White Currant Tart

  • Time: 1 hour
  • Serves: 8
  • Level: easy

… experiment with this and let us know your thoughts.’

Pete
'Clearly Dad was trying to impress mum here. This looks too perfect to have come out of our kitchen, if you’re intrigued to know what white current is…'

What you need

1 pack of ready-made short crust pastry

400g punnets white currants or red currents or mix of both

300ml double cream

100ml good store bought custard

A few drops of vanilla essence

Icing sugar

 

Equipment

The equivalent of 2 x 15cm tart tins 3cm deep



Dad's Recipe Tales

Sorry, what are these things called?

I often enjoy a quiet smug moment when asked by a teenage part-time sales assistant if the bunch of herbs I am buying is coriander or parsley, or the bags of frozen fruit are blueberries or black currants – or if my vegetables are artichokes or celeriac, or avocados or aubergines etc. If feeling smug was not bad enough, I then start to think I should be trying to enlighten these innocent youngsters in the enjoyment and knowledge of food – I might offer an explanation: ‘That is coriander not parsley, you can tell by the deep lobed leaves with a feathery pattern to the leaf edge and by its scent of lemons…’

However, recently, I found myself in a very ironic turnaround: it was I that had to ask the assistant what the fruit is called. Here I am a self-confess foodie trying to educate the world about food and I did not know what the punnet of white berries was at Turnips in London’s Borough Market.

The berries were white currants. They are an albino form of a red currant with an identical taste. They come in very posh little punnets – just a small handful. But they are still good value – especially if they also provide decoration or the subject of a photograph before consumption.  They burst with sharp flavour and look very distinctive in a monochrome-styled dessert.

So next time you are asked what a particular herb, fruit or vegetable is just casually say what it is – one day you may need to do the same yourself.

How Dad Cooked It

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170C or Gas 5.
  2. Depending on your available tart cases. Roll out the pastry to a thickness of about 4mm. Line the tart tins leaving some excess above the rim. Patch any holes or breaks with spare pastry.
  3. Using a fork make a repeated pattern of piercings from the tines in the pastry to allow steam to escape and stop the pastry bulging. Using parchment paper, tinfoil or cling film fill the pastry cases with dried beans, rice or ceramic baking beans. Bake blind for 25 minutes.
  4. Remove the fillings and return to the oven for 5 -10 minutes until the base is cooked. Take out of the oven and allow to cool. Once cool trim the excess pastry from the rims using a sharp knife.
  5. Make the filling. Beat the cream with a whisk until it forms peaks. In a separate bowl, whisk the custard with the vanilla and 1 tsp of icing sugar. Fold the custard into the cream. The stiffness of the mixture depends on how stiff the cream was beat  Taste for sweetness and if necessary add more icing sugar.
  6. Wash, drain, and dry the red and or white currents, carefully take them off their stems. Arrange on the filling and serve dusted with icing sugar.

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