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Fruit cage tartlets

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Fruit cage tartlets

Fruit cage tartlets

Berries, currants, zesty curd and crispy sweet pastry – everything good and all in one place.

In our first summer at THE PIG-at Harlyn Bay, Head Kitchen Gardener Andy produced a bumper crop of everything in the fruit cage, so we wanted to base a whole pud around it.

Andy says this recipe is particularly special right now, at the start of the berry season, when the tart freshness of our fruit cuts through the richness of the garden Lemon Thyme curd.

To make 6 tarts

(You’ll need 6 x 10cm non-stick tart cases, greased)

  • 125g unsalted butter (plus extra
  • for greasing)
  • 90g icing sugar
  • 250g plain flour (T55 if you have it!)
  • pinch of salt
  • 65g whole egg

For the lemon thyme curd

  • 60ml lemon juice
  • 3 sprigs lemon thyme, bruised
  • 100g whole egg
  • 60g egg yolk
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 100g unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Fruits for the tart

We’re lucky to have fruit cages at all our properties, so we have a bounty of lovely fresh berries and currants, but use whatever you fancy 500g soft fruits, such as redcurrants, whitecurrants, raspberries, strawberries (regular and Alpine), blueberries, Gooseberries.

For the sugar syrup

  • 500g water
  • 500g sugar
  • 8 sprigs lemon thyme

What to do

For the pastry, cream the butter and sugar in a food mixer until fluffy. Add the flour and salt and mix to a fine crumb. Gradually add the egg and mix on the slowest speed. Remove and bring together by hand. Wrap in clingfilm and chill.

Heat the oven to 180ºC, 160ºC fan (350ºF), Gas Mark 4. Allow the pastry to soften a bit and sprinkle lightly with flour. Roll out on a lightly floured surface as thinly as you can. Using a saucer, cut out circles that are at least 1.5cm bigger than the tins. Ease the pastry in and try not to get any air trapped. With a small ball of spare dough, gently press around the edge of the cases. You can leave excess over the edge as it can be trimmed later. Double up clingfilm larger than the tin, position over the pastry, fill with baking beans and wrap.

Bake for 15 minutes. Unwrap the clingfilm, remove the beans and return to the oven uncovered for 10 minutes.

For the curd, heat a pan of water and place a metal bowl over, leaving space between the bowl’s bottom and the water. Add everything except the butter, stirring all the time so it doesn’t catch. Whisk until thick then remove the thyme. Take off the heat and add the butter. Cool and chill.

For the syrup, bring the water, sugar and thyme to the boil, take off the heat, sieve and allow to cool.

Slice the strawberries and gooseberries and halve the raspberries and large blueberries. Leave the currants whole; add fruits to the syrup.

To serve, take a small plate and dollop a little blob of the curd in the middle – use this to stop it from sliding around. Half-fill with curd. With a fork, select a nice range of fruit and place on top of the curd. Drizzle some syrup around the outside of the tartlet but take care as you don’t want that lovely crisp pastry going soggy! Garnish with edible petals and enjoy!

For more recipes, our second PIG Book, ‘THE PIG - 500 Miles of Food, Friends and Local Legends’  is a celebration of the counties we call home, the unique produce and flavours associated with them and the exceptional cast of characters that make up our PIG family, of course, there are plenty of PIG recipes, gardening tips and tricks and chats with our PIG teams too, Pick up a copy here.


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