I hope you’re enjoying this Easter long weekend and the gorgeous weather – I can’t believe it’s actually HOT here in Sydney. Finally, summer’s paid us a perfectly timed visit over the long weekend. So in celebration, here’s the recipe for a Summer Berry Tart. I made this dessert for the Wedding Feast (see my previous post) – the meal needed something fresh and light, the chilled lemony cream cheese providing cool relief for hot days like this.
I used a punnet each of blueberries and raspberries, but feel free to use whatever is in season or within budget (raspberries are notoriously expensive). Think of it as a naked pavlova – anything juicy would definitely work (mangoes, strawberries, kiwi fruit oh the opportunities are endless).
I adapted Nigella’s recipe and made shortcrust pastry (by Stephanie Alexander), instead of the cookie crumb base that the original recipe called for (I wanted to make it extra special). I also made lemon curd from scratch (I just can’t help myself). To save time, definitely use pre-made shortcrust pastry and lemon curd from the jar. The tart is simple, starring an array of seasonal fruit, and better yet, it looks sensational.
Summer Berry Tart
- 1 x chilled 22cm-26cm pastry case (I used Stephanie Alexander’s shortcrust pastry, below)
- 250g cream cheese, at room temperature
- ½ cup lemon curd, at room temperature
- 1punnet blueberries (1 cup)
- 1 punnet raspberries (1 cup)
In a clean bowl, whisk the cream cheese until smooth. Whisk the lemon curd through and spread it into the bottom of the chilled tart pan, covering the base evenly.
- Arrange the fruit gently (so it doesn’t sink in too much) on top of the lemony cream cheese.
- Refrigerator the tart, preferably overnight, or for at least 4 hours. It does need to get properly cold in order to set enough for the tart to be unmolded and sliced easily… Voila!
Shortcrust Pastry by Stephanie Alexander
- 180g unsalted butter
- 240g plain flour
- 1 tablespoon caster sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup water
- 24cm loose bottom flan tin
- Remove butter from the refrigerator 30 minutes before making pastry.
- Sift flour and salt onto a marble pastry slab or workbench. Chop butter into smallish pieces and toss lightly in flour. Lightly rub to combine partly.
- Make a well in centre and pour in water. The recipe asks to work the water into the flour until with a pastry scraper ( I just used my fingers) until you have a very rough heap of buttery lumps of dough. Using the heel of your hand, quickly smear pastry away from you across the workbench. It will combine lightly. Gather together, then press quickly into a flat cake and dust with a little flour. Wrap pastry in clingwrap and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.
- When required, roll out pastry to 5mm thickness, dusting generously with flour as necessary. I found the pastry quite delicate and had the tendency to break apart as I was working it into the flan tin. But the beauty of working with shortcrust, you can fill the holes with extra pastry – just make sure the pastry sticks well. Line pastry with foil and fill this with dried beans or pastry weights. Bake at 200C for 15 minutes, then remove the foil and weights and bake for another 5 minutes, until golden.