These berries all came from the garden. How lucky are we?
I knew I had to make something that would make the most of these little beauties. I adore a fruit tart, with its contrast of crisp pastry, unctuous custard and tart fruit and this one didn’t disappoint. The girls loved decorating the top with the berries too.
For the pastry
200g plain flour
100g cold butter
1 tbsp icing sugar
1 egg, beaten
For the pastry cream
4 egg yolks
100g caster sugar
25g plain (all purpose flour) sifted
½ tsp vanilla extract or a vanilla pod
For the topping:
fruit of your choice
2 tbsps jam or jelly (such as medlar or redcurrant)
Make the pastry by placing the flour, cubed butter and icing sugar in a food processor and whizzing until it looks like tiny breadcrumbs. Add half the egg and pulse the food processor a few times. The pastry should begin to gather in a ball. Add more egg if you need to and pulse again. Be careful not to overwork the pastry. Form the pastry into a flattened disc, wrap in clingfilm and place in the fridge for thirty minutes.
Remove the pastry from the clingfilm and roll out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll it into a circle slightly bigger than the flan case. My flan case measures 23cm. Carefully place the pastry into the flan case, pushing it into the corners with your fingers. Roll the rolling pin over the top of the flan case to remove any extra pastry and neaten the top. If you have time allow to rest again in the fridge for 20 minutes. This will reduce shrinking of the pastry during cooking. Place a square of foil on top of the pastry and then fill the case with baking beans ( or dried beans or uncooked rice). This will prevent the pastry from rising during cooking. Place in a preheated oven at 200°c, gas mark 6 for 15 minutes. Remove the beans and the foil and prick the base of the pastry all over with a fork. Return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes until golden brown all over. Leave the pastry case to cool.
Make the pastry cream by whisking together the egg yolks and the sugar until light in colour and thick. Stir in the sifted flour.
Heat the milk and the vanilla until just boiling (remove the vanilla pod if using) and then pour slowly over the egg mixture whisking all the time. Pour it all back into the saucepan and continue to cook over a gentle heat until it comes to a gentle boil. Allow it to boil, stirring all the time for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir until it cools. If is is lumpy then push the mixture through a sieve. Cover the custard with clingfilm directly on top to prevent a skin forming and leave to cool completely.
About an hour before serving pour the pastry cream into the pastry case. Decorate with the fruit. Warm the jam/ jelly in a small saucepan and sieve if it has any seeds in it, then brush gently over the fruit to glaze.