Strawberry Custard Tart

Ah yes, Wimbledon should be starting soon and all the talk is of strawberry gluts. I used to think I wasn’t very keen on cooked strawberries but this custard tart has changed my mind. There’s not much work involved and you’ll thank me if you take the trouble to give it a try. Think of it now, the smell of roasting strawberries, their flavour intensified as they weep into very creamy custard held in a thin crisp pastry case. This is lovely tart won’t make up for the prospect of no Wimbledon but it is a slight consolation.

Serves 4-6

Prep: 25 min

Cook: 40 min

for the pastry:

150g plain flour plus extra for rolling

75g butter plus extra knob

pinch salt

1 egg

1 tbsp water

for the filling:

300ml thick cream

2 egg yolks

2 tbsp caster sugar

400g medium strawberries

you will need a 22cm tart tin with a removable base

To make the pastry, sift the flour into a bowl with the salt. Cut the butter over the top and use fingertips to rub it into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Whisk the egg with the water and stir into the mixture, continuing as it comes together. Knead lightly whilst forming into a ball. Pop in a plastic bag and chill for 30 minutes. Heat the oven to 190C/gas mark 5. Rub the knob of butter all over the inside of the tart tin. Add 1 tbsp flour letting it dust the butter, thus making the tin reliably non-stick. Roll the pastry to fit the tin. Loosely cover with foil and fill with baking beans. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for a further 5 minutes. Whisk together the cream, egg yolks and 2 tbsp sugar. Hull the strawberries and halve lengthways. Arrange top-to-tail cut-side up in the pastry case. Ladle the custard over the top. Dust with the remaining 1 tbsp sugar. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 35-40 minutes until the custard is just set. Stand on a tin to remove the collar. Slide off the tart base onto a plate and leave to cool slightly  before eating.