I often revisit and revise recipes I have made before on the blog. This week I went back in time – way back to the very start. My first ever post was for a fruit tart and the photos are so blindingly awful that I wanted to erase them the minute I saw them again. It’s hard to believe that I have been here writing recipes and taking photos for over three years. It’s weirdly like a diary and every post brings back a memory for me. I remember when I made that tart for the first time in 2011. I thought this food blog would be just a fad in my life and never imagined that I would still be here three years later. If anything though this blog is a journey and I wouldn’t dream of erasing any of my old posts. It makes me realize that I have learned alot and hopefully improved a little in the last three years!
The tart I originally made is for a cooked berry tart. I decided to try a different approach this time and made a fresh berry tart with a vanilla cream filling. This berry tart looked a whole lot better and tasted so light and crisp. The tart berries, the touch of Cointreau, vanilla cream filling and crisp buttery pastry make this a much more elegant and refined tart. If you are short on time, you could buy a readymade pie crust and just add the cream filling and berries. I think this recipe has lots of potential with different fruits. When the summer finally arrives I think it would be delicious with juicy peaches, nectarines and a touch of fresh mint. As it’s a fresh fruit tart, it’s best eaten the same day you make it.
- 125g plain flour
- 75g of butter – cubed
- 25g of sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons of water
- 100ml of heavy whipping cream
- 180g of cream cheese
- 50g of caster sugar (superfine sugar)
- Vanilla seeds from one vanilla pod
- 550g of mixed berries (I used raspberries, blueberries and blackberries)
- 1 tablespoon of Cointreau
- 2 tablespoons of your favorite jam/ marmalade
- Zest of half an orange
- To make the pastry, sieve the flour into a bowl and add the cubes of butter. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.
- Add the sugar and mix together with a spoon.
- Next, add just enough water to bring the pastry together into a ball of dough. Flatten the ball of pastry into a disc. Wrap the pastry in clingwrap and leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F/ 180 C . Grease a 9 inch tart tin with some butter.
- Once the pastry has rested, remove the clingwrap and roll it out using a rolling pin on a clean floured surface.
- Line the tin with the pastry. Lightly prick the bottom of the pastry with a fork.
- Place a circle of parchment over the pastry and fill with baking beads or rice.
- Cook the pastry blind (with the baking beads) for 15 minutes. Then take the pastry case from the oven and remove the parchment and baking beads.
- Put the pastry back in the oven and cook for a further 10- 15 minutes. The pastry should be golden, crisp and just starting to brown. Remove the pastry case from the oven and allow to cool.
- Meanwhile, whip the cream until it forms soft peaks.
- In a separate bowl, beat together the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla seeds.
- Combine the cream cheese mixture with the whipped cream and beat together until smooth.
- In a large bowl, mix the fruit with the Cointreau and jam/marmalade.
- Once the pastry case has cooled completely, spoon the cream cheese mixture into the case.
- Finally spoon the fruit on top and garnish with some fresh orange zest.