- Food & Drink
I am a hoarder of scraps. The bits of food that don’t amount to a meal in themselves and that are a bit difficult to combine in a recipe, but which are edible and therefore can’t be thrown out until oozing and black.
A couple of weeks ago I had a collection of naked citrus fruit in my fridge. I’d been testing recipes that needed various quantities of orange, lemon and lime zest but not the juice or flesh. The fruit were growing tougher and tougher but I couldn’t bring myself to chuck them away. They were designed for a greater purpose. I just had to work out what.
Finally, the kitchen muses descended: they would make a sweet, creamy, tangy tart. A walk around the citrus orchards enclosed in a pastry case.
In a fit of nostalgia for Ballymaloe, I decorated the tart with a ring of piped cream roses and strips of crystallised peel I had left over from my exam, but you might want to be a bit more grown up and less 1972 when serving it.
St Clements Tart
170g plain flour plus extra for dusting
2 tbsp icing sugar
75g cold butter, chopped
125g caster sugar
Juice of 1 orange, 2 lemons and 1 lime (approximately 200ml total)
100ml double cream
1 Sift the flour and icing sugar into a large bowl and rub in the butter with your fingertips to make fine breadcrumbs. Stir in 3–4 tbsp ice cold water to bring the pastry together. Turn out onto a sheet of clingfilm, flatten into a round, wrap and chill for 1-2 hours.
2 Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180°C/fan oven 160°C. Dust your work surface with flour and roll out the pastry to make a circle approximately 10cm in diameter. Carefully roll up around the rolling pin and then unroll into an 8cm loose-based tart tin. Press the pastry into the tin to line it and trim off any excess pastry to make it level. Save the scraps and chill the pastry case for 30 minutes.
3 Line the chilled pastry with greaseproof paper and baking beans and bake blind for 25 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk the 3 eggs together. Take out 1/2 tbsp of the beaten egg and set aside for glazing the pastry case.
4 Whisk the sugar into the eggs, then whisk in the orange, lemon and lime juice. Whisk in the double cream. Pour the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a jug to catch any unwhisked bits of egg and pips.
5 Remove the beans and paper from the pastry case and brush with the beaten egg. Continue to bake for a further 10–15 minutes until pale golden and crisp. Remove from the oven. Turn the temperature down to gas mark 3/160°C/fan oven 160°C. If the tart case developed any cracks or holes, press the saved pastry scraps into them to fill them.
6 Pour most of the St Clements mixture into the tart case, until it’s 2/3 full. Transfer the tart to the oven and pour in the rest of the mixture to fill the case. Bake for approximately 35 minutes until the tart is just set and shimmies in the middle if you give the tin a gentle shake.
7 Cool the tart in the tin, then slide onto a serving plate (don’t worry about sliding it off the tart base if it doesn’t look study enough). Serve in slices with crème fraîche or thick cream.