When one goes foraging for fruit, one usually ends up baking pie. Or in this case, blackberry custard tart.
Every summer I try to make an effort to get in touch with my inner hunter-gatherer by going to pick blueberries. This year thanks to the weird weather we've been having, I was a little early off the mark when I went berry picking this weekend...
Since not many were ripe yet, I ended up cheating and buying some blackberries from Borough Market to accompany my slim pickings.
This custard tart is pretty simple, the pastry just takes a bit of patience when it comes to letting it rest. The more you let it rest in between messing with it, the more relaxed the gluten will be, and the less likely the pastry is to shrink in the oven. It's an improved version based on my earlier version, which used puff pastry instead of buttery shortcrust and double cream instead of crème fraîche. The custard also has a creamier, lighter texture too.
You can serve this tart with cream, custard or ice cream, but to be honest I think it's best enjoyed plain.
Ready? Let's go.
Ingredients for Pastry:
300g plain flour
3 tbsp cornflour
3 tbsp icing sugar
180g cold unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 egg white
Pinch of salt
Ingredients for Filling:
200ml full fat crème fraîche
200g caster sugar
2 egg yolks
2 tsp cornflour
1 tsp vanilla
1. Lightly grease an 8" tart dish. Put the flours, salt and sugar in a bowl, add the butter and rub with your fingertips: you should
start getting a breadcrumb-like texture that then comes together as a crumbly dough. Add the egg white and continue kneading until smooth. Wrap in clingfilm and let the dough rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Roll the dough out until it's half a centimetre thick, and line your tart tin with it, pressing the dough into the corners (press rather than stretch: if you stretch or overwork the dough it may shrink when you bake it). Trim off the excess (you can either use this to decorate the edge of the pie or make shortcrust biscuits), and pop it in the fridge for 10 minutes to rest. Line the inside of the chilled pastry with some baking parchment, weight it down with baking beans and bake blind for 20 minutes. Take the crust out of the oven and leave to cool for about ten minutes (keep the oven on).
3. Arrange the blackberries on the bottom of the cooled pie crust. Lightly whisk the rest of the ingredients together, evenly pour over the blackberries and bake the whole thing for 45 minutes, until the top is lightly golden brown and the middle still wobbles slightly when you jiggle the tin.
4. Leave to cool completely before slicing and serving.
Have fun, and enjoy.