When Seasonal Berries got in touch and asked me to create a summery dish using British berries for their #BerriesSaySummer campaign I knew immediately what dessert I was going to create. These Summer Fruit Tarts can be made with almost any berry, but I love the tiny British strawberries and raspberries when they’re in season. They’re full of flavour and so naturally sweet you don’t really need to add anything else with them.
You may notice another fruit on these tarts, it’s one I’d never heard of until this weekend, it is a Japanese Wineberry (or Japanese Raspberry). Whilst I’m sure you’re thinking, well that doesn’t sound very British to me, I can guarantee that this Asian variety has been grown on British soil, by a little-known British “producer” who is actually my boyfriend’s Mum.
The term producer has been used loosely, together we removed nearly the entire crop of these delicious little berries from the one bush in her fantastic garden. They have a sticky texture and the raspberry-like fruit pops like a collection of little blueberries in your mouth when you eat them. I don’t think there are many things better than eating freshly picked fruit, it seems to have so much more flavour than any fruit you can buy, you can almost taste the summer sun in every piece.
If all goes to plan, I’d love to grow my own Japanese Wineberries, however when it comes to kitchen gardening, I have a few extenuating factors that make it quite difficult to successfully grow produce. Firstly we have quite a small garden and only half of it gets a large amount of sun, secondly we have a house rabbit, Stanley who loves to run amok like Peter Rabbit. I’m constantly made to feel like Mr McGregor, chasing him away from the beetroot, strawberries and herbs. The final and perhaps most important factor is my lack of green fingers, I seem to underestimate how much care and attention plants need.
This year I attempted to grow edible flowers from seed, all of my Nasturtiums came up blind and my Pansies were pretty underwhelming. Next year I think I’ll just buy the bedding plants and spend my time keeping watch while Stanley surveys the land.
So after revealing my lack of gardening ability, it’ll be of no surprise to you that I brought all of my British Berries from Waitrose. If you have a My Waitrose card, they’re also currently offering a further 20% off their British Berries as part of their Summer is for Berries campaign (ends 18th August 2015).
These tarts are very simple to make, they base is a Sable Breton which is a shortbread like pastry and can actually be used to make a very delicious biscuit. These are topped with strawberry jam and a very light creme mousseline, which is essentially a creme patissiere whipped and lightened with unsalted butter. The final stage is top the tarts with fruit of your choice and a glaze of apricot jam to make the fruit really shine.
Summer Fruit Tarts
- ***Sable Breton***
- 250 g Plain Flour
- 1.5 Tsp Baking Powder
- 1 g Sea Salt
- 185 g Unsalted Butter at room temperature and cubed
- 75 g Egg Yolks
- 160 g Caster Sugar
- ***Creme Mousseline***
- 190 ml Milk
- 1/2 a Vanilla Pod 1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- 40 g Egg Yolks
- 35 g Caster Sugar
- 20 g Plain Flour
- 150 g Unsalted Butter at room temperature and cubed
- ***To assemble***
- 100 g Smooth Strawberry Jam
- 200 g Strawberries
- 200 g Raspberries
- 50 g Apricot Jam
- Sift the flour, baking powder and salt. Put the butter in a mixing bowl and beat until soft and smooth.
- Place the egg yolks and sugar in a separate bowl and whisk until light in colour. Add the eggs to the soften butter and beat until fully combined.
- Then fold in the sifted dry ingredients. Mix together the ingredients to form a dough. Wrap in cling film and leave to chill in the fridge for a couple of hours or freeze for up to 1 month.
- Take the pastry from the fridge and roll the pastry out between two sheets of greaseproof paper. This is necessary because the pastry can be quite sticky, roll it out to a thickness of about 8mm.
- Place the rolled out dough on a baking tray, remove the top layer of greaseproof paper and return to the fridge for an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 180C Fan and bake the pate sable for 20-25 minutes until it turns golden. As soon as the pastry is done, remove it from the oven and using a round pastry cutter that is 7.5cm diameter, cut out 10 circles. It's best to do this when the pastry is warm. Don't remove the circles of pastry, leave them to cool before moving them.
- To make the creme patissiere, add the milk and vanilla pod to a saucepan and bring to the boil. Turn off the heat and leave the milk to infuse while you mix the egg yolks, sugar and flour. Whisk until the mixture is a light coloured thick liquid.
- Strain the infused milk onto the egg mixture and whisk until combined. Return the mixture to the saucepan and whisk until thickened.
- Remove the creme patissiere and place it in the bowl of a stand mixer with the flat beater attached. Beat the creme patissiere until it cools to room temperature. On a medium speed slowly add the cubes of butter, beating until they are full incorporated.
- This takes a few minutes and it looks as though the butter and creme patissiere are never going to combine, however after a few minutes, the mixture changes to resemble a light buttercream and comes together.
- To assemble the tarts, take the sable breton and spoon a teaspoon of strawberry jam in the centre of the pastry. Pipe or spread a small amount of the creme mousseline on top of the jam and cover it completely. Don't be tempted to add too much creme as it will splurge out when you add the fruit.
- Decorate with chopped and sliced fruit of your choice, I used strawberries, raspberries and Japanese wineberries.
- Finally heat up the apricot jam with a tablespoon of water and then using a pastry brush, glaze the fruit with the jam to get the real patisserie shop look. Store these in the fridge and eat within 3 days.
If you need more #BerriesSaySummer inspiration take a look at these other summery recipes using British berries:
SuperGolden Bakes has made the most amazing Summery Eton Mess Cake.
Domestic Gothess’s Summer Berry Charlotte is one of the most beautiful bakes I’ve ever seen!
Vikalinka has created a stunning Summer Berry Tart including an array of delicious summer fruits.
Thanks for reading.
I have added this post to Fabulous Foodie Fridays.