Dainty Strawberry Tarts

With the Wimbledon tennis tournament comes the ‘official’ strawberry season, and these dainty strawberry and orange tarts are a frivolous, melt-in-your-mouth affair.

The blind-baked pastry cases, here, will keep for a month once bakes and dry and stored in an airtight tin. They are a good standby for when you want to rustle up a quick dessert or sweet treat.

As an alternative to the orange curd, you could fill these tarts with clotted cream or thick-set double cream and top them with your favourite soft fruits; raspberries, blueberries and blackberries all work well.


Makes 24

1 quantity of sweet pastry (recipe below)
1 quantity of orange curd (recipe below)
50g apricot glaze (or apricot jam, heated and strained through a sieve)
25 small strawberries

Grease two 12 hole 5cm mini-muffin tins with a little butter.
Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to 3mm thick and using a 6.5 fluted cutter, cut out small circles. Use them to line the tins, carefully pressing the pastry right down into the base.
Chill for 30 minutes. Heat the oven to 180.c/Gas Mark 4.

Line each tartlet case with foil and fill with beans or rice to blind bake. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven, lift off the foil and beans/rice and return to the oven for about 5 minutes, until golden. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

Pipe or spoon a heaped teaspoon of orange curd into each tartlet.

Put the glaze or strained jam in a small saucepan and bring to boiling point, then remove from the heat – be careful, as it can get very hot. Small strawberries can go on the tarts whole, larger ones need to be cut in half. Lay the strawberries on a sheet of parchment and glaze them with the jam. Doing this before you put them on the tarts allows any excess glaze to run off rather than dripping on the curd. Using a small knife, place the glazed strawberries on top of the tartlets.


Sweet Pastry 

50g caster sugar
1 medium egg yolk
100g salted butter, cut into cubes
150g plain flour

Put the sugar and egg yolk in a mixing bowl, combine briefly with a wooden spoon, then add the butter. Using the spoon or your fingers, blend them until they come together. You can also do this in a freestanding electric mixer.
Sift the flour and quickly work everything together into a dough. Shape into a flat slab, wrap in cling film and chill for 1 hour before use. The pasty will keep in the fridge for 5 days and can also be frozen, well wrapped.


Orange Curd 

100g caster sugar
100g unsalted butter, diced
Juice of 2 oranges (about 100ml)
2 medium eggs

Place all ingredients in a heatproof bowl and set it over a pan of simmering water, making sure the water doesn’t touch the base of the bowl.

Cook, stirring constantly until the mixture starts to thicken. To check whether it’s thick enough, dip a wooden spoon into the curd, then run your finger down the back of it; it should leave a clear channel.

Pour the curd into a clean bowl and leave to cool. You can dust a little icing sugar on top, if you like, to prevent skin forming. The curd will keep in a very clean sealed container in the fridge for 2 weeks.