Elderflower and gooseberries are an exceptional pairing and the combination of this richly flavoured tart and poached gooseberries works a treat. As it’s easier to make a larger quantity of pastry than you need and it freezes well, I’ve given you enough here to make two tarts.
For the pastry:
200g unsalted butter, diced
180g icing sugar, sifted
1 medium free-range egg
140g free-range egg yolks (about 6 large yolks)
500g plain flour, plus extra to dust
For the filling:
600ml double cream
200ml elderflower cordial
100ml lemon juice
200g golden caster sugar
8 large free-range eggs
For the poached gooseberries:
5 tbsp caster sugar
180ml elderflower cordial
To make the pastry, using a stand mixer or electric hand mixer, cream the butter and icing sugar together in a bowl until pale and fluffy. Lightly beat the egg and egg yolks together, then gradually beat into the creamed mixture. Add the flour and stop mixing as soon as a dough is formed.
Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly until smooth. Divide in half, shape each piece into a ball and flatten to a disc. Wrap both pastry discs in cling film. Chill one in the fridge for 30 minutes; freeze the other for another tart.
Preheat your oven to 180°C/Fan 165°C/Gas 4.
Roll the chilled pastry out on a floured surface to the thickness of a £1 coin and use to line a loose-based 25cm round tart tin, pressing it firmly into the edges of the tin and making sure there are no holes or cracks. Trim away any excess pastry. Prick the bottom of the pastry case with a fork several times.
Line the pastry case with a scrunched-up piece of greaseproof paper then fill with baking beans. Place in the fridge to rest for 20 minutes.
Bake the chilled pastry case for 15 minutes then remove the baking beans and paper and return the tart case to the oven for a further 5 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool; do not remove the tart case from the tin. Lower the oven temperature to 120°C/Fan 110°C/Gas 1⁄2.
To make the filling, pour the cream, elderflower cordial and lemon juice into a pan and bring just to a simmer over a medium heat. Meanwhile, whisk the sugar and eggs together in a bowl.
Pour the hot creamy liquid onto the whisked egg mixture and whisk to combine. Pass the mixture through a sieve into a large jug or container and allow it to cool.
When the filling has cooled, place the tart tin on a baking sheet in the oven and carefully pour the custard mixture into the pastry case. Bake for 30–40 minutes until the custard is set with a slight wobble in the middle. Remove from the oven and allow to cool, then refrigerate to chill.
Meanwhile, for the poached gooseberries, put all the ingredients into a pan and heat slowly until the sugar dissolves, then bring to the boil. Lower the heat and cook until the gooseberries soften, about 2–3 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
Carefully remove the elderflower tart from the tin and cut into wedges. Serve with the poached gooseberries.
From: Nathan Outlaw’s Home Kitchen by Nathan Outlaw (Quadrille, £20) Photography ©David Loftus