My Mum is an amazing cook, she was also until recently a full time family doctor . When I was little she often worked Saturdays and would buy me and my little brother cakes on the way home. In summer Strawberry Tarts would appear in the bakery , only in summer , only for a few short weeks , simple pastry , custard filled and topped with a single strawberry.
I was reminiscing about these tarts as I read about Breast Cancer Care who are encouraging people to hold their own Strawberry Teas to rasie money for the charity Last year 1,600 teas were held, raising £400,000 for the charity which helps to raise awareness and provide services for people affected with Breast Cancer.
I was able to make these tarts with some with some fantastic donated sugar from Tate and Lyle Fairtrade Sugar, you need both demerara and caster sugar and Nielsen Massey Vanilla Bean paste for a hit of vanilla , this means maximum proceeds for the charity.
I’m not holding a tea (our home is in chaos redecorating) but instead am sending a batch into work with my boyfriend for a coffee break and a suggested donation.
There are still plenty of Strawberries to be had, so if you fancy a go, here’s a few extra recipes to get you started but Breast Cancer Care have plenty of tips on their site for running your own tea or to donate
Makes 12 tarts
Pastry – This is a sweet pastry but follows the same basic principle of half fat to flour
175g of plain flour
25g of caster sugar
100g of butter
2 tbsp of water
- Mix together the plain flour and sugar
- Rub together the butter into the flour-sugar
- Add the water slowly mix to form the pastry
- Refridgerate the pastry for at least 15 minutes
- Cut into 10cm rounds , turn a muffin tin upside down and cover the outside of the muffin forms with the pastry ( This was you get deep pastry cases but they are easier to get out then putting them into the muffins forms). Return to the fridge for 10 minutes
- Bake in a preheated oven at 200degC for 15 minutes
- Remove from the muffin tray while still hot and allow to rest.
I have never made custard from scratch before usually you heat the cream over a pan of boiling but I followed a Jamie Oliver recipe that he described as an aggressive way of making a custard. I quite liked the thought of aggressively cooking!
3 large eggs
4 tbsp demerara sugar
1/2 tsp of Nielsen Massey vanilla bean paste
300ml double cream
- Place the cream in a heavy-based saucepan add the vanilla bean paste
- Heat the cream to boiling point.
- Beat together the eggs and sugar
- Whisking as you do so, gradually pour the hot cream into the egg mixture and mix well.
- Pour the egg and cream mixture into the saucepan and cook over a low heat, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes until the mixture thickens into a custard. Take care not to let it come to the boil.
- Divide the custard among the pastry tart cases and set aside to cool.
Assembly once the tarts are cool , top with a strawberry or other sweet fruit, raspberry , peach or plums. Even a little stewed rhubarb.
3 large fresh egg whites
175g fair trade caster sugar
100ml of double cream whipped
- Preheat to 150degC
- Whisk the egg whites until stiff and peaking ( until you can hold the bowl upside down without the mixture sliding out). Make sure you do this in a totally clean bowl (water or oil stops the whites going stiff)
- Slowly fold in the caster sugar a tablespoon at a time
- Form a circle of meringue on a baking paper covered baking sheet
- Place the meringue in the oven, and immediately turn the oven down to 140degC
- Cook for one hour and if possible leave in the oven overnight until cool
- Layer with cream and strawberries.
Strawberry and Cream Scones
225g self raising flour
25g caster sugar
150ml/5fl oz milk
1. Preheat the oven to 220degC
2. Rub the butter into the flour
3. Stir in the sugar and then the milk to get a soft dough.
4. Turn on to a floured work surface and knead very lightly. Pat out to a round 2cm thick. Use a 2cm cutter to stamp out rounds and place on a baking sheet. Lightly knead together the rest of the dough and stamp out more scones to use it all up.
5. Brush the tops of the scones with a little milk. Bake for 12-15 minutes until well risen and golden.
Fresh Strawberry Jam
200g of strawberries sliced
20g of sugar
- Bring the strawberries to a gentle simmer til they have broken down
- Add the sugar
- Leave to cool
100ml of double cream whipped
Cut the scones in half and top with the fresh strawberry jam, whipped double cream and a strawberry