My contribution to an almost rained-out Bank Holiday weekend barbecue. Grey skies threatened to break for most of the day but there were some precious moments of sun. Plus an effortlessly sunny hostess, which always helps.
There's no great mystery in making a tasty tart; fruit gives that authentic patisserie look, and the combination of sweetened cream with the sharp tang of fresh lemon curd is lipsmackingly good.
I think of this as a pretty low effort/high impact dessert, with lots of possible shortcuts - if you like, buy a pastry case and lemon curd if you're short of time, then simply whip the cream, layer it all up and decorate with raspberries. Then smile widely and pretend it took hours to make.
RASPBERRY AND LEMON CREAM TART
~for the pastry:
125g cold butter, cut into pieces
210g plain flour
35g ground almonds
100g golden caster sugar
1 small egg, beaten
250ml lemon curd
300ml double cream
3 tbsp icing sugar
1) To make the pastry, rub together the flour, sugar, almonds and butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, then slowly add the egg until the mixture comes together into a dough. Chill for an hour, then roll out to 3mm and use to line a buttered 25cm x 3cm deep tart tin which has been base lined with greaseproof paper. Allow the pastry to extend 1 cm above the top of the tin as it will shrink as it cooks. Retain any leftover scraps to patch up the pastry case if it develops any holes during the first baking.
2) Chill the tart for another hour, then prick the base all over with a fork, line the inside with a sheet of greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans. Bake at 375f/190c/gas mark 5 for 10 minutes, then remove the beans and bake for a further 10 minutes. Once cooled, trim down the top of the case to the level of the tin with a sharp knife, then spread the lemon curd over the base.
3) Whip the cream and icing sugar together until they form soft peaks, and spread over the lemon curd, then arrange the raspberries on top.