White Chocolate and Raspberry Tart

Well since getting back from Australia I'm settling back into normal life with a thump! I have my arm-length 'to do' list sorted - now I actually just need to 'do'. One of my new ventures (and on my list) is with Fairfax newspapers throughout New Zealand - I am happily going to be contributing a couple of recipes to them every fortnight. The first one was published today - this decadent and delicious tart. I know, I know another tart - I can't help myself (!!!), but if you’re ‘on dessert’ for your next gathering, this is the ideal choice to make and take. With a tart all of the hard work is done in advance - the pastry shell is baked and filled with luscious, creamy white chocolate custard, then once chilled and set all you need to do is top it with sweet, bright fresh berries for a show-stopping finale to any meal. You could easily swap the raspberries for blueberries or strawberries, or even swap to dark chocolate in the custard and top with cherries - yum! Whichever way you make it, do let me know if you give it a whirl :)

160g butter, out of the fridge for 20 minutes, just a bit soft, chopped into 3cm cubes
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 3/4 cups plain flour
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 egg yolk

1 cup whole milk
1 cup cream
1 vanilla bean, split
1/4 cup caster sugar
5 egg yolks
2 tbsp cornflour
1 tbsp plain flour
200g white chocolate, roughly chopped
500g fresh raspberries (or strawberries or blueberries - or a big combo!)

Put butter, flour, icing sugar and zest in the bowl of a food processor and blend until it forms big breadcrumbs. Add yolk and continue to blend in short bursts until the pastry starts to come together. Tip out onto a lightly floured bench and squash together, kneading gently. Form into a rectangle block, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180˚C.

Put milk, cream, vanilla bean and caster sugar in a medium pot. Heat stirring until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is just simmering. Put yolks, flour and cornflour in a medium/large bowl and use a hand beater or whisk to beat until smooth. Add the hot milk mixture the egg yolks, whisking all the time. Return the mix to the saucepan and return to the heat. Whisk on the heat until the mixture thickens to the consistency of smooth porridge – please note it needs to really thicken up here – too runny and it won’t set! Remove from the heat, add the chopped chocolate and whisk until smooth.

Line the pastry shell with baking paper and baking beans or rice and cook in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove the paper and beans and return to the oven to continue baking for a further 10 minutes until the pastry is golden. Remove from the oven and pour in chocolate custard. Leave to cool for half an hour before chilling in the fridge for at least 2 hours and up to overnight. Remove from the fridge half an hour before serving, top with hulled berries to serve. Serves 6-8. (Also very good sneaked in pieces out of the fridge when no-one is looking).

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