Customer: Waiter, is this all you’ve got to eat?
Waiter: No sir, I’ll be having a nice shepherd’s pie when I get home!
At this time of the year there is an abundance of deliciously sweet tasty assortment of berries. It is the perfect time to use them especially in their fresh state. There’s no need to add extra sugar as they are at their peak in these warmer months. For the base of these tarts I often add one tablespoon of sifted good quality cocoa powder to add a wonderful chocolate hit to the tart. In this recipe you can half it to have both plain and chocolate, whatever pastry dough you have left you can freeze. I used fresh lime juice in this recipe but once again you can use oranges, lemons or any other citrus you prefer. I haven’t put the quantity of berries I used as it will all depend on your choice, whatever you find at their peak on the day is the best. Finally, I used different sizes of tart rings so it’s totally your choice if you wish to make a few small ones or a couple of large ones.
Almond Tart Shell
- 500g organic plain flour (preferred)
- 300g unsalted butter
- 5g salt
- 185g sifted pure icing sugar
- 62g almond meal (finely ground almonds)
- 110g free range eggs (preferred)
- Mix the flour, salt and butter in a food processor fitted with a flat beater until crumble stage.
- Add the rest of the ingredients. Knead until the flour disappears completely, divide mixture in two and flatten to make two round discs, then wrap in cling film and pop in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
- Take dough out of fridge and roll out to approximately 3mm thickness, cut out discs to fit tart rings of your choice. Carefully mold the cut out pastry and leave to rest in the fridge for a further 30 minutes.
- Add baking paper to each tartlet case and baking weights (rice or dried beans) then bake in pre-heated oven at 150°C in a convection oven for approximately 30 minutes.
- 5. Once cooled a little take out of tartlet ring and set aside. Note: Any tart bases you have left over they keep great in the freezer.
- 2 whole free range eggs plus 8 egg yolks
- I cup sugar
- 2/3 cup of fresh lime juice
- Zest of 3 limes
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, room temperature
- Combine whole eggs and yolks, sugar, lime juice and lime zest in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water.
- Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Remove from heat. Add butter, a few pieces at a time, whisking until smooth after each addition.
- Strain through a fine sieve into another bowl, and cover with parchment paper or plastic wrap, pressing it directly on the surface to avoid a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled and firm, at least 2 hours.
To assemble and decorate:
- Using a pastry bag with a 10mm diameter round nozzle tip, fill each tartlet shell with the lime curd.
- Decorate with your choice of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries etc,.
- Dust lightly with sifted icing sugar. (Optional)