It’s been such a long time since I’ve blogged my latest recipe. I have actually been cooking & baking a lot… but I’ve had very little time to upload the photos & recipes etc. Since moving to Donegal whilst the extension is ongoing in Derry I have spent my days DRIVING! School runs are 50km round-trips and sometimes that happens twice or three times a day :( Plus I managed to wreck my knee playing tennis and so had to rest up for two weeks and have since been hobbling around for the past three weeks.
Anyway, expect a deluge of updates in the very soon as I grapple to upload as many as I can before heading off on holidays at the end of the month. Hopefully we will be back in our house in a few weeks again too.
So this is a very simple recipe I saw in a “Delicious” magazine (during my resting period), which turned out to actually be delicious too - however I find anything that involves pastry hits the mark with me, despite pastry giving me awful heartburn. My initial plan was to go out along the Greencastle coastal path and forage the berries with Evie, however since my accident plus the dreadful weather that wasn’t to be so I’ve used frozen berries.
I love to make my own pastry but don’t hold back on using shop bought pastry (not supermarket own brand though) if pastry-making isn’t your thing. So no excuses for not tryingthis - frozen berries, ready-made pastry & sugar - all pretty straight forward.
I served the tart with some strawberry ice-cream that I will get round to writing up very soon, but again feel free to use bought ice-cream, custard or just cream.
Summer Berry Tart
500g summer mixed berries
450g preserving sugar
juice of half a lemon
(or use pre-made shortcrust pastry, 1 block or two pre-rolled sheets) 340g plain flour, sieved
165g unsalted butter, cut into cubes and chilled
1.5 teaspoon sugar
1.5 teaspoon salt (omit if you are using salted butter)
9-inch/23cm metal pie tin
Digital probe thermometer
Ceramic baking beans
Granulated sugar, for sprinkling
Ice-cream, cream or custard, to serve
Start with making the Jam:
Put the berries in a large heavy-based saucepan or Le Cruset, and stir in the preserving sugar and the lemon juice. Leave the mixture to macerate for 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently.
Make the pastry whilst the fruit is macerating:
(If you are using pre-made pastry then obviously skip this step)
Put the flour, sugar and salt into a food processor and blitz for 15 seconds to combine. Add the cubed butter into the mixture and blitz again until you get coarse breadcrumbs. With the blade running, slowly add iced water, a tablespoon at a time, until the mixture is combined and starts coming together.
Take the dough out of the food processor and roll into a ball with your hands. If it feels a bit wet add a small bit of sieved flour and knead together. (Drier pastry gives a shorter/crisper crust. Wetter pastry is easier to handle but gives a tougher crust that may shrink!)
Divide the pastry into two portions - one-third (for the lattice work on top and two-thirds for the base and sides). Flatten each ball into a disc with your hands, wrap them individually with cling film and put into the fridge to chill for one hour. (If you’re in a rush 30 minutes should do the trick)
Back to the Jam:
Put two small plates in the freezer (for testing the jam consistency later).
Put the pan of macerated berries over a low heat and warm gently until all the sugar has dissolved, then increase the heat until the jam reaches 105°C - about 15 minutes. The jam should look thicker.
Remove the pan from the heat and spoon a small blob onto one of the plates from the freezer. After a few seconds, push your finger through the jam - if it wrinkles it has reached setting point. If it hasn’t put the pan back on the heat for a while and then check again on the second plates.
Make the Tart Case:
Roll the two-thirds section of pastry out to cover your tart tin, and carefully place in the tin - it’s usually easier to roll the pastry on the back of the rolling pin and to then gently lay it on top of the tin. Use a spare bit of pastry to push the pastry into the sides of the tart tin. Trim away the excess hanging over the tin and save the offcuts in case you need more for your lattice work.
Prick the base with a fork and put back in the fridge to chill for another 30 mins in the fridge or a quick 10 minutes in the freezer.
[Heat the oven to 160°C/320°F.]
Take the pastry out and line with baking parchment (making sure it comes over the edges of the pastry) and fill with ceramic baking beans and cook in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes. Then take out of the oven, remove the parchment and the baking beans. (If any holes or cracks appear in the pastry just seal them with some beaten egg). Return the tart case to the oven for 5 more minutes and then leave to cool.
Complete the Tart:
Spoon the jam into the pastry case, then roll out the rest of the pastry and slice into strips to make the tart-topping lattice. You can just lay three strips one direction and three strips the opposite direction if you want to keep it easy or you can create a lattice effect by following the visual steps at the end of the recipe.
Bake the Tart:
Sprinkle the tart with caster sugar and bake for 25-30 minutes until the pastry is golden on top. If it colours too much before the tart is cooked through, then cover it loosely with some tin foil.
Leave to cool to room temperature and serve with cream, ice-cream or custard.
Click below for an animated guide on
How to make an Impressive Lattice Top
Recipe taken from Delicious Magazine, September issue.