You can make this with strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, red or blackcurrants, in which case I’d glaze the fruit with a simple glaze of apricot preserves and water, heated together then sieved over the fruit – but a simple raspberry tart just needs a dusting of powdered sugar.
I recommend making the pastry well ahead as it needs to rest for a minimum of 2 hours and it freezes really well.
It’s a rather unusual pastry as it doesn’t require ice-cold butter and chilly fingers – in fact you make it rather like you would a sponge cake. The end result is rolled between two layers of cling film, so you won’t be making a mess with flour flying all over the kitchen either. This is a really lovely pâte sucrée; perfect for all types of fruit tart. This recipe yields more pastry than you’ll need so freeze the rest, wrapped in cling film and then in a plastic bag.
The custard base is perfect for any tart that’s topped with fresh berries and it also freezes well.
You’ll need a 9 inch (23cm) loose-based non-stick tart tin.
RASPBERRY CUSTARD TART
About 12 oz (340g) of fresh raspberries, or more if you want the tart really stuffed with fruit
Powdered sugar for dusting
For the pastry:
4.5 oz (128g) of butter at room temp
4.5 oz (128g) of fine (caster) sugar
1 large egg
9 oz (255g) of plain /all-purpose flour, sifted
1 oz (28g) of ground almonds
A pinch of salt
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy then beat in the egg followed by the sifted flour, ground almonds and salt. Beat until it forms a ball then scoop it up and wrap it in cling film. Flatten it slightly to a disc shape and stick it in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours and up to 3 days. (If you’re going to freeze the pastry you must chill it first).
For the custard base:
2 cups (500ml) of milk
A vanilla bean
2/3 cup (150ml) of sugar
1/3 cup (75ml) of all-purpose/plain flour
2 large eggs
Start by whisking together the eggs, sugar and flour in a saucepan until it’s light and fluffy.
Split the vanilla bean and carefully scrape the seeds into the milk in a separate pan. Gently heat until simmering then pour a little milk into the egg-sugar-flour mixture whisking all the time, then gradually add the rest, continuing to whisk. Put the pan on the heat and keep whisking as it thickens and the second it boils, take it off the heat and transfer the thick custard to a bowl. Immediately cover the surface of the custard with cling film and let it cool, then stick it in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble the dessert.
You’ll need about 2/3 of the pastry for the crust. Freeze the rest or use it for something else. Flatten the pastry between two layers of cling film and roll it out until you have a large pastry circle that’s about 1/8th inch (3mm) thick.
Carefully drape it into the tart pan pushing it into the sides and bottom without overly stretching it, so that it’s even and level with the top of the pan. I recommend doing this with the cling film lying on top of the pastry – it can take a few minutes of pushing it around to get it looking even. Once it’s evenly in place, prick the bottom all over with a fork and chill it in the fridge for 30 minutes. Heat the oven to 350F (180C) while the crust is chilling.
Bake the crust for 25-30 minutes until lightly golden and cooked through. The base should be ever so slightly springy to the touch. Cool completely.
To assemble the tart, fill it with custard and spread it evenly (again you’ll have more than you need so freeze the rest). Arrange the raspberries on top and finally give it a light dusting of powdered sugar to serve.
The assembled tart will keep in the fridge for 24 hrs, that is if you can resist eating the lot.