Berry overload. In my garden we have more berry bushes than we can possibly know what to do with. And fruit trees. We are up to our eyeballs in plums and apples, which are falling off the trees faster than we can pick them up. So summer is tart season. Plum tart, apple tart, pear, raspberry and blackberry tart, strawberry, cherry, redcurrant…
Which is perfect.
Because tarts are the best. (Especially in a heatwave.)
They are also absurdly easy to make, and can be filled with just about any fruit, so there really is no excuse not to get pickin’ (off the supermarket shelves, perhaps, if this is more your style!)
Redcurrant and Raspberry Tart
For the pastry:
4 ounces plain flour
2 ounces butter
1 ounce caster sugar
a splash of cold water
Begin as if you are making a crumble. (Keeping it vague!) – Rub the butter and flour together until they resemble fine bread crumbs. You can use a food processor if you want (this is by far quicker, just wazz them together for about 30 seconds and you’ll be there!) But I much prefer to use my hands (its more fun, and it feels so nice!) It’s okay for it to be a bit lumpy- and you have to work fairly quickly because with pastry the whole game is keeping it as cool as possible. (I’m starting to wonder why I’m recommending pastry as the ultimate heat wave treat…)
Once you have a fine bread crumby or sandy texture, stir in the sugar.
Then start incorporating the water. You’ll want to go slowly at first- because too much will turn your pastry into a gooey sticky disgusting mess (trust me, it happens.) So start off with about a tablespoon full of very cold water. Sprinkle it all over and start bringing it together into a sort of dough. You can do this with a wooden spoon or your fingers. Add more water if necessary. Once it has all come together into a ball wrap it in cling film and let it rest in the fridge for about half an hour.
Once the pastry is rested, it is ready to roll out- place it on a lightly floured surface and roll out to about a 1/4 inch thickness.
Transfer it to a pie tin and prepare your berries.
I used redcurrants and raspberries, but really any berry is delicious in a tart. Mix with 2-3 tablespoons of caster sugar (the currants were VERY tart, so I had to go quite heavy on the sugar, but this is completely a question of personal preference.)
Brush the base of the tart with egg yolk and sprinkle with cornflour or semolina. This will stop it going soggy with the juice (and saves you baking it blind!)
Pour the berries into the pastry and roughly fold the pastry around the edges- it can be very rough- we are going for rustic here!
Bake at 180 degrees for about 30 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and golden.
Serve with a dollop of yoghurt and teaspoon of brown sugar, or enjoy all on its own!