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Concept based on wonderful Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s sorrel recommendations – adapted to fit our family preferences.. Very delicate, very smooth – must be careful distributing the raisins – in my first attempt all the raisins (or dried cherries, as they happen to be) ended up in the centre of the tart wheel.. Tasted excellent, just seemed a bit unfair to the other forkfuls….
I made two small (20 cm dia) tarts, generously filled. Should serve 8-10 people.
Some remaining 2-3 spoonfuls of filling I baked separately in a small heat proof ramekin. Perfect test size of the filling.. although useful only for the greedy spectator..
For the sweet short-crust pastry i took
- 200g flour
- 2-3 tbsp icing sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 125g cold, unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 1 large egg yolk
- a splash of cold milk (or water)
First the shells:
- Sifted the flour, sugar and salt into a bowl, stirred with a hand-held whisk.
- Added the butter and rubbed it with my fingertips, then with the egg-salad-egg-gutter thing until the mixture resembled breadcrumbs.
- Added the egg yolk, and enough milk to bring it together into large clumps.
- Dropped the dough out on to a lightly floured surface and kneaded gently into a ball.
- Wrapped in foil and placed in the fridge for some 30 minutes.
- Cut the pastry ball into two – because i was going for two small ones. For a single large one (24cm or more in dia) skip this, of course.
- Rolled out each the pastry to fit the tart tin and line the tin with the pastry, leaving the excess hanging over the edge.
- Pricked all over with a fork and chill for 10 minutes more
- Set the oven to 190C/375F and placed a baking sheet big enough to hold both of my tarts, inside.
- Lined the pastry with grease parchment paper, making sure the edges are covered
- Filled with baking beans, and baked blind for 15 minutes.
- Removed the beans and paper, and cooked for another five minutes (or until the pastry looks cooked but not browned).
- Left them on a rack to cool, then trimmed off the rough edges.
Now the filling:
- About 300g sorrel
- Knob of butter, about 15g
- 2 large eggs, plus 2 egg yolks
- 300ml double cream
- 100ml skim milk
- 2 tbsp icing sugar
- handful of dried cherries (or raisins)
- Went to the garden to collect fresh sorrel.
- Removed any tough stalks and washed the leaves; if the leaves originate in the garden, you may want to watch out for snails and insects (see the Vinegar Trick note below)
- dry thoroughly with the help of cotton cloth, and shred it finely.
- Heated half the butter in a large cast iron frying pan over a medium-low heat.
- Added half the sorrel and cooked for a few minutes, stirring often, until collapsed and drastically reduced in volume. This is really very quick, you do not want to walk away..
- Transferred greenish-brown substance to the colander to cool.
- Repeat with the remaining sorrel.
- When cool, squeezed out the excess moisture (could do it with your hands or a large spoon, just be delicate with it).
- Set the oven to 180C/350F.
- In a bowl whisked together the eggs, egg yolks, cream and milk.
- Sifted in the icing sugar, whisked to dissolve, then stirred in the raisins and wilted sorrel.
- Poured carefully into the prepared pastry shells, using a fork to distribute the sorrel and raisins evenly.
- Very carefully (remember their bottom is loose..) placed the filled tart tins on the baking sheet in the oven.
- Baked for almost 1 hour, until set and just golden.
- Left them to cool, and serve warm or at room temperature.
Vinegar Trick: to remove any unwanted protein tissue from the leaves (like spinach, link sorrel,) or fruit (like plums, like raspberries) you may consider adding a spoonful or two of vinegar to your water (water must taste acidic) and bathe the leaves/fruit for a few minutes. One or two rinses in clean water will return the leaves to their clean and unattended state..