I liked that that the recipe was light in sugar, especially for the crust. But then there is this thick layer of icing on top, and I am not sure I am big fan of that. We have all these subtle flavors and then comes this sugary punch. German cakes, which I usually bake, are not that sweet, so it might be just my own taste. Next time, I will make a glaze instead of an icing.

Tell us about your pastry dough and final texture after baking. Are you happy with it?

Pastry dough was excellent – flakymeltinyourmouthish. I loved the overall texture and the almost custard like lightness of the frangipane. I was not too partial about the icing, but it certainly added to the texture.

Detail how you added a Wisconsin twist to your flavors or presentation.

I have been using my homemade elderberry syrup in the past, and since I still had something left, I used it for the feathering. The taste comes through quite beautifully. But to add the Wisconsin twist, I, well, actually my wife, had to go the extra mile. We did not have any local fruits at home, so she drove to the Willy Street Co-op and called me when she was standing in front of their selection of local jams. She found elderberry jelly (no idea they had that), which is what I used in the tart. It is not as sweet as raspberry but so subtle and tart – I cannot recommend trying out new flavors enough. And so thinks our dog (spot him in the video?)

Watch Ralph tackle this challenge below: