For this month’s BBC Radio Nottingham ‘How to Bake’ session I have decided to change up our cake baking of the past few months and instead go for one of my favourite bakes of all time, this beautiful Raspberry tart. One of the most classic bakes of all time, this is a fantastically adaptable recipe which you can change up depending on what fruit is available. This recipe calls for a Pate Sucree, a French sweet shortcrust pastry, which provides the most delicate and crumbly texture and can be used anytime you need a sweet pastry recipe. It will also freeze for up to 2 months, as long as it is well wrapped, so you can use the below recipe to make a tart now and still have enough pastry left for a quick emergency tart later in the week!
Ingredients (makes two 10” tarts):
400g Plain Flour
35g Ground Almonds
75g Icing Sugar
250g Very cold Unsalted Butter – Cubed
2 Free Range Egg Yolks
1tbsp Ice cold water.
700ml Full Fat Milk
8 Large Free-Range Egg Yolks
130g Caster Sugar
30g Corn Flour
30g Plain Flour
1 Vanilla Pod
- Place all dry ingredients for the flour into a large bowl. Work the butter into the mixture until it resembles rough breadcrumbs.
- Add the beaten egg yolks and water to the dry ingredients and, working quickly, bring the mixture together into a dough ball. Split into two, wrap in clingfilm and store in the fridge for at least 30 mins.
- When Pastry is cooled, take half out of the fridge and use it to line your pastry tart tin (see tips below). Place the lined tin back into the fridge for another half hour while you work on the second tin.
- Pre-heat the oven to 190c.
- Remove the tins from the fridge and prick the base with a fork several times. Line with heat-proof cling film and fill with baking beans (see tips below). Bake for 10mins before removing beans and continuing to bake for a further 10mins. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
- Make the Crème Pat. Add the milk and vanilla pod to a saucepan and place on a medium heat.
- In a separate bowl, add the egg yolks, flours and sugar. Whisk well to combine.
- Once the milk begins to boil, pour it straight onto the egg yolk\sugar mixture whilst whisking. This will bring the eggs up to the same temperature as the milk without cooking them too quickly.
- Place the mixture back onto a medium heat, constantly whisking, for around 4mins until the custard thickens up (see tips below).
- Place the finished Crème Pat into a large bowl and cover directly with clingfilm. This will stop it from forming a skin. Leave to cool.
- To assemble, either pipe or gently spoon the Crème Patisserie into the tart tins to 1\2” below the top. Gently arrange your fruit onto of this.
- Take a spoonful of Raspberry jam (see tips below) and place into a saucepan with 2tbsp water. Heat until boiling. Use a large pastry brush to apply this to the top of the fruit on your tart to give it a mirror like finish.
- Stand back and admire your work!
- The key to a good, crumbly pastry is to work very quickly with as cold hands as possible. If you find you are quite warm blooded the use a food processor to bring your dough together. Don’t over work or over knead your pastry either. Just mix it enough to bring it together into a shaggy ball. The flour will absorb more moisture from the eggs and water whilst it rests in the fridge.
- There are many different ways of lining a pie or tart tin. I prefer to roll my pastry out the roll it round my rolling pin to transfer it to the tart tin. Use your fingers or a bit of spare pastry dipped in flour to get the corners or your tin lined correctly. Trim the top of your tin before you put it back into the fridge. As long as your pastry is cold enough, you shouldn’t get much slippage when it cooks.
- Most cling film should be oven proof but check the box to make sure. If you’re not sure then use baking paper to make a small parcel for your baking beans. If you don’t have baking beans then you can just as easily use dried pasta or some type of pulses. Keep these when you are done with them though as you can use them again and again. This will stop your pastry from rising and will give you the flat, crisp base. No soggy bottoms here!
- Crème Patisserie is the filling used in 90% of all your favourite cake shop treats so getting the recipe correct is vital. As long as you work quickly and, most importantly, NEVER stop whisking whilst working you should have no issues with this at all. Once you have this recipe practiced, try folding in some whipped cream to make Crème Legere or some soft butter to make Crème Mousseline. You could also fold in some melted chocolate to your Crème Patisserie to make a thick chocolate pudding (my girlfriends favourite treat in the world)!
- I have used Raspberries in this recipe, hence why I have used raspberry jam to make my glaze (called a Nappage in French) but you could swap this out for apricot, strawberry or even marmalade, depending on the fruit you use. Try Kiwi, Mandarin and fresh Cherry version for an exotic treat!