It’s nearly the end of March already! How did that happen? This weekend the clocks ‘spring forward’ for one of the last times in Europe as daylight savings is soon to be a thing of the past. Lots of blossoms on the trees, but the cool weather still has me hiding out in the kitchen (not that I’m complaining!)
If the cool weather is great for one thing, it has to be pastry making. Cool kitchens and bench tops make easy work of rolling out pastry, and today’s recipe takes advantage of that. A lusciously smooth, honey, cream and lemon filling, set off with tart and juicy raspberries in a nutty pastry crust is a real beauty. I find that raspberries, though the price varies wildly, are available pretty much all year round, and lemons are at their absolute peak at the end of winter so this is a perfect dessert for the season.
This is actually a take on a very old fashioned English dessert called a posset, dating as far back as at least the 13th century where cream was set using wine or ale. Later citrus juice was used, and this deliciously, deceptively light and tangy dessert was born. It has evolved over the years, and while it is terrific just by itself, I love to serve it as a proper tart, so you can slice it and share at the table.
It could easily be made with any fruit in season, but softer fruit is best as it makes slicing easier – blackberries, cherries, or lightly poached apricots would all be a winner here.
If you don’t fancy making your own pastry this can easily be made with store-bought, frozen pastry, or even served as an old fashioned ‘posset’ simply poured into glasses and set. I can’t wait to try it with some delicious Cypriot lemons when we get to Bellapais!
Let me know if you try this recipe in the comments below, or using the hashtag #daysofjay on Instagram. Happy cooking!
for the pastry:
- 125 g cold, unsalted butter
- 150 g plain flour
- 100 g coarsely ground hazelnuts or almonds
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 egg white, beaten
for the tart:
- 600 ml cream
- 125 ml / 150g honey
- 50 g sugar
- 100 ml lemon juice, strained (about 2 large juicy lemons)
- 125 g raspberries
for the topping:
- 125 g raspberries, additionally
- Lightly grease a long, fluted, loose-based tart tin, the one pictured measures 35 x 12.5 cm, though you could use a 26cm round tin. To make the pastry, place the butter, flour, ground nuts, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor with the blades attached. Pulse until the mixture looks like rough breadcrumbs, then pour in the whole, beaten egg and continue to pulse until the mixture begins to clump together.
- Scrape the mixture out onto a floured benchtop and lightly knead until it forms a smooth dough. Keeping the dough and the benchtop well floured, roll the dough out to fit the shape of the tin you are using, then use the rolling pin to lift the dough into the tin. Press the dough carefully into all corners, taking care to patch anywhere it may have torn. Roll the rolling pin across the top of the tin to trim the edges (reserving any leftover dough), prick all over with a fork, then put the pastry-lined tin into the freezer for 20 minutes. If using ready-made pastry, simply line the tin with the two sheets, trimming to fit, then freeze for 15 minutes before proceeding as below.
- Heat the oven to 200°C / 400°F with a rack in the middle shelf. Remove the pastry-lined tin from the freezer, scrunch up a piece of baking paper, then smooth it out and use it to line the pastry, making sure the base and sides are covered. Line this with a layer of tin foil, then weight down with a couple of ramekins (or baking weights if you prefer) then bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, carefully lift out the baking paper and foil, check to make sure there are no rips or tears in the pastry - if so, gently use a little of the reserved pastry to patch them up, then return to the oven for another 5-7 minutes, keeping an eye on the pastry as the nuts can brown very quickly.
- When the pastry is golden brown and cooked, remove from the oven, allow to cool for 5 minutes, then carefully brush all over with the beaten egg white and set aside to cool completely. This will seal the pastry and prevent the dreaded soggy bottom. The pastry case will keep like this for 3 or 4 days in an airtight container.
- When you are ready to make the filling, heat the cream, honey and sugar together in a deep saucepan (see tips and tricks) stirring over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down to a steady simmer and continue to cook, stirring for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon juice until completely combined then set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
- Scatter 125g of raspberries over the base of the tart, then strain the creamy filling through a sieve into a large jug. Pour over the raspberries (you may find it easier to already have the tart on the top shelf of the fridge to prevent spills while carrying) until the filling nearly reaches the top of the pastry. Chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours or until completely set. If there is any remaining filling (I always make extra as tart tins are different sizes and depths, and because I consider it a chef treat) pour it into ramekins or small glasses and leave to set in the fridge. It will take a little longer to set as it is deeper.
- When the tart has set, remove from the tin, scatter over the remaining raspberries and serve while cold.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 900Total Fat: 68gSaturated Fat: 36gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 27gCholesterol: 197mgSodium: 137mgCarbohydrates: 68gFiber: 5gSugar: 39gProtein: 12g
Nutrition information is calculated automatically and isn’t always accurate.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do I have to make my own pastry?
Not at all! You can use store-bout, though as always I urge you to give this easy pastry a go. Pastry can be a bit scary if you’re not used to working with it. This dough is very forgiving. If it’s not working for you to roll it out, just press it into the tart tin using your fingers, trying to get it as even as you can.
I have dough leftover! What can I do with it?
Any left over dough will keep well wrapped in the freezer for up to 6 months, or if you like, roll it into small balls, flatten slightly, make an indent in the middle of each with your finger, fill the indent with a little jam, then bake on a baking paper lined tray for around 15 minutes for some jam drop biscuits/cookies.
How do I deal with the sticky honey? It’s so hard to measure!
It is easiest if you have a set of scales to weigh the honey directly into the pan. If you are using fluid measures, lightly grease the inside of the cup or jug with oil before putting the honey in. That way it will just slide out!
What sort of honey should I use?
The type of honey you use will determine the flavour of the final dish. I like to use a fairly light floral honey as I like the delicate flavour, but they all taste good!
Does the tart really take 3 hours to set?
It depends on the temperature of your house and your fridge. Do allow time for this tart to set properly though, and if you want super clean slices, or the weather is very warm, freeze for 10-15 minutes directly before serving.