What is Bambinella you may ask if you do not live here? It is a fruit native to the island in the height of the summer. You will need to come and visit to try :)
Bambinella [Pyrus Communis] from the Rose family are mini bite-size crispy pears. The flavor is sweet and the texture is very similar to the large Asian yellow pears. Imagine then the most beautiful rosy color blended into a mix of buttercup and bright green hues, all in this tiny fruit, a luxury of flavor, colour and texture in one bite.
I use this beautiful fruit in today’s recipe. This is not a traditional tart but the bambinella is left in its natural state and rests on a yoghurt cream adapted from Prue Leith’s recipe in a pine crust made with olive oil.
It is like having fruit and yoghurt with a bit of a ‘plus treat’!
Fruit and yoghurt with a touch of cream and a cookie assembled as a tart and this will make a marvellous dessert even if you are having guests for dinner. Yet it is a healther than usual dessert and has the appeareance of what we associate with ‘naughty’ rather than healthy !
For the pine crust you will need:
100 ml olive oil (if you are looking for a very ‘short’ and rich pastry, substitute this with 400g butter)
2 level spoons sugar or use Stevia equivalent
Pinch of salt
Few Drops freshly squeezed lemon
50g pine nuts
(These quantities will give you the equivalent to line 2 tart dishes x 8 inches and make this bake)
Sift the flour. Rub the fats into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Add rhe sugar or equivalent and a pinch of salt.
Add the eggs, mix in and then the few drops of lemon juice.
Add cold water, a spoonful at a time until the dough comes together and is the right consistency.
Leave in the fridge for half an hour.
Open out on a floured surface using a rolling pin.
Prepare yoir tart dish, very sparsely buttered. Lay the pastry on top of it and bake blind see instructions here for an easy method.
Yoghurt Cream adapted from Prue Leith’s original recipe
125 ml double cream whipped up until stiff
150ml Greek Yoghurt, if you are on the island use local
1spoon honey or 1spoon sugar or equivalent quantity Stevia
A few drops good vanilla extract
Whip up the double cream.
Add the yoghurt, sugar or alternative and finally the vanilla and mix gently until consistent.
Spoon onto the cooled down pie crust.
Assembling the tart with bambinella and pine nuts
Depending on the size of your tin, 6 to 10 bambinella fruit, cut in half. Seeds scooped out.
1 spoon toasted pine nuts
A sprinkle of icing sugar, I use Bianca Neve which stays put even after refridgeration.
Dip the fruit in lime or lemon juice to prevent discoloration.
Arrange the scooped out bambinella fruit on the tart
sprinkle some toasted pine nuts.
Very sparsely dust with icing sugar.
Our special guest in the food segment on Indigo this week was Parliamentary Secretary, the Honourable Roderick Galdes and you will be able to view this episode on Monday at 17.40. Vetinarary Surgeon Dr Oliver Frendo who heads the Pig Cooperative also joins me to prepare some local food. You can see the Bambinella I used for this tart in the photo. The programme is presented by Claudette Abela Baldacchino