On a Saturday afternoon we sometimes like to go to Dobbies Garden Centre for a wee wander around the lovely shop followed by a stop for some hot chocolate and juice in the coffee shop.
We hadn't done this since before the summer holidays began and so everyone was keen to go this Saturday past. Actually, despite it being a garden centre we visit it a lot more in the autumn/winter than we do in the summer! Proving the point that we go there for the shop and coffee shop far more than we do for the garden centre!
As soon as we walked in the doors we were confronted with all their beautiful Christmas displays.
They did have a sign up explaining that the reason they had their Christmas display up so early is that the store is being used to showcase the Dobbies Christmas range. Whatever their reason, we didn't mind. The boys (and me!) had a lovely time looking through their range.
Once we had been round all the Christmas stuff we enjoyed some tea and cream scones, courtesy of a voucher I received from their gardening club since it's my birthday this week...
But where is the making in this post you ask?
Well, the cream scones were just for me and my hubs. The other boys had an assortment of other goodies - one thing I like about Dobbies coffee shop is that they have a decent range of free from sweet things so Calum & Alasdair don't have to miss out. James (14) was tucking into a huge strawberry tart and casually asked, 'do you think you could make one of these mam?'
On our way out we bought a tube of strawberry tart sauce (yes there is such a thing) from the food hall.
Then back home I made up a batch of sweet pastry, cut it into small sizes, baked them blind, cooled them, whipped up some cream with a little icing sugar added, spooned some onto each pastry case, added a strawberry on top and finished with the strawberry tart sauce.
And just so that the free from boys didn't miss out, I used some ready made Genius Gluten & Dairy Free Shortcrust pastry to make them a batch of wee jam tarts.
The verdict on the tarts?
I asked the 14 year old, since his stomach is the one that constantly needs filled, and he said that the pastry and cream in my ones was nicer than the one in the shop but he preferred the extra large size of the shop one!