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Popina Pear & Almond Frangipane Tart

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Brand: Popina / Type: Tarts

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      06.01.2010 12:35
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      A real treat once in a while.

      A few months ago I was watching a cookery programme on The Good Food Channel which was simply called Bake. This excellent series presented by Rachel Allen, is a showcase of fine baking and deliciously tempting desserts, which would threaten any New Year's dieting plans in the blink of an eye!

      The series not only features some of Rachel's most appealing recipes, but also takes you on some wonderful visits to artisan bakeries and cottage enterprises all over the UK. A visit I particularly enjoyed was to The Popina Bakery in London, which is an organic unit with a rich history.

      Set up by a lady called Isidora Popovic in 2000 who was not a cook but actually an art student who had graduated from Goldsmiths College in London.
      In the beginning she had exhibited an art piece which was a medieval 3 course meal, and this inspired her to create a business where food would be produced in an artistic way, reflecting her love of beauty and design. In her words she planned to create a food business that was about art for food's sake-food artistry from the soul!

      The Princes Trust helped with a start up grant, and initially the bakery supplied food for art events and private functions, but soon this expanded into local markets, the first of these being the famous Portabello Road, delicatessens and the organic delivery service Abel and Cole then became suppliers, which is where I became able to try these delicious treats as I have an organic weekly box delivered!

      Everything they make uses the freshest most natural ingredients and all of them are organic. What I really love is that they are all made by hand from scratch, and as far as possible they use English ingredients including butter, and free range eggs. Health is also considered and indeed their savoury tarts are made with olive oil, rather than with butter to create a lighter crust.

      Their bakery continues to win major awards year on year, and if you ever get a chance to sample their produce you won't be disappointed. A full list of suppliers follows at the end of the review.

      So for Christmas I decided to purchase the Organic Pear and Almond Frangipane Tart, as an alternative to Christmas pudding for those too full to tackle the traditional stodgy end to the festive meal! I also had my daughter's boyfriend for the day, and I knew he was an almond lover so I thought this would be perfect for him.

      I paid £6.99 for this tart from Abel and Cole so I didn't even have to brave the crowds, and it ended up on my doorstep on Christmas Eve. The tart is fresh and not frozen so it is simply a matter of warming through to serve, and the ingredients speak for themselves as being natural and they are flour, butter, sugar, eggs, for the pastry and
      pears, almonds, sugar, butter, eggs, and flour for the filling.

      The tart was beautifully presented in a box with a protective domed top and it looked like an object of beauty. 10 to 12 minutes at 160c ensured a lightly warmed dessert, which when spooned into the mouth was a rich, but light, medley of almonds and pears which was moist and flavourful, and looked like I had slaved away for ever making it.

      I just served it with fresh cream to which I added a few drops of almond essence, and there was soya cream for anyone who preferred this. Sadly as it wasn't vegan some of my guests missed out on this treat, but it was so good I found myself perusing their website for more ideas for future celebrations. Their website isn't showing this tart at the moment, but some of its close neighbours make an appearance, including an Elderflower and Gooseberry version which looks divine. Also capturing my attention is a Organic Lemon and Poppy seed Tartlet which looks equally appealing.

      Some of the brownies and biscuits they make are available to order on line and these would make lovely, though rather expensive gifts.

      I thought everything about this tart was superb, the fact that it was organic, the fact that I was supporting small business, especially that set up by an enterprising young person also appealed to me. The ethical nature of the business in its aims to try to buy locally produced ingredients is also very exciting. It was in many ways reminiscent of a tart bought in a top class French patisserie, an object of beauty as well as a deliciously tasting finale to a special Christmas meal.

      These are all the stockists as listed on the website at www.popina.co.uk. They do say that they have more nationwide so if you are interested you can contact them and they will supply you with a full list.

      So first we have the markets;


      SATURDAY
      Portobello Road Market, stall 72 London W11
      09:00 - 17:00
      Pimlico Road Farmers Market
      On the corner of Pimlico Road and Ebury Street, London SW1
      09:00 - 13:00
      www.lfm.org.uk
      Twickenham Farmers Market
      Holly Road, off King Street TW1
      9am-1pm
      Broadway Market
      Broadway, Hackney, London E2
      10:00 - 16:00
      Notting Hill Farmers Market,
      off Kensington Place, behind Waterstones W8
      9am-1pm

      SUNDAY

      Queens Park Farmers Market
      Salusbury Road, London NW6
      Sundays 10:00 - 14:00
      www.lfm.org.uk
      Marylebone Farmers Market
      Car park behind Waitrose, off Marylebone High Street
      London W1
      Sundays 10:00 - 14:00
      www.lfm.org.uk
      Clapham Farmers Market
      Bonneville Gardens, London SW4
      Sundays 10:00 - 14:00
      www.lfm.org.uk
      Islington Farmers
      every 1st, 3rd and 5th week of the month
      William Tyndale School (behind the Town Hall)
      Upper Street, Islington N1
      10:00 - 14:00
      www.lfm.org.uk

      SHOPS
      Forman and Field
      www.formanandfield.com
      Abel & Cole Organic Food
      www.abel-cole.co.uk
      Whole Foods Market
      The Barkers Building
      63-97 Kensington High Street,
      London W8 5SE
      www.wholefoodsmarket.com
      Fresh and Wild, Stoke Newington, 32-40 Stoke Newington Church Street, London N16 OLU
      Fresh and Wild, Soho 69-75 Brewer Street London W1F 9US
      Fresh and Wild, Camden 49 Parkway, London NW1 7PN
      Planet Organic, Notting Hill Gate
      42 Westbourne Grove
      London W2 5SH
      Planet Organic, Torrington Place
      22 Torrington Place
      London WC1 7JE
      www.planetorganic.com
      Pomona
      179 Haverstock Hill NW3 4QS
      Flavours Deli
      10 Campdale Road,
      Tufnell Park N7 0EA
      Dragonfly Wholefoods
      24 Highgate High Street,
      London N6 5JG
      Here, Chelsea Farmers Market
      125 Sydney Street
      London SW3 6NR
      Panzer's
      13-19 Circuis Road St. Johns Wood
      London NW8 6PB

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