I was given Dan Lepard’s “Short and Sweet” for my birthday a couple of years ago and I love it. It is full of baking techniques from making breads to tarts to éclairs. I have been making Dan Lepard’s recipes for years as he writes baking columns for papers and every recipe always sounds and looks scrumptious!
I made his Raspberry Ripple Tart recipe for dessert when friends came over for dinner. Instead of serving little ones I made one large one with a huge swirl of raspberry through the custard. I also made several small ones (pictured) for dessert the next day – always necessary!
The recipe is relatively simple and definitely a crowd-pleaser. The raspberry ripple is simply raspberries crushed with sugar so if you don’t have time to make the pastry you could buy shortcrust pastry and just make the custard. If you do have time though it is worth the effort.
This is a good dessert to make in advance as the pastry needs to be chilled and the custard needs to cool as well so it will need about an hour and a half to make overall.
Here’s how to make it:
For the shortcrust pastry (once made it will require 30 minutes to chill) –
250g plain flour
50g icing sugar
150g unsalted butter (cold)
2 egg yolks
15ml ice cold water
A pinch of salt
For the custard –
Half a vanilla pod, split lengthways
75g caster sugar
3 tablespoons plain flour
2 egg whites (reserved from the eggs used for the pastry)
300ml double cream
For the ripple –
75g caster sugar
1. First, make the pastry by putting the flour, sugar and salt in a bowl.
2. Cut the butter into little pieces, put them in the bowl with the flour, sugar and salt and rub the butter into these ingredients until it has blended with them.
3. Stir the egg yolks with the water, pour this into the bowl with the flour mixture and combine it to form a soft and smooth paste.
4. Shape the dough into a block, wrap in cling film and put in the fridge for 30 minutes before using it.
5. Heat the oven to 160C/ 180C fan.
6. Once the pastry has chilled, take it out of the fridge and roll it out thinly. Sprinkle some flour on the surface and rolling pin to avoid it sticking.
7. If you are making a large tart, line a greased tart tin with the pastry and, if you are making small tarts, cut circles of pastry and line each pocket of a greased muffin tray with the pastry.
8. Put a large piece of baking paper on the pastry (if you’re using one large tin) or muffin cases on the pastry (if you’re using a muffin tray), and fill them half-way with baking beans or dry rice.
9. Bake the pastry for 20-25 minutes until dry and golden. Remove from the oven, leave to cool and then remove the greaseproof paper or muffin cases with the baking beans or rice.
10. Whilst the pastry is cooling, you can make the custard. Start by heating the milk with the vanilla pod on a medium heat.
11. In a bowl whisk the sugar, flour and egg whites until smooth. Beat the hot milk into this mixture in the bowl, then pour it all back into the pan and heat until boiling whisking the whole time.
12. Remove the pan from the heat, remove the vanilla pod and cover the pan with a plate (to stop a skin forming). Leave until the custard is cold.
13. Whilst the custard is cooling crush the raspberries with the caster sugar.
14. When the custard is cold, whip the cream until soft peaks form and fold it gently through the custard.
15. Put the pastry case/s on a plate or cake stand and spoon the custard into the pastry case/s and swirl the raspberries through it.
Beautiful cover. Beautiful book.
If that isn’t a tempting dessert photo, I don’t know what is!
Last weekend I attempted my first coffee Paris-Brest (a recipe from “Short and Sweet”) which are small choux pastries cut in half with coffee custard in the centre and flaked almonds and caramel on top. The choux pastry puffed up a lot (as it does in general due to the water content) which meant that they turned out nothing like the photo in the book! I need to attempt these again but I can certainly say that coffee custard and choux pastry are sublime together!
Not so Paris-Brest!