Strawberry, black pepper and clotted cream tart

Strawberry, black pepper and clotted cream tart

Freshly ground black pepper works beautifully with strawberries – the mellow heat opens up your palate, highlighting the fruitiness of the berries. A cluster of them sit on a bed of clotted cream crème pâtissière (with more strawberries rippled through for good measure) to create a summer showstopper that showcases the wonders of maceration.

Strawberry, black pepper and clotted cream tart

Prefer separate servings? Try our classic individual strawberry tarts.

  • Serves icon Serves 8-10
  • Time icon Hands-on time 1 hour 10 min, plus chilling and cooling. Oven time 28 min

Freshly ground black pepper works beautifully with strawberries – the mellow heat opens up your palate, highlighting the fruitiness of the berries. A cluster of them sit on a bed of clotted cream crème pâtissière (with more strawberries rippled through for good measure) to create a summer showstopper that showcases the wonders of maceration.

Prefer separate servings? Try our classic individual strawberry tarts.

Nutrition: Per serving (for 10)

Calories
439kcals
Fat
27g (16g saturated)
Protein
5.2g
Carbohydrates
41g (21g sugars)
Fibre
3g
Salt
0.3g

Ingredients

  • 500g strawberries
  • 2 tbsp golden caster sugar
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus extra to serve
  • 1 tbsp strawberry jam
  • Small basil leaves to serve (optional)

For the pastry

  • 240g white spelt flour or plain flour, plus extra to dust
  • 30g icing sugar
  • 130g salted butter, chilled and chopped
  • 1 medium free-range egg yolk
  • 2-3 tbsp ice-cold water

For the crème pâtissière

  • 4 medium free-range egg yolks
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 25g plain flour
  • 150ml whole milk
  • 200g clotted cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste

Specialist kit

  • 23cm fluted tart tin
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Method

  1. For the pastry, in a large bowl, stir together the flour and icing sugar. Rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs (or you can pulse it all together in a food processor). Make a well in the centre and add the egg yolk plus a little of the cold water. Add the rest of the ice-cold water a little at a time, stirring with a butter knife, until it comes together into a shaggy dough (you may not need all the water). Tip the pastry onto a lightly floured work surface and knead lightly to bring it together into a fat disc. Wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, hull and halve the strawberries and put in a bowl with the sugar and black pepper. Stir together and set aside at room temperature to macerate.
  3. Heat the oven to 200°C fan/gas 7. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface until about 5mm thick, then use it to line the tart tin. Trim away most of the overhang, but leave some (no more than 2cm) to account for shrinkage. Line the pastry with a sheet of scrunched-up baking paper and fill with baking beans, uncooked rice or lentils. Sit on a baking tray and blind- bake for 20 minutes. Remove the beans/rice/lentils and paper and bake for another 5-8 minutes until the pastry is sandy and golden. Sit the tin on a wire rack to cool.
  4. While the pastry bakes, make the crème pâtissière. Put the egg yolks, sugar and a pinch of salt in a large bowl and use a balloon whisk to beat until thick and pale. Whisk in the 25g flour. Put the milk, clotted cream and vanilla in a pan over a medium heat and warm until melted and steaming hot. Just before it boils, gradually pour it into the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly until it’s all combined.
  5. Rinse out the pan, then pour the mixture back into it. Cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, until it thickens. Test it’s ready by running a finger along the spatula; the channel created should hold firm. Pour into a bowl and cover the surface directly with some baking paper. Leave to cool.
  6. Once the pastry case and crème pâtissière are both completely cool, you can assemble the tart. Use a fine grater to shave off any overhanging pastry to neaten up the edges, then remove the tart case from the tin and sit
    on a serving plate. Finely chop a quarter of the macerated strawberries (choose the least pretty ones), then stir these into the crème pâtissière. Spoon it into the tart case and spread until even. Arrange the remaining macerated strawberries on top, starting in the centre and creating rings out to the edge (or place them in whatever pattern you like).
  7. Pour the juices left in the bowl into a small pan with the jam and bring to the boil. Bubble until reduced and syrupy (keep an eye on it – it won’t take long). Leave to cool a little, brush all over the tart until glossy, then leave for a few minutes to set before serving. Grind over a little more black pepper and decorate with basil leaves (if using).

Nutrition

Nutrition: per serving
Calories
439kcals
Fat
27g (16g saturated)
Protein
5.2g
Carbohydrates
41g (21g sugars)
Fibre
3g
Salt
0.3g

delicious. tips

  1. Don’t waste it Keep the egg whites to make meringues, bind fritters or meatballs, or use in an omelette.

  2. The tart case and crème pâtissière can be made a day in advance. Keep the crème pâtissière in the fridge and the pastry case in an airtight container at room temperature.

  3. The basil leaves are optional, but their herbal sweetness works in harmony with the berries (and they look pretty too).

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  1. A really lovely way to serve strawberries, the pastry was lovely and the clotted cream made a scrumptiously rich crème patisserie.

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