Simple, easy and always impressive, this sweet fruit tart with apricot jam, star anise and double cream is just delicious.
- Plain flour for dusting
- 375g pack of dessert pastry
- 10 clementines
- 3tbsp apricot jam
- 1tsp water
- 5 star anise
- For the pastry cream
- 1 large egg and 1 egg yolk
- 25g/1oz caster sugar
- 20g/¾ oz plain flour
- 200ml/7fl oz milk
- ¾ tsp pure vanilla extract
- 150ml/5fl oz double cream
Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the pastry until it is about 3mm/1/8 inch thick. Use to line a 23cm/9 inch fluted flan tin with a removable base, pressing it well into the edges and trimming off the overlap with a sharp knife. Chill for about 20 mins.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas mark 5. Line the pastry case with baking parchment, fill with baking beans or rice and bake blind in the oven for 10-12 mins, until the paper comes away easily from the base and the pastry is beginning to colour around the edges. Remove the paper and beans and return the pastry case to the oven for 4-5 mins, until golden. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
Next, make the pastry cream. Break the whole egg into a bowl and add the egg yolk and sugar, whisking with a hand whisk until the mixture becomes slightly thicker. After a minute of whisking, sift in the flour and whisk until all is incorporated. Gently heat the
milk to boiling point, then whisk the milk into the egg mixture. Return the whole lot to the pan and whisk on a medium heat until very thick. Don’t let it catch on the bottom of the pan – it will thicken very suddenly. Keep whisking until smooth, then cook for 2 mins longer over a low heat, whisking gently to prevent it sticking. Remove from the heat and pour into a cold bowl, stir in the vanilla extract and cover the surface of the pastry cream with cling film to prevent it developing a skin on the top. Put to one side to cool.
Peel the clementines and remove any pith. Slice widthways through the centre into 1cm/½ inch thick slices. Put aside for the moment.
In another bowl, whip the double cream until it is getting stiff but not quite forming peaks. Fold this into the pastry cream as soon as it is cool.
Meanwhile, put the apricot jam into a small saucepan with the water and heat very gently until it loosens up enough to be able to ‘paint’ onto the clementine slices to glaze.
Line the cooled pastry case with the pastry cream. Arrange the clementine slices on top of the pastry cream, then brush the apricot jam lightly onto the clementines. Arrange the star anise on top and you are ready to serve!