Festive Berry Tart

The holidays just wouldn’t feel right without some kind of delicious, fresh, berry-themed dessert. Perfect for hot days and light enough to follow a marathon Chrissy meal. 

So, here’s our Festive Berry Tart. Sort of like a pav, sort of like an Eton Mess. Insanely decadent, insanely easy, insanely delicious. Dinner party desserts sorted!

You'll need:

1. Spelt Pastry

2. Meringues:

  • 3 large free range/organic egg whites
  • ½ cup caster sugar
  • *optional few tsp of lemon zest 

 3. Filling:

  • 1 lemon juiced + zested 
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 3tbsp honey 
  • 400mL double cream
  • 600g mixes seasonal berries
  • *option 2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil leaves, plus small leaves for serving
  • *option - can leave the lemon juice out if you’d prefer a more berry-y and less lemony dessert 

Pastry preparation:

  1. Make your pastry! Check out our recipe here. 
  2. Grab a tart tin (roughly 25cm with a non-stick loose-bottom) and lightly grease with baking paper and butter or spray with olive oil
  3. Pop some flour on your bench and roll out the pastry until you've got a nice round circle about half a centimetre thick
  4. Transfer your pastry from bench to tin, making sure to push it right down into the corners and nooks of the tin so it’s fully lined and ready to fill! Trim off any overlay and use to patch up any gaps if need be
  5. Using a fork, prick the base of your tart, cover with cling film and pop it into the freezer for around 30 minutes
  6. Preheat your oven to 180ºC
  7. Once your pastry case is set, line with a large piece of greaseproof paper, pushing it right into the sides
  8. Fill with uncooked rice and bake blind for 10 minutes in the preheated oven 
  9. After 10 minutes, remove your tin out and carefully take out the rice (save it for baking blind another time) and greaseproof paper, and return to the oven to cook for a further 10 minutes. Once your pastry is golden, firm and almost biscuit-like – take it out of the oven and leave to cool completely

 

 

Make the meringue:

  1. Preheat your oven to 150°C 
  2. Crack your eggs into a bowl, separating the yolk from the whites. Discard your yolks and, in a mixer, whisk your whites on medium until firm peaks form
  3. While your mixer is still running, gradually add the sugar and the pinch of salt. Turn the mixer up to the highest setting and whisk for about 7 or 8 minutes until your meringue mix is white, glossy and silky smooth. If you can see or feel any grains in the mixture, keep on whiskin’. 
  4. Spoon your meringue mixture out onto a prepared baking sheet in small dollops, leaving a bit of space between them. 
  5. Pop the baking sheet into the oven for about an hour, until the meringues are crisp on the outside and a little gooey inside.

Finally, the filling:

  1. Finely grate most of the lemon zest into a bowl and whisk with vanilla, honey and cream until you get a silky mixture that forms soft peaks.
  2. Put half the berries, basil and your meringue pieces into another bowl and use a fork to gently mash them together. 
  3. Gently fold the mushed-up berries/meringue mixture into your delicious cream.
  4. Tip the filling mixture into your cooled tart case and use a spatula (or a gentle shake) to spread it out to the edges.
  5. Sprinkle your remaining berries all over the top, along with a grate of lemon zest, dust of icing sugar and basil leaves. Serve and eat immediately!  

 

Tips and tricks: 

  • Time poor? This will work equally as well with pre-made meringues and a good quality frozen shortcrust pastry.

Want to prepare ahead? Here are our hassle free, easy serve dinner party steps:

1. Make you meringues whenever you can - they will store in an airtight container for weeks.

2. A few hours before - bake the pastry + whip the cream mixture together and keep it covered in the fridge. 

3. Sit back, relax and enjoy your friends and food.

4. When you’re ready to serve, smash your meringues, add your cream to the case + fruit + meringues - this will keep the pastry crispy, the meringues crunchy and the texture all sorts of contrasty delight. 

 

Variations:

  • Gluten Free: Here’s a recipe for Al’s mum GF puff pastry
  • Dairy Free: Sub out the cream for a whippable dairy free plant based cream or plant based yoghurt. 
  • Vegan: egg free meringue, it’s a thing! Try this plant based meringue using aquafaba here’s a NYT Cooking recipe — in NYT Cooking we trust! 

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