Hello everyone! I hope you all had a really lovely Christmas and a nice break.
The bakery I work at has closed down until mid January so I’m so excited to be enjoying a couple of weeks off. It was madness at the bakery leading up to Christmas (if you saw this time lapse video I posted on Instagram of me making fruit mince pies, you’d get the idea) so it’s so nice to have little summer break.
We’ve been enjoying the sun, lazy mornings and lots of long meals with family and friends. I’ve been loving being able to sleep in after 5am, waking up without an alarm, painting my nails, and baking for pleasure. It’s just the little things, really.
It’s such a different feeling when you can choose to bake rather than have to bake. It’s so much more enjoyable. I’ve been baking lots of easy but delicious tarts and making the most of the bounty of summer berries that we have available at the moment.
This is a perfect tart for a New Year’s party! The filling is a silky, rich and creamy creme diplomat, and I absolutely love the watermelon spheres that are piled on top. They sparkle, they burst in your mouth, they’re gorgeously refreshing and are such a surprise to anyone that’s having a slice of this beauty.
However, if you’re on the other side of the hemisphere where it’s cold and wintery, you can definitely change up the fruit topping. Try piling some roasted rhubarb or poached quince on top instead!
I hope you all have a great New Year’s Eve! Thank you so much for your support over the past year, it has meant so much. I’ll see you with some new, exciting recipes in 2016! X
- FOR THE BASE:
- 400g graham crackers or digestive biscuits
- 50g caster (superfine) sugar
- 40g milk powder
- 7g sea salt
- 110g unsalted butter, melted
- 110g cream
- FOR THE CREME DIPLOMAT:
- 250ml milk
- ½ vanilla pod
- 3 egg yolks
- 60g caster (superfine) sugar
- 40g plain flour
- 400g heavy cream
- FOR THE TOPPING:
- ⅛ of a watermelon, about 1kg
- ½ punnet strawberries (125g), washed, hulled and quartered or sliced
- 2 punnets raspberries (250g)
- To make the tart base, preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F) and lightly grease or butter an 8 inch tart tin with removable base.
- To make the base, blitz the cookies in a food processor to make a fine crumb. Combine with the sugar, milk powder and salt in a medium bowl.
- Whisk the cream into the melted butter and add to the dry ingredients, mixing to combine.
- Press the mixture evenly into the base and sides of the tin. Bake for 10 minutes, until a little puffed and very lightly golden.
- To make the creme diplomat, fist make a custard. Mix together the sugar and flour in a small bowl.
- In a medium heatproof bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Whisk the sugar mixture to the egg yolks slowly, one tablespoon at a time. Set aside.
- Pour the milk into a medium saucepan. Split the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds, putting them into the milk.
- Place the pan over a high heat and scald the milk – heat it until bubbles appear around the edges, but it is not boiling.
- Once the milk is scalded, remove from the heat and slowly pour it into the egg mixture, whisking continuously.
- When all the milk incorporated, pour the custard back into the saucepan and cook over a medium heat. Whisk continuously and vigorously until the mixture is very thick, about 5 minutes. It needs to actually bubble and come to a boil to cook out the taste of the flour.
- Pour the custard into a heatproof bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, putting the plastic right onto the surface of the pastry cream. This will prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or until cold.
- Once your custard is completely cool, whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form.
- Fold the whipped cream into the custard about a quarter at a time, mixing well at first to lighten the custard, then folding the final additions in gently to keep the mixture light and airy.
- Spread the mixture into the tart base and refrigerate.
- Prepare your watermelon. Use a watermelon baller to scoop all your watermelon into balls and place them on a wire rack sitting over a baking tray. Sprinkle the watermelon balls with a couple of tablespoons of sugar and allow them to macerate for about 30 minutes.
- Once your watermelon has macerated, top the tart with the berries and watermelon.
- Keep refrigerated. Optionally, dust with a little icing (powdered) sugar to serve. Serves 10 - 12.
- Happy baking and happy new year!
Tart base adapted from Momofuku Milk Bar.
Custard recipe adapted from Justin Gellately via the Guardian.