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Great British Chefs Academy

Great British Chefs Academy: mastering tarts

Welcome to our first ever Academy masterclass! This month we’ve teamed up with expert pastry chef Graham Hornigold to cover everything you need to know about sweet tarts.

Stunning French pâtisserie, picture perfect pastry work, luscious set creams, curds and fillings – it must take years and years of practice in a professional kitchen to be able to pull that off, right? Wrong! With a little bit of inside knowledge, some tips from those who know pastry work inside-out and the right recipes, it’s actually much easier than you think to pull off seriously impressive desserts at home.

That’s why we’ve decided to dedicate our first ever Great British Chefs Academy masterclass to the art of tart-making. Nothing looks quite as swish as a baked tart with a perfect pastry case (made from scratch of course) and a delicious, flavourful sweet filling. Hosting this month’s Academy class is expert pastry chef Graham Hornigold, who will be guiding us through every aspect of making incredible tarts.

If you’re not sure what the Academy is or want to know more about how it works, click here to learn more. If you’re ready to get stuck in, however, take a look at the videos and recipes below, download the accompanying PDF, dust off those fluted tins and bake your way to tart nirvana!

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Pastry basics

Lesson one: the perfect frangipane

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Let's start with the basics – frangipane is the foundation of some of the best tarts in existence, from the classic Bakewell to more exotic, continental varieties. Graham gives his a wintery twist by spicing the frangipane, adding chopped prunes and a layer of marmalade, but once you've got the hang of making frangipane, you're free to experiment with any flavour you like. Watch the video above to see Graham in action, then click the image below for the full recipe.

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Lesson two: the perfect crème brûlée

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Crème brûlée is one of those classic desserts that will never go out of fashion, but have you ever had it encased in crisp pastry? Watch Graham prepare his tart from start to finish and share some industry secrets on how you can achieve that restaurant-quality finish.

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Lesson three: the perfect clementine tart filling

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Fancy pulling out all the stops? This clementine tart tastes as good as it looks, and while it might take a little time to prepare, the results are more than worth it. Watch Graham cover how to make the perfect Italian meringue, how to ensure your curd filling is perfectly set and how a few little presentation tricks can make all the difference.

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