Sweet sorrel tart

Polska wersja tu.

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:

  1. Sifted the flour, sugar and salt into a bowl, stirred with a hand-held whisk.
  2. Added the butter and rubbed it with my fingertips, then with the egg-salad-egg-gutter thing until the mixture resembled breadcrumbs.
  3. Added the egg yolk, and enough milk to bring it together into large clumps.
  4. Dropped the dough out on to a lightly floured surface and kneaded gently into a ball.
  5. Wrapped in foil and placed in the fridge for some 30 minutes.
  6. 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.
  7. Rolled out each the pastry to fit the tart tin and line the tin with the pastry, leaving the excess hanging over the edge.
  8. Pricked all over with a fork and chill for 10 minutes more
  9. Set the oven to 190C/375F and placed a baking sheet big enough to hold both of my tarts, inside.
  10. Lined the pastry with grease parchment paper, making sure the edges are covered
  11. Filled with baking beans, and baked blind for 15 minutes.
  12. Removed the beans and paper, and cooked for another five minutes (or until the pastry looks cooked but not browned).
  13. 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)
  1. Went to the garden to collect fresh sorrel.
  2. 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)
  3. dry thoroughly with the help of cotton cloth, and shred it finely.
  4. Heated half the butter in a large cast iron frying pan over a medium-low heat.
  5. 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..
  6. Transferred greenish-brown substance to the colander to cool.
  7. Repeat with the remaining sorrel.
  8. When cool, squeezed out the excess moisture (could do it with your hands or a large spoon, just be delicate with it).
  9. Set the oven to 180C/350F.
  10. In a bowl whisked together the eggs, egg yolks, cream and milk.
  11. Sifted in the icing sugar, whisked to dissolve, then stirred in the raisins and wilted sorrel.
  12. Poured carefully into the prepared pastry shells, using a fork to distribute the sorrel and raisins evenly.
  13. Very carefully (remember their bottom is loose..) placed the filled tart tins on the baking sheet in the oven.
  14. Baked for almost 1 hour, until set and just golden.
  15. 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..

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