Friday, June 4, 2010

A Taste of Summer

Welcome to my kitchen!  I hope over time many of you will visit us but for those of you who are miles away and across the waters, I hope to cook for you here in spirit.  

Today is one of those sunny, warm (hallelujah), life-is-great kinda days where you feel altogether inspired.  Therefore, after seeing my husband off to work, feeding our new puppy Jozy, waiting for Jozy to take care of her business and then flop down on the floor for one of her nice long naps,I decided this was the day.  Armed with fresh ingredients from a big Tesco run yesterday, I set about making a delicious summer recipe I found in this month's 'Country Kitchen' magazine.  Below, you will find a method accompanied by some fun photos but I'll leave the tasting up to you!

Elderflower and Raspberry Tart

Serves 6 - 8


125g (4 ½ oz) plain flour
60g (2 ¼ oz) butter
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp water


2 egg yolks
50g (1 ¾ oz) caster sugar
2 tsp cornflour
2 tsp plain flour
300ml (1/2 pt) milk
2 tbsp elderflower cordial
200g (7 oz) raspberries
Icing sugar to decorate


1 Preheat your oven to 180°C/ 350°F/ Gas Mark 4
2 Sift flour into bowl and rub together with butter until it looks just like breadcrumbs...
..Stir in the Sugar, then drop the egg yolk in, add the water and mix with a palette knife until it all binds together.  Wrap up your pastry and chill it in the fridge for 10-15 mins.

3 While your pastry is chilling, start work on the custard, placing the egg yolks and sugar in a small pan and whisking them together over a low heat.  Stir in the cornflour and then gradually add the milk, bringing the whole mixture to a simmer...keep whisking so no lumps appear!  Finally, stir in your cordial (I could only find elderflower and apple cordial and it worked a treat - so either straight elderflower or an elderflower mix should do the job!)...and leave to cool...

4  Take out your pastry and roll to approx 1/2 cm in thickness.  This will either fit a 20 cm (8") tart tin or..... as I found... 6 cute mini tart tins!  Make sure to prick the base of the pastry with a fork and get your ceramic baking beans at the ready...If your tins aren't non-stick use some greaseproof paper, if they are non-stick, the pastry case/cases should pop out no problem. 

Bake for 10 mins, take out, remove baking beans and then bake for further 12 mins.  Leave to cool.

When your pastry is cool, then it's back to your custard and on with the filling.  At this point, Jozy (our new lab pup) had had enough and alas, fell asleep in the midst of it all... only to stir if I moved around the kitchen, feeling the need to come and act as a foot warmer.  It's an endearing, sweet quality she possesses if not also a little inconvenient...

Finally, we're at the fun part.... filling your pastry cases with all those other fabulous calories...

Make your cup of tea, let it brew, fill your pastries, sit back, relax and admire your hard work!

I blog this as my husband naps beside me, our puppy naps beneath me and everybody's stomachs smile... I hope you enjoy this treat as much as we (excluding the puppy) did...

As I sign off I'd like to simply say this - thank you to my mother for teaching me the joy of food, and showing me how to bake with spirit, thank you to my mother-in-law and sisters-in-law who delight in food with me and gave me such beautiful and wonderful gifts to bake with (especially my beloved anthropologie apron)..... just know you're all on my mind and in my heart every time I'm in the kitchen...

More to come this bank holiday weekend...happy baking...

1 comment:

  1. I'm grinning from ear to ear after reading this blog post! What a lovely looking dessert- I'm sure it tasted heavenly! I'm subscribing to your blog right now, so I'll be anxiously awaiting your next post :)

    Love you dearly.