Last week I was lucky enough to be skiing in Tignes and Val d’Isère, and whilst there, to have lunch at La Fruitière. With its stylish dairy decor and blue boiler-suited waiters, it’s a real treat. The highlight was my main course – beef cooked for 72 hours (melt-in-the-mouth doesn’t even come close to covering it) – but the dessert came a close second: a fluffy and fruity clafoutis served with vanilla and gingerbread cream and a tiny bottle of Chambord that was every bit as enticing as the Drink Me potion from Alice in Wonderland.
Today, in honour of the over-commercialised schmaltz-fest that is Valentine’s Day, I decided to rustle up some homemade jammie dodgers. Frankly, it would be easier and almost as tasty to simply buy a packet, but making them with your own fair hand shows love, care, thoughtfulness, and a raft of other qualities that you should probably be keen to demonstrate on today of all days. The addition of Chambord – black raspberry liqueur, in case you’re not up on all things alcoholic – makes them just that little bit more special. If I made these again, I would probably add some orange zest to the biscuit dough for an extra lift.
115g soft butter
50g caster sugar
100g plain flour
50g ground almonds
for the filling:
100g raspberry jam
0.25 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon Chambord
Beat the butter and caster sugar until fluffy then sieve in the flour and ground almonds. Stir until everything comes together. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and refrigerate for at least an hour.
To make the filling, combine the jam, vanilla and Chambord in a small saucepan and simmer over a low heat for 8-10 minutes, until melted and slightly thickened. Allow to cool completely and set aside.
Preheat oven to 140ºC and line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper. Dust a pastry board with flour, remove the dough from the fridge and knead gently for a minute until slightly softened. Roll out the dough to a thickness of around 3mm. Using a round cutter dipped in flour (to stop it sticking), cut out as many biscuits as you can. Lightly knead the dough trimmings together and roll out and cut again; keep going until you run out of dough. Cut heart shapes out of the middle of half the rounds using a tiny cutter.
Arrange the biscuits on the lined baking sheet, leaving a small gap between them. Bake for 15 minutes until crisp and very pale golden. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
To assemble, smear half a teaspoon of the jam mixture onto the centre of each unholy biscuit, then top with a heart-stamped one. Et voilà. Give to your beloved. Alternatively, eat the lot yourself and buy your own roses (recommended).
Kisses x x x