COOKING WITH KIDS: FRUIT TARTS
Cooking with kids would have to be the single most important thing I can encourage any parent to do. Not only does it set them up for a future where they are not reliant on awful take-away food with its dubious origins and ingredients, but it’s a great bonding tool and an opportunity to spend some quality time with the youngsters.
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Even if you are not the best cook in the world you will be way better than your kids… and kids’ cookery is a perfect place to start if you (as the adult) are just learning too.
Cooking is so educational and the end result is usually delicious. And if it’s not, then hopefully everyone learns something for next time.
I like to think of cooking as education and learning by stealth. Kids have to count, weigh, measure, read and converse and comprehend just to put a recipe together – so it’s a win-win for everyone.
As you might have guessed by previous recipes, I am a bit of a fan of Puff Pastry as it is so easy to cook in a camp oven or in your oven at home.
Place your sheet of cold pastry on a flat surface and get the kids to stamp out nine cutter shapes.
Remove the shapes from the pastry sheet and evenly space them on a greased (or baking paper covered) tray.
Don’t discard the excess it can be re-rolled and made into more tarts.
Get the kids to brush the top of the pastry shapes with milk using a pastry brush, small paint brush or just the tips of their fingers.
Sprinkle a light coating of raw sugar over the pastry.
If your child is not old enough to handle a sharp knife, slice up the fruit thinly so three or four slices can be arranged on top of the pastry.
Sprinkle again with raw sugar and bake in a hot camp oven, caravan oven or home oven at about 200 degrees C for about 15 minutes, or until the pastry has puffed and is golden brown.
Allow these little delicacies to cool (as the fruit will be like molten lava and could easily scald the roofs of little mouths).
Serve with a dollop of Mascarpone, double cream, whipped cream, custard or ice-cream. One thing I can guarantee: You will not be able to stop at one – so the kids will get plenty of practice keeping up with demand. Enjoy!
Tip. If you don’t have a scone cutter, just cut the pastry into nine squares and follow the recipe the same way.
Tip. To tell the temperature of a camp oven, get a BBQ temperature gauge and place it inside for five minutes before cooking to get an accurate reading. Remove the gauge before adding your food.
Tip. A spoonful of stewed apple in the middle of the pastry is just as nice, with a light sprinkle of cinnamon sugar.
1 sheet of puff pastry
3 pieces of fresh fruit… apples, nectarines, peaches, plums… anything that can be thinly sliced
Milk for brushing the pastry
A tray that will fit into your camp oven, caravan oven or home oven
A large scone cutter
Words & images by Jo Clews