Early yesterday morning, when most people were still in their warm, warm beds, I was skipping breakfast (I never EVER do this), fumbling to find car keys, and driving through the cold and darkness of 6am. And now, when most people are working or resting hangovers, I'm here eating raspberry tarts. It all evens out, really.
The insane starting hour was to get to Eumundi Markets at a reasonable time before the masses do. And there are masses. A mission intended for scooping up some baby clothes for my sister turned out to be unsucessful, but quickly turned into a very fruitful food shop. It was here that I tasted probably the best strawberries I've had in recent memory, and picked up some beautiful slut red (Nigella's words, not mine!) and golden yellow raspberries.
The flavour of golden raspberries is really much the same. A little less sweet maybe? So, to use these lovelies at their very best, I've whipped up some simple tarts to make my favourite day of the week even sweeter. You can, of course, use regular raspberries. Or strawberries. Or whatever!
Ingredients (makes 12)
For pastry cases:
1 3/4 cups plain flour
1/4 cup icing sugar
185 gms cold butter, chopped coarsely
1 egg yolk
2 tsps iced water
For custard cream:
1 cup full-fat milk
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped)
3 egg yolks
1/3 cup caster sugar
2 tbsps cornflour
1/3 cup thickened cream, whipped
For raspberry coulis:
100 gms raspberries
1 tbsp icing sugar
2 punnets (approximately 60) fresh raspberries
icing sugar, to dust optional)
To make cases, process flour, sugar and butter until crumbly. With motor running, add egg yolk and enough water to bring ingredients together. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and then refrigerate for 30 mins.
Meawhile, to make custard cream, combine milk and vanilla (paste or whole pod and seeds) in a small saucepan and heat over a low to medium heat until it just reaches the boil. Remove from heat.
Beat egg yolks, sugar and cornflour until thick and pale. Gradually pour hot milk mixture into eggs, whisking continuously so eggs do not scramble. If using an electric mixer, simply leave motor running.
Return custard to saucepan, and gently heat, stirring continuously, until mixture thickens and starts to bubble. Pour into a large heatproof bowl, cover the surface with glad wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
Grease 12 capacity cupcake tins. Roll out half the chilled pastry on a lightly floured surface until about 3mm thick. Cut out 12 x 7.5cm rounds and press rounds into holes of tin. Prick bases of each with a fork. Repeat with remaining pastry and refrigerate for 30 mins.
For raspberry coulis, puree raspberries and sugar together until smooth. Strain mixture through a fine sieve into a small bowl and set aside.
Preheat oven to 200C/190C fan-forced. Bake cases for 12 minutes or until lightly golden. Stand cases in tin for 5 mins before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
Fold whipped cream through cooled custard in two batches. Once cases are completely cooled, spoon a small amount of coulis between each. Top with custard. Decorate each tart with raspberries and a dusting of icing sugar if you fancy.
Note: A good raspberry sauce (such as Cuttaway Creek) or jam will work just as well if you don't want to make a coulis.
Recommended baking soundtrack: Horse Feathers - Thistled Spring.