“An angel’s kiss in spring” – my berry tart is made of some of those things. On the back of our summer sojourn to the raspberry fields (forever), I had to make this tart. Another great recipe from my cooking school days.
And this recipe includes my super fail-safe short pastry! Save it for other delectables.
Now while Bronek and others dive into a vat of fresh berry goodness, I save mine. Into the freezer they go. Four big tubs of ripe, soft berries that wait, patiently for the mood to take me. These babies freeze really well. And those in the photos? Yep! They were frozen and then placed frozen on top of the cooled custard where they thawed like good little goose bumps and nobody guessed.
Chrissie’s Quick Short crust:
1 ½ cups self-raising flour
¼ cup icing sugar
120 grams cold Butter
Now don’t throw your hands up about the self-raising flour. This pastry is like a cross between a cake and short crust, but is almost fool-proof, can sit in the fridge, and is short and crumbly.
For the custard:
300 mls heavy cream
1 teaspoon, or preferably some good grinds of Queen’s Vanilla bean grinder
1/3 cup white sugar
350 grams fresh raspberries (or blueberries)
For the glaze:
4 tablespoons redcurrant or raspberry (or blueberry) jam
1 tablespoon water
For the pastry: make sure the butter is very cold, and blend the flour, sugar and then cube the butter adding it to the food processor using short pulses until it’s crumbly. Add the egg, then whizz until it forms a ball. Do not over mix.
(When I didn’t have a food processor for a time, I used to grate the butter into the flour, then mix it gently with my hands, add the beaten egg – whisked with a fork – then wrap in plastic and refrigerate until I needed it.)
You can use this pastry immediately as well – I did say it was fool proof! Means you can whizz up a great dessert in no time! This amount makes enough for 1 ½ or 2 shells, depending on the size of your dish. Cut into 2 pieces, wrap the extra in plastic and refrigerate for up to two days.
Roll the pastry onto a lightly floured board. Then push the pastry into a fluted tart dish that’s been buttered well, top with baking paper, fill with beans or rice or even a plate that fits, and bake in a 180 degree C. oven for 15 minutes.
Take out of the oven, remove the paper and beans, then place back in oven to finish for 10 minutes. (Depending on your oven, you may not need to do this extra baking. Check the colour and if it’s lightly brown, or gold, it’s done.)
Let cool. Turn oven down to 150 degrees C.
For the custard: With egg beaters, in a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until well blended, add the cream and vanilla, beat a little, then pour into the cooled pastry case.
For an extra special lift, I tear mint leaves now and dot around the custard. They add a wonderful fresh, minty flavor that takes this dish to a whole new level.
Bake for 30-40 minutes until just set. Remove from oven and leave to cool.
Arrange the berries on the top of the cooled custard. Warm the jam with the water until melted and combined, brush the berries with it. Leave to sit. Can be refrigerated for a few hours until serving, and left overs will keep for a couple of days. Was that “Ha! Ha! Not in my house!” you say?
Do you guys out there entertain still? I hope this recipe becomes a favourite with you like it has with me!