Strawberries and rhubarb make a delicious combination in this pretty tart.
Strawberries and rhubarb make a delicious combination in this pretty tart, with the sweet strawberries offsetting the sharp rhubarb perfectly. The rosemary ice cream has a subtle flavour and is a great accompaniment to all sorts of fruit crumbles and berries––it makes any summer pudding taste more grown-up.
Strawberry, rhubarb and almond tart with rosemary ice cream (serves 4)
280ml double cream
250ml full-fat milk
1 vanilla pod
3 egg yolks
2 sprigs rosemary
150g butter, a little cooler than room temperature
50g icing sugar
50g almond flour
1tspn vanilla-bean paste
250g plain flour
A pinch of salt, such as Maldon
250g caster sugar
50g corn flour
Pinch of salt, such as Maldon
Heat the milk, cream, sugar, vanilla pod and rosemary in a heavy-based pan to the shivery stage, just before it boils, then allow to completely cool to steep. Scrape the seeds out of the vanilla pod and remove the rosemary, then reheat the mixture—again, being careful not to boil it—and whisk continuously as you pour it into a bowl with the egg yolks. Return to the pan and stir it continually over the heat until it’s thickened and coats the back of a spoon. Pour it into an ice-cream machine and leave it to churn, then put it in the freezer to harden completely until you’re almost ready to serve.
To make the pastry for the tart, I recommend a slightly alternative method that doesn’t involve using ice-cold butter. Instead, cream the butter and sugar together, then add the almond flour, beaten egg and vanilla, before mixing again and incorporating the plain flour. Once combined, shape the pastry into a flat disc, cover it with clingfilm and put it in the fridge for at least an hour. Preheat your oven to 180 ̊C/350 ̊F/gas mark 4 and cook the rhubarb and the sugar in a saucepan over a medium heat until the fruit has softened, then sprinkle the cornflour over the top, add the strawberries plus the pinch of salt and mix well.
Once the pastry has chilled, roll it out to the thickness of a £1 coin and use half of it to line a 10in tart dish, reserving the rest for the top. Pour the fruit into the dish and use the remaining pastry to create a selection of lattice and plaited shapes and patterns over the top of the tart, then brush with a beaten egg and bake for about an hour (cover it with foil if it browns too quickly). Leave it to cool on a wire rack. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature with a dollop of rosemary ice cream on the side, decorated with a sprig of rosemary—perfect for a summer’s-day treat.
More ways with strawberries
Poached strawberries and cream
Cook some halved strawberries with a splash of Champagne or sparkling wine in a saucepan until the juices run, then whip some cream and fold in some vanilla crème pâtissière and elderflower cordial. Spoon a little of the creamy mixture into the bottom of a glass, add strawberries and the juice, then top with more of the creamy mixture, add a few mint leaves and serve.
Strawberry tarte tatins with honeycomb ricotta (left)
Cut out four circles from a sheet of puff pastry that will fit over the top of four loose-bottomed, buttered tart tins and arrange slices of strawberries in the bottom of each. Drizzle some maple syrup over the fruit, then top with the pastry, being sure to tuck the edges in. Make a cut in the centre to allow steam
to escape, then bake in a hot oven for about 15–18 minutes. While the tarts are cooking, crush some honeycomb and chocolate bars in a freezer bag using a rolling pin and stir the dust-like mixture through the ricotta. Once lightly browned, remove the tarts from the oven and invert them on to plates and serve warm, with a dollop of the ricotta.
Strawberry bircher muesli
Put some porridge oats in a large bowl, cover with apple juice and leave (overnight is best) until the oats have soaked up all the liquid. Mix them through plain yoghurt, add a handful of sliced strawberries and some grated apple, then spoon it into bowls and sprinkle with healthy seeds and chopped nuts before serving.