Wish Upon A Dish: Darina Allen is keeping it in the family

June 22, 2011

Darina Allen is keeping it in the family

No. 38 of the top 50 Women Game-Changers in Food by Gourmet Live is Darina Allen.

Some of you younger foodies won't remember her PBS show but I do. She was around when the Frugal Gourmet and the Galloping Gourmet were popular.

I think of her as the Alice Waters of Ireland, showcasing local ingredients in all her recipes. I enjoyed her simply way of cooking. This was something I could do.

Allen’s Ballymaloe Cookery School on a 100–acre organic farm in County Cork, Ireland, has reached far into food culture since it began in 1983. Everyone still wants to take classes there.

Rachel Allen did and was the next generation of cookery teachers at Ballymaloe and along with a few cookbooks under her belt, she has a PBS cooking show Rachel's Favorite Foods.

If you think it is a coincidence that her last name is the same as Darina, you would be wrong. She actually is related to Darina, and just happens to be married to her son. Rachel attended Ballymaloe at the young age of 18, graduated, left and then returned to teach.

She is carrying on the tradition of simple but using the best ingredients in her recipes.

The last time I saw her show she made a simple but delicious looking No Pastry Pear and Almond Tart which appealed to me because I hate making pastry dough. I do not have the counter space to roll them out so I stay away from them (unless they are a press-in).

I used Ideal sugar substitute, about 1/2 cup to the cup of soft white whole wheat flour, 4oz of almond flour, 5 egg whites and 1 1/2 sticks of melted butter. Could not be any easier than that.

I only needed 2 bosc pears (make sure they are very ripe) and 1 oz of shaved almonds.

No Pastry Pear And Almond Tart
Serves 4
* 175g (6oz) icing sugar (I used a sub)
* 50g (2oz) plain flour (I used soft whole wheat flour)
* 100g (4oz) ground almonds (I used almond flour)
* Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
* 5 egg whites
* 175g (6oz) butter, melted (I used a spread)
* 2 ripe pears, peeled, cored and quartered, then cut into long slices about 5mm (1/4 in) thick
* 25g (1oz) flaked almonds
* Icing sugar, to serve

Preheat the oven to 200C (400F), Gas Mark 6. Lightly grease the sides of a 23cm (9in) tart tin with a removable bottom and place a disc of greaseproof paper on the base. If you prefer, you can serve this tart on the tart tin base, in which case do not use a disc of paper.
2. Sieve the icing sugar and flour into a bowl and stir in the ground almonds and lemon zest. Whisk the egg whites for 30 seconds, until just frothy, and add to the dry ingredients with the warm melted butter. Mix until smooth.
3. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Arrange the pieces of pear on top and sprinkle with flaked almonds.
4. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, then turn down the oven to 180C (350F), Gas Mark 4 and cook for a further 10 minutes or until risen and pale golden. The filling should fill firm to the touch in the center.
5. Allow to sit in the tin for a few minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.
I brushed some melted sugar-free apricot jam on top.

Dust with icing sugar to serve. This is delicious with softly whipped cream.

No comments :