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Traditional Fruit Tart

J. turned 18 last week. He requested a strawberry cake for his birthday celebration. I was not in the least bit surprised – it’s what he’s asked for since as long as I can remember. Strawberries and raspberries are an old favourite and his birthday happily coincides with the appearance of the first home-grown strawberries. You can always replace strawberries with blueberries, or raspberries or apricots or gooseberries …. Below is the basic recipe – you decide what fruit to use.

This recipe is suitable for a shallow, 24 cm loose-bottom tin.



For the base

180 gr. plain flour

100 gr. chilled butter

90 gr. muscovado sugar

2 egg yokes

 For the custard filling

3 eggs

80 gr. sugar

100 ml. cream

150 ml. milk

Vanilla essence or a vanilla pod.


For the sweet pastry base

In a mixing bowl rub the butter and flour between the fingers and thumb until it resembles fine bread crumbs. Stir in the sugar and add the egg yokes. Combine the ingredients together until the dough forms a soft round ball – add a few drops of chilled water if it is still too crumbly. Leave the dough to rest in the fridge for around an hour – it will make it much easier to roll out later.

When it has chilled sufficiently roll the pastry out on a floured surface until it is large enough to cover the tin. Grease the tin generously with either butter or olive oil making sure all the nooks and crannies have been sufficiently oiled. It will help you remove the tart later from the tin.

Lift the rolled out pastry over the tin and gently press it into side of the tin. Trim the top and prick the base of the pastry with a fork or knife. Blind bake it in the oven on 180 degrees centigrade for approx. ½ and hour – or until it the pastry has turned a golden brown. Now begin preparing the custard.


For the custard filling

With a whisk combine the eggs, sugar, milk, cream and vanilla essence in a bowl and pour the custard over the pastry. Cover with some tin-foil to prevent it from browning and bake in the oven for a further 40 minutes on 180 degrees centigrade. When the cake has cooled sufficiently cover the top with the fruit of your choice and sprinkle with some icing sugar.



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