Summer 2024

Summer Berries Custard Tart

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Serving: 6 people

Prep Time: 55 minutes, plus cooling and chilling time

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Summer Fruit Custard Tart


For the pastry:

200g plain flour

Pinch of Maldon Sea Salt

130g unsalted butter, cold and cubed

50g caster sugar

1 egg yolk, plus 1 whole egg

For the custard:

500ml whole milk

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

6 medium eggs, yolks only

150g caster sugar

30g cornflour

To decorate:

200g strawberries, larger ones cut in half

100g blueberries

100g redcurrants

100g blackberries

Icing sugar, for dusting


Indulge in the perfect summer dessert with this exquisite Summer Berries Custard Tart, a delightful combination of creamy vanilla custard and a vibrant array of fresh berries. This tart, featuring the renowned Maldon Sea Salt flakes, elevates a classic favourite into a gourmet experience. Whether you are hosting a backyard barbecue or a sophisticated garden party, this berry custard tart promises to be the star of your summer celebrations.

Creating this delicious dessert starts with a buttery tart shell made from all-purpose flour, unsalted butter, and a hint of Maldon Sea Salt flakes. The dough comes together effortlessly in a food processor or blender, with cold water ensuring the perfect consistency. Once baked to golden perfection, the shell is filled with a smooth and rich pastry cream, crafted from egg yolks, milk, sugar, and vanilla bean paste or extract. The crowning glory is an assortment of fresh summer berries, which not only add a burst of colour but also balance the sweetness of the custard with their natural tartness. A light dusting of icing sugar completes this show-stopping fruit tart, making it as beautiful as it is delicious.

How to make pastry for tarts

  1. Start by making the pastry. Place the all-purpose flour and Maldon Sea Salt flakes into the food processor, and then add the cold cubed butter.
  2. Pulse the food processor until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Then add the caster sugar and give it one more pulse to incorporate. Then add the egg yolk and pulse again until it starts to come together and form a dough – if it looks a little dry and chalky, simply add a teaspoon of cold water and pulse again.
  3. Once the dough is formed, remove from the food processor, and bring together with your hands so it is cohesive and smooth.
  4. Flatten into a disc shape and wrap in cling film, then place into the fridge for 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 180c.

How to make custard filling for tarts

  1. While the pastry is chilling, start making the custard. Place the milk and vanilla bean paste into a large saucepan and place onto a gentle heat. Put the egg yolks, caster sugar and cornflour into a mixing bowl and use some electric beaters to whisk until pale and fluffy.

  2. Heat the milk until scalding point but not boiling, then remove from
    the heat and gradually pour it into the egg and sugar mixture very slowly,
    whisking all the time. Once all the milk is added, pour this mixture back into
    the pan and heat very gently, constantly stirring and moving it with a rubber
    spatula. The custard will thicken, you want to take this to quite a thick
    custard stage so it supports the fruit in the tart. Once thickened, remove from the heat and place into a clean bowl, and close cover with some clingfilm on the surface to stop it for getting a skin.

  3. Set aside in the fridge to cool.

How to cook a custard tart?

  1. After 30 minutes, remove the pastry from the fridge and on a lightly floured surface, roll it out into a circle which is a bit larger than the 23cm tart tin (you need the pastry to come up the sides and overhang slightly).
  2. Lift it and drape into the tart tin, using your finger to lightly press it in up all the sides and corners.
  3. Use some scrunched up baking paper in the middle and then fill with baking beans. Blind bake the pastry for 10 minutes to 15 minutes, then remove the paper and return for a further 5 until it is lightly golden and dry to the touch. Remove from the oven and use a whole beaten egg to lightly egg wash the pastry while it is still hot. This will help seal any cracks before adding the custard.
  4. Set aside to cool slightly and then use a serrated knife to trim off the top edge neatly. Then set aside to cool fully.

How to decorate a custard tart?

  1. Once both your pastry case and custard are cooled you are ready to assemble.
  2. Spoon the custard into the pastry case and smooth over with a palate knife.
  3. Assemble your summer fruits all over the top, and then dust with some icing sugar and a final pinch of Maldon Sea Salt.
  4. Serve immediately.

Other tart decorations

If you don’t want to top your custard tart with a medley of summer berries, why not try add a drizzle of homemade lemon curd or jam instead? The sweet, silky sauce compliments the buttery pastry of the tart perfectly, giving you a sudden burst of sweetness as you take your first bite.

If it’s not the season for summer berries, try decorating with sliced apples, paired with a sprinkling of cinnamon. This flavour profile is both warming and comforting, perfect on a cosy autumnal day when you’re stuck indoors and wanting to bake something. The beautiful display of sliced apples against the creamy custard filming is also striking and a great crowd-pleaser!

What to serve with summer berries custard tart?

Homemade ice cream

Now that you have a finished custard tart that’s ready to be enjoyed, let’s think of a few recipes you can serve along with this decadent dessert!

Our homemade blackcurrant ice cream is a match-made-in-heaven when paired with a custard tart. This is because the cold, soft texture of the ice cream compliments the buttery tart shell, creating a delicious symphony of textures as you take your first bite.

If you’re craving a summery tipple, we recommend whipping up a Fig Bellini. This cocktail is super quick and easy to make, infused with the flavours of sweet fig jam and a kick of zest through the use of lemon juice and prosecco, which matches the sweet burst of the summer berries on the custard tart.

Can you freeze custard tarts?

Because the custard tarts are made from eggs, cream and milk, it’s important to store any leftovers in the fridge for no longer than three days. The tarts are at their optimum taste and texture when served fresh the day of making it.

In terms of freezing your custard, you can freeze them up to 3 months if stored in an airtight container. However, please note that they may not hold their shape that well once thawed under room temperature. This is because of the moisture content in the creamy custard filling.

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