Damsons, Yellow or Deep Purple Bullaces, Wild Plums or even Wild Greengages in fact any of the Wild stoned fruits will work with this recipe, the only rule is that the fruit needs to be really ripe! I would call this a weekend recipe as it does take a little time to prepare.. But as the saying goes ‘all good things to those who wait’... This definitely confirms this wise rule.
Damson and Custard Tart
6 Egg Yolks
Half and pit your Damsons, store in the fridge until ready.
First the pastry, on a clean surface pile the flour and make a little well in the middle. Make sure that your butter is just soft enough to work and place it in the flour well. Also, add your egg sugar and salt (really pinch your salt in to make it as fine as possible). Now using your fingers draw in the flour and similar to making crumble mix pinch the ingredients until thoroughly mixed and the dough begins to hold together. When the dough is in a firm ball wrap in cling film and allow to rest for 30 minutes in the fridge.
Now for the custard filling, whisk the egg yolks and about a 1/3rd of the sugar together, when thoroughly mixed add the flour and continue to whisk until completely combined.
On the stove, in a small pan heat the milk with the remaining sugar and the vanilla pod (make sure that you split the pod, scrape out the seeds and add them all to the milk). When the mixture comes to the boil pour it onto the egg yolk mixture, whisking the whole while. Mix well and then return the mix back to the pan that you heated the milk in.
Bring the mixture back up to the boil and on a medium heat cook for 2 minutes – important keep whisking and checking the bottom of the pan preventing it from catching, you are looking for a firm sauce consistency.
The Custard or Crème Patissiere is cooked. It will make a skin quickly so place a little circle baking paper over the liquid until ready.
Get the oven warming up to 190 degrees.
Now the assembly, you’ll need a flan case, say 20 to 25 cm. Line it, butter it and place a round of baking paper in the bottom of the case. Roll out the flan pastry in a larger round than the flan case, on the back of a rolling pin pick up the pastry and unroll it over the flan case. Ease it into the case and then press in until perfectly lined. Using a fork prick the bottom of the flan pastry and then evenly spoon the custard over the base (remove the Vanilla pod prior to pouring out the custard). Then try and create a nice pattern with the Damsons laying them cut side down, when the top is completely covered in the purple fruits its ready for the oven. Cook at 190 degrees for 30 minutes the pastry should begin to cook and crisp and the Damsons soften. Once the 30 minutes is up turn the oven up to 200 degrees, sprinkle the top of the tart with a little more caster sugar and return to the hot oven for 10 minutes. You want the sugar to caramelise and turn delicious!
Once cooked, that’s it. You can allow it to cool, serve it hot, whatever, just enjoy!
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