It sure is good to be back in the southern hemisphere; about to have me a summer Christmas like I'm used to. To me, December means lazy days at the beach, long lunches with friends and super cold bottles of summer cider.
|Some friends and I enjoying lunch at The Oyster Inn in Waiheke Island.|
To mark the start of the summer season, a friend had asked me to create a simple raspberry tart to be featured on the Glassons blog. I wanted the tart to be fresh, simple and feature the freshness of this season's latest harvest.
After coming across reasonably priced punnets of plump red raspberries, I decided to have a little play with Pierre Hermé's classic flavor combination, the Ispahan. It must have been a moment of divine inspiration when Monsieur Hermé had the idea to combine lychee, rose and raspberries together. The trio of aromas just blends and blooms together so nicely on the palate, you should really give him a well deserved pat on the back next time you see him.
Almond tart base
200 g all-purpose flour
100 g butter - cold, cubed
40 g ground almonds
100 g powdered sugar
Sift and combine all the dry ingredients
Add in cubed butter and work into the dry ingredients with fingertips to resemble small crumbs
Add in the egg and work into dry ingredients until half-incorporated.
To achieve a homogenous dough, smear the crumbs onto the counter with the palm of your hand. Be careful not to overwork the dough!
Dough will be very soft, wrap up with a sheet of baking paper, and refrigerate until firm.
When cooled, place onto a floured working surface.
Roll out with a rolling pin and with the help of flour to a thickness of 2-3mm
Pick up the dough by rolling it up with the rolling pin and place onto a buttered tart ring or mould.
Press well onto the sides. Make sure the bases are at a right angle.
Cut off excess dough by going over the top of the tart ring with a rolling pin.
Prick holes at the base with a fork.
Rest in the fridge/freezer for at least 30 minutes to prevent shrinkage.
Bake at 180 degrees C for 15-20 minutes browned all over.
Set aside to cool completely
Lychee and rose crème légère
565g can of lychee in syrup (will yield 150g of lychee puree)
10 ml rose water
2 egg yolks
50 g sugar
30 g flour
100 g heavy cream
a few drops of natural lychee essence (optional)
Drain the can of lychee in syrup, place the fruits into a blender and blend until smooth. Strain to remove brown bits. You should end up with about 150 grams of lychee purée.
Place the purée into a saucepan and add the rose water.
Place on medium heat until it comes to a light simmer.
In the meantime, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until it has slightly lightened in colour.
Add flour to sugar and eggs, loosen with a little purée if need be.
When the purée has come to a simmer, pour it into the egg mixture and whisk well to combine.
Pour this mixture back into the saucepan and whisk well until it comes to a boil. Be careful not to let the mixture burn.
Place the mixture into a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
Cool completely in the fridge.
When the lychee and rose mixture has cooled completely, whip up the cream with a whisk until firm.
Loosen the lychee and rose mixture with a whisk to get rid of lumps.
Place 1/3 of the cream into the lychee and rose mixture and whisk until smooth.
Add the rest of the cream into the lychee/rose mixture and fold with a spatula until just incorporated.
A cooled tart shell
Lychee and rose crème légère
2 punnets of raspberries
Chopped pistachios (optional)
Scoop the lychee and rose crème légère into a piping bag that has been fitted with a large circular piping tip.
Pipe a swirl of lychee and rose cream onto the base of the tart.
Top loosely with fresh raspberries.
Garnish with chopped pistachios for a little colour contrast.
But that goes without saying...