The Michelin starred chef shares a recipe from his latest book
20 OCTOBER 2009
Ingredients (Serves 8-10)
For the sweet flan pastry
125g unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
90g caster sugar
1 large egg
250g plain flour, plus extra to dust
1 tbsp ice-cold water (if needed)
For the vanilla cream
250ml whole milk
1/2 vanilla pod, slit lengthways and seeds scraped out
50g caster sugar
3 large egg yolks
100ml double cream
about 700g raspberries, wiped or brushed clean (rather than washed)
2–3 tbsp seedless raspberry jam, to glaze
1 tbsp hot water (if needed)
To make the pastry, whiz the butter and sugar in a food processor until just combined. Add the egg and whiz for 30 seconds. Tip in the flour and process for a few seconds until the dough just comes together, adding a little water if needed. Knead lightly on a floured surface. Shape into a disc, wrap in cling film and chill for 30 minutes.
Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to the thickness of a £1 coin. Use it to line a 23–25cm tart tin with removable base, trimming off the excess pastry around the edges. Chill for at least 30 minutes.
For the vanilla cream, put the milk, vanilla seeds and pod in a heavy-based pan with 1 tbsp of the sugar. Heat slowly until almost boiling. Meanwhile, beat the remaining sugar, cornflour and egg yolks together in a bowl.
As the milk begins to scald, slowly trickle it onto the egg mix, stirring all the time. Rinse out the pan. Pass the mixture through a fine sieve into the pan. Stir over a low heat until it forms a thick custard. Pass through a sieve into a clean bowl and let cool, stirring occasionally, to prevent a skin forming.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C /Gas 6 with a baking sheet inside. Line the pastry case with greaseproof paper and baking beans. Place the tart tin on the baking sheet and bake for 15–20 minutes. Remove the paper and beans and return to the oven for 5 minutes to finish cooking the base. Leave to cool for 10 minutes, then unmould and cool on a wire rack.
Whip the cream to soft peaks. Beat the cooled vanilla custard slightly to loosen it, then fold in the cream. Chill until ready to serve. Spread a thin layer of vanilla cream in the pastry case. Arrange the raspberries on top.
Warm the raspberry jam a little, thinning it with the hot water if necessary, then brush over the berries to glaze. Best eaten slightly chilled on the day.