A brand new kitchen after weeks of dust and mess and takeaways. A favourite sister and nephew coming over for brunch. A May bank holiday to celebrate. Something light and summery was called for in defiance of the unceasing downpour outside, writes Ruth.
Brunch started with apple, mint and parsley juice and a pot of Yorkshire tea. Then griddled sourdough bread, kept warm and crisp in the oven, smeared with a bright green pea puree (peas boiled in cream and salt and pureed until smooth and unctuous) and heaped with first blanched then griddled asparagus. A softly poached egg on top and a generous hand with the olive oil and sea salt and the new kitchen was christened. Then, to finish a sweet, dark pink tart with berries – a very easy recipe made especially lazy by the use of bought pastry.
Easy raspberry custard tart
Easily enough for four
200ml double cream
2 medium sized eggs
Ready-rolled short-crust pastry
1 vanilla pod
Line and blind bake a flan tin with homemade or ready-made all-butter short-crust pastry. I re-rolled the bought pastry to make it super thin. Blind bake it – using baking parchment and ceramic beans – for 15 minutes at 180C. Remove the beans and bake uncovered until the case is golden and crisp (a further 5-7 minutes).
Make a simple custard by whisking together two eggs, the seeds of a small vanilla pod, 100g caster sugar and 200ml double cream. Blend with a large handful of fresh raspberries to make a dusky pink-coloured cream. Pour into the cooked case and bake at 150C for 15-20 minutes until the custard sets with a wobble in the middle. Don’t let it cook through as the residual heat will take it over and split the custard.
To serve, decorate the top with lots of fresh raspberries and some fat blackberries rolled first in icing sugar to soften their tartness. Eat at room temperature with your favourite sister.