My lovely friends Lauren and Gary have recently moved into a new home and have just had their gorgeous kitchen finished. I jumped at the opportunity to do a blog session there as it’s a dream to shoot in the beautifully styled, light space. I wish I had their eye for styling and picking up one off antiques to give a particular look to a room. It’s a gorgeous living space and I look forward to the invites in the future. Both Lauren and Gary are great cooks and this is the first of hopefully quite a few blogs to come from them. First up is Lauren baking a delicious Lemon and Raspberry Tart with Poppy seed pastry, using Lorraine Pascale’s recipe from her book Baking Made Easy. Scroll to the bottom for the recipe.
Lauren’s trusty assistant was her cute new kitten Lily a.k.a. Lillian Susan Hyett. Lily couldn’t help but get involved by jumping up and hiding behind the cookbook every 5 minutes, thinking that she was hidden from view, bless her.
Poppy seed pastry
- 100g (3½oz) butter, softened
- 100g (3½oz) caster sugar
- Seeds from ½ vanilla pod or 2 drops of vanilla extract
- 3 egg yolks
- 200g (7oz) plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tbsp poppy seeds
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 4 eggs
- 200g (7oz) caster sugar
- 165ml (5½fl oz) whipping or double cream
- Juice and finely grated zest of 5 lemons
- 300g (10½oz) raspberries
- Icing sugar, to dust
- 20cm (8in) loose-bottomed tart tin, about 5cm (2in) deep
To make the pastry, put the butter, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl and beat until creamy. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time, then sift in the flour and salt. Add the poppy seeds and stir together gently to make a soft, uniform dough. Shape into a ball. Wrap in clingfilm and put in the fridge for about 2 hours, or until firm.
Once the dough has firmed up, remove it from the fridge and leave at room temperature for 5 minutes, then roll out on a floured work surface to about 3mm (⅛in) thick. Lay it over the tart tin and push it gently into the corners to ensure lovely straight edges when the tart comes out of the tin. The easiest way to do this is to take a small ball of pastry (the size of a £1 coin) and use it to gently easy the dough into the corners. If the pastry case breaks, as it may, just patch it up with an odd bit of pastry. Don’t stretch or pull the pastry (which often seems like the only way to line a tin), or your tart case will shrink in the oven. Guiding and coaxing will yield the best results! If you find the dough getting too soft, then just pop back in the fridge for 15 minutes to harden up. Trim off the excess pastry about 2cm (¾in) above the top of the tin using a sharp knife. Put the tart case in the fridge for about 30 minutes to firm up.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F), Gas Mark 4.
Remove the tin from the fridge. Take a piece of baking paper slightly larger than the tart and scrunch it up, then unscrunch it and line the tart with it, taking it right up the sides. Fill it with baking beans or dried beans and ‘blind bake’ in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the pastry begins to feel firm. Remove the baking beans and paper and cook for a further 5 minutes. There should be no colour on the tart when it is cooked but the base will feel slightly sandy and the sides will have firmed up.
Turn the oven down to 160°C (315°F), Gas Mark 3.
Now make the filling. Put the eggs and sugar in a large bowl and whisk together gently. Add the cream and whisk for a couple of minutes, then stir in the lemon zest and juice. Pour the mixture into the tart case until it is almost full and bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes, or until the lemon mixture is set but still has a very slight wobble in the centre.
Leave the tart to cool, then decorate the top with raspberries and sprinkle with icing sugar. Serve with single cream.