Tarte aux Framboise
Raspberry tart is perhaps not the first thing you might associate with the Haute Savoie, but there’s an on-slope restaurant at Les Arcs that makes the best raspberry tart I’ve ever tasted. The first time we visited on this trip, they’d run out – sacré bleu (!) – so, back at the chalet I made the below version from memory. Two days later, we re-visited earlier in the lunch service, and ate the real thing. It was then I realised that my memory had been very much mistaken, and that the ‘real’ version had no crème patissiere at all. Just short crust pastry and a ton of raspberries. Either way is very delicious however, so you choose.
- 200g plain flour
- 50g almond meal
- 25g caster sugar
- 1 heaped tablespoon icing sugar
- 125g butter (+ a little extra for greasing) – chopped into 2cm cubes
- 1 egg (whole)
- 1 egg (separated into yolk and white)
- 500ml whole milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 75g caster sugar
- 4 large egg yolks
- 70g plain flour
- 375g fresh raspberries
- Icing sugar to dust (optional)
For this recipe you will need a 22cm flan tin with a removable base.
It is also helpful to have some ceramic baking beans, though rice, lentils, or any other dried pulses will also suffice for the purposes of blind baking.
The pastry and crème patissiere both require some time chilling in the fridge so remember to factor this into your timings.
To make the pate sucrée, place the plain flour, almond meal, butter, icing sugar and caster sugar into a large mixing bowl. Crumb the mixture using your hands (in the same way that you would to make a crumble topping) until you have a fine crumb texture.
In a separate small bowl, whisk together the whole egg and the yolk from the separated egg. Introduce this to the fine crumb mixture using the blade of a knife to mix. If the mixture does not come together at this stage, and is still on the crumbly side, add a little bit of the reserved egg white, and mix again.
Once you have achieved a pastry dough texture, bring the mixture together gently with your hands, and flatten, again by hand, to a thickness of approximately 2cm. Now wrap the pastry in a large sheet of greaseproof paper and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours.
At the same time, thoroughly grease the flan tin with butter, making sure to also coat carefully inside the fluted grooves on the side. Place the tin in the refrigerator alongside the pastry dough, ready to use later.
To prepare the crème patissiere, cream together the egg yolks and sugar in a mixing bowl. Once this mixture is pale in colour and fluffy in texture, add the flour, and whisk to incorporate.
In a medium saucepan, heat the milk together with the vanilla essence until it is steaming profusely, but not boiling (i.e. until it is just below boiling point). Remove from the heat, and then carefully pour ⅓ of the milk into the bowl containing the egg, sugar, and flour mixture. Whisk vigorously in order to temper the eggs, before pouring the mixture back into the saucepan containing the rest of the milk. Whisk continuously and vigorously at this point to prevent the eggs from curdling.
Now, return the pan to a low heat and continue to whisk until the crème thickens considerably. This can take upwards of ten minutes – the formation of big, lava-style bubbles are an indicator that you are nearing the correct consistency. But be careful at this point as the mixture can rapidly become too hot.
As soon as the crème is thick enough, remove it from the heat, and continue to stir for a further 2 minutes. Then pour into a clean bowl, cover tightly with cling film, and leave to cool completely in the fridge.
When you are ready to bake, pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
Remove the pastry from the fridge and, using a rolling pin lightly dusted with flour, roll the pastry out carefully on the greaseproof paper. Roll slowly, turning the paper 90° after each roll to ensure that you get an even round shape. Aim to roll the dough to a size around 6cm in diameter larger than the base of the flan tin (so that the pastry will easily reach up the sides).
Once you have rolled the pastry out to a sufficient size, pick up the edges of the greaseproof paper and very carefully invert the pastry into the chilled flan tin. Remove the greaseproof paper backing and carefully work the pastry into the edges of the tin, and up the sides, taking care that it does not tear on the fluted edges of the tin. Lastly, trim any over-hanging excess pastry using a sharp knife.
Prepare the pastry case for blind baking by pricking all over with a fork. Now line with a fresh sheet of greaseproof paper and pour a layer of ceramic baking beans over the paper, ensuring that these cover the entire base.
Blind bake in the pre-heated oven for 15 minutes. After this time, remove the baking beans and paper before returning the pastry case to the oven to bake for a further 5 minutes.
Remove from the oven when lightly golden, then put aside to cool before filling.
To assemble, pour the chilled crème patissiere into the pastry case, spreading it with a rubber spatula. The crème should stop 1cm below the edge of the case.
To prepare the raspberries, carefully pick through to remove any dried leaves, but refrain from washing as this will soak the raspberries and ruin their texture.
Arrange the raspberries in concentric circles atop the crème patissiere, starting in the centre and working out until the whole surface is covered.
Finally, dust with a light coating of icing sugar (if so desired) and stand back and admire your handiwork!