One last elderflower recipe before the season is completely over! Sadly we missed the best of them this year, so I’m using homemade cordial from my supplies to get my floral fix. Macerating the strawberries in cordial and a little sugar brings out a completely different, almost aromatic, flavour profile that balances the creamy filling and rich shell in these strawberry and elderflower tarts with brown butter pastry. To make them, you will need:
200g strawberries, hulled and chopped
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp elderflower cordial
2 heads of elderflower, flowers picked (optional)
120g ricotta or fresh curd or 60g yoghurt and 60g whipped cream
1 tbsp icing sugar
2 tbsp good quality honey.
For the pastry:
200g plain flour, plus extra for dusting (you could use ’00’ pasta flower if you have it)
Large pinch of fine sea salt
1 tbsp caster sugar
100g cold, unsalted butter, diced
2 tbsp full-fat yoghurt (or sour cream if you have it).
First, prep the filling: toss the strawberries with the sugar and cordial and leave to macerate for 1 – 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally while being careful not to squash the strawberries.
If using shop-bought ricotta, strain it through a sieve then mix in the icing sugar; if using the yoghurt mixture simply whisk into the whipped cream along with the icing sugar.
To make the pastry, combine the flour, butter, salt and sugar in a bowl. Rub the butter in lightly, using the tips of your fingers – you want mostly fine flakes of butter with some larger flakes left to caramelise the pastry.
Stir in the yoghurt and use your hands to squeeze the mixture together into a solid, smooth lump of dough.
Tip onto a floured surface and briefly kneed to bring together, working gently. Mould into a ball then flatten into a disk. Wrap in greaseproof paper and chill in the fridge.
Preheat the oven to 200C/ 180C Fan/ Gas 6. Unwrap the pastry and roll out to the thickness of a pound coin (if it is too fragile, roll out between sheets of greaseproof paper). Line tart tins with the pastry (mine filled a shallow 12-hole bun tin), letting it overhang for shrinkage.
Line with greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans, then blind bake for 30 – 40 minutes until golden, flecked with brown spots where the butter has caramelised. Remove from the oven, including the paper and baking beans, and leave to cool.
Once cool, fill each tart case with a teaspoon of honey (or a wee bit less if your tarts are smaller like mine), followed by a spoonful of the creamy mixture, then top with the strawberries. Decorate with elderflowers (if you have them) and serve.
What are you baking this weekend?
Recipe adapted from Rosie Birkett.