Summer berry Pavlova Tart

A homemade shortcrust pastry tart filled with a fresh cream, crushed meringues and topped with sweet summer berries.

Please don’t be put off by making your own pastry, it’s incredibly simple and the added lemon zest will top any shop bought pastry. Follow the steps careful and have a read of my top tips.

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Here are my homemade pastry top tips:

  • Before making your pastry chill your mixing bowl in the fridge for 15 minutes and rinse your hands with cold water. This will help the butter stay cold resulting in delicate, flaky pastry every time.
  • Try to be confident and bring the pastry together as quickly as you can – don’t knead it too much or the heat from your hands will melt the butter.
  • Don’t be tempted to skip the blind baking step, otherwise your tart shell will shrink.

Ingredients (makes a 9inch tart)

For the tart
250g plain flour, plus a little extra for dusting
50g icing sugar
125g unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 large free-range eggs, beaten
Splash of milk
Zest of 1 lemon
Butter for greasing the tart

For the filling
4 small meringue nests, roughly broken
250g double cream
125g crème fraiche
30g icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

For the topping
600g mixed summer berries
A little icing sugar, for dusting

Method

Start with the pastry. Mix the flour and icing sugar in a large bowl. Add the cubed butter and rub it into the dry ingredients using your fingertips until it looks like breadcrumbs. Now stir in the lemon zest. Add the egg and a splash of milk, just enough to bring the dough together, and knead it into a ball. Wrap the dough in cling film and put it in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Whilst the dough chills, pre-heat your oven to 180°C/350F and grease your tart tin with a little butter.

Take the dough out of the fridge. Sprinkle a clean work surface and a rolling pin with a little flour. Roll the dough out so it is about 5cm larger than the tin and half a centimetre in thickness. Drape the dough over your rolling pin and lay it across the tart tin. Trim off any extra bits and use your fingers to press the dough into the corners and sides of the tin. 

Prick the tart all over with a fork and line with baking paper. Fill the tart with baking beans or rice and bake it blind for 10 minutes. Take the tart out of the oven and lift out the baking paper and beans. Bake for a further 10 minutes until firm and golden. Leave to cool completely.

Now make the filling. Whip the double cream, creme fraiche, icing sugar and vanilla essence together with an electric whisk until soft peaks form (this will take about 5 minutes). Crush the meringue nests and stir into the filling.

Spoon the filling into the tart case. Top with mixed berries and dust over a little icing sugar. Keep your tart in the fridge until ready to serve. It is best eaten within 1-2 days.

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