Prep Time:1 hour, plus chilling time
Cooking Time:25 minutes
Why eat with the seasons?
- The price: for one thing, it’s more cost effective; there is an abundance of the crop when its in season and so there’s no need to import produce that has been artificially grown or travelled long distances.
- The environment: seasonally grown produce generally travels shorter distances and contains fewer chemicals, making it more environmentally friendly.
- The taste: fruit and vegetables are invariably more delicious in season because they are allowed to naturally and fully ripen, and so will have much more flavour. If you have strawberries in winter, don’t expect them to taste anything like the ones you’ve had in season.
- The health factor: It is healthier for us to eat fruit in season because they contain more naturally produced nutrients.
Here are some of the best fruits to buy in the summer:
- berries: strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and cherries
- currants: black, white and red
My absolute favourite of all the seasons is when all the English berries are in fruit, and the crowning glory of this time is the currants. Perfectly tart and fresh, they compliment so many cakes and pastries it makes life easy and they look spectacular in full threads on top of a cake or tart. Above all, I wait impatiently all year for my fruit supplier to tell me the the far-too-short season of whitecurrants is finally here.
I made this tart for a friend’s birthday which falls just at the start of the season to celebrate their long awaited return.
- 1 batch of Sweet Shortcrust Pastry
- 1 batch of Simple Thick Custard
- egg wash: 1 egg yolk lightly beaten with 25ml double cream or milk
- generous handful each of black, white and red currants
- seasonal, edible flowers
One 23cm round tart tin
- Preheat the oven to 180C fan assisted/ gas mark 6.
- Roll out pastry to about 5mm thickness, place in your prepared tart tin and refrigerate for around 30 minutes. Line, weigh down with baking beans and blind bake for around 10-15 minutes, or until starting to brown. Remove from oven, brush all over with the egg wash and bake for another 2 minutes to seal. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- Spoon or pipe in the custard almost to the top and level to the edges.
- Decorate the tart with your currants, or your chosen fruit, as you wish. Finish with a few edible flowers for a final, summery touch.
VARIATION: If you don’t fancy using custard you can swap it for our lemon cream filling.
This tart is best served freshly made but will keep stored in the fridge for 2 – 3 days.