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Book Review – Tart It Up: Sweet and savoury tarts and pies, by Eric Lanlard

Tart It Up: Sweet and savoury tarts and pies Eric Lanlard
Octopus, £18.99
ISBN 978-1-84533-690-5

The Cake Boy is back with another book of treats. This time master pâtissier and owner of south-west London cake emporium Cake Boy, Eric Lanlard - perhaps best known for his Channel 4 cookery programmes Glamour Puds and Baking Mad with Eric Lanlard - turns his attention to tarts and pies.

Admittedly, the first thing that sprung to mind was the timing of this tome. A pie book in June? I think of pies as more suitable for the cooler months, but Lanlard's book makes sure all bases are covered.

Alongside the hearty and filling bakes, such as the flavoursome Iberian chicken pie and rich seafood and potato pie, sit recipes for much lighter options. The spring garden tart, laden with green asparagus, garden peas and broad beans, could no doubt be adapted to be served as individual portions for chefs looking to keep their menu fresh and seasonal, for example.

Tart It Up is a book of two halves, starting with the savoury and ending with the sweet tarts and pies but before the recipes begin there is extensive advice on getting the best results with pastry of all kinds. Lanlard covers every conceivable type such as sweet, savoury, almond or chocolate - and that's just the shortcrust. While much of this is clearly aimed at the keen home cook, less-experienced professional chefs will also be able to benefit from the lessons in the book.

Ahead of the sweet second half, he also squeezes in a handful of savoury accompaniments boasting far more imagination and flavour than the standard pie partners, mash and gravy. A recipe for green beans with shallots and roasted hazelnuts features alongside Moroccan roasted vegetables and Middle Eastern tabbouleh salad, demonstrating once again that pies aren't just for winter.

The sugary end of the Tart It Up spectrum covers everything from the simple and elegant tarte au citron to the flamboyance of Lanlard's strawberry tart "royale", based on an old classic of flambéed bananas, vanilla whipped cream, fresh strawberries and spun sugar layered on a bed of puff pastry.

This book offers plenty of inspiration in terms of flavour combinations, both classic and contemporary. Given that many of these recipes can be prepped in advance without losing the wow factor, there's many a kitchen that would benefit from having one or two of these in its repertoire.

If you liked this, you'll love these:Home Bake Eric Lanlard
â- Cox Cookies & Cake Eric Lanlard and Patrick Cox

By Janie Manzoori-Stamford

E-mail your comments to Janie Manzoori-Stamford

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