There’s a certain event happening tomorrow which, if you happen to have a pulse and live in Britain, then you can’t help but know about. Personally, I have no strong feelings either way, and way largely hoping to spend the week in peace and avoid the craze. But last night, I realised that the massive media exposure has been subliminally affecting me when I ended up creating the most kitsch and British of baked goods: the Pimms soaked fruit tart, complete with Union Jack styling. I don’t know what came over me, but I’m going to blame it on the inordinate amount of sunshine we have been having – it always puts me in the mood for Pimms. And odd displays of national sentiment. Anyway, whether you have the day off or are hard at work, whether you will be glued to the telly in anticipation of the dress or avoiding the whole shebang altogether, why not enjoy the excuse for a bit of alcohol fuelled patriotism.
I soaked the fruit in Pimms for about an hour, which resulted in a lovely fruity flavour without becoming dominated by an overly alcoholic taste. I also added a tiny bit of pimms to a standard pastry cream recipe, resulting in a light creamy flavour, but was a touch on the runny side. As per usual nowadays, the whole thing is lactose free.
Recipe after the jump…
An Apocalypse Bakery original!
For the pastry:
Sift 220g plain flour
Pinch of salt
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
5-6 tablespoons cold water
For the pastry cream:
(here I used a smaller amount than I normally would, which worked very well, but feel free to make a slightly larger quantity, the amount is in brackets)
3 egg yolks (4)
75g golden caster sugar (100g)
18g cornflour (25g)
265 ml lactose free milk (350ml)
For the fruit topping:
Fruit of your choice, strawberries and blueberries worked very well
1) For the pastry, sift the flour and salt into a bowl and then add the vegetable oil and water, quickly bringing the dough together with a cold knife. Try not to overmix, although I nearly always do. Once the dough has formed, cover in clingfilm and place in the fridge for around an hour.
2) For the pastry cream, heat the milk in a pan until boiling. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg yolks, sugar and cornflour. Once the milk is boiling, pour a quarter of the milk into the yolk mixture and whisk together in order to temper the eggs. Add the rest of the milk and whisk until smooth. If you want to, add about 2 teaspoons of Pimms here, or 1 teaspoon vanilla essence. Return to the pan and heat gently until the pastry cream has reached the desired thickness – don’t let it get too thick as it will thicken as it cools. If it begins to form lumps, keep whisking. Once it has thickened, place into a bowl and cover with clingfilm or wet strips of greaseproof paper. Leave to cool, but please don’t put it in the fridge unless you enjoy a very strange consistency of custard.
3) Get the pastry out of the fridge, and roll out on a floured surface. Fit pastry into a 23cm tart tin. Try not to stretch the dough to fit the tin – this can cause the pastry to shrink as it bakes. Return to the fridge for 15 minutes. Place baking paper and ceramic baking beads (or pennies) on top of the pastry and bake for 15 minutes at 180 C, 160 fan. Remove from the oven, remove the baking beads and then return to the oven for another 10 minutes or until golden. Leave to cool.
4) Soak the fruit in Pimms for at least 40 minutes.
5) Once the pastry is cool, fill with the pastry cream and top with the fruit.