“This amazing English tart comes from a 2 Michelin Star restaurant called The Ledbury, which is owned and run by Australian chef Brett Graham. Brett uses premium seasonal and sustainable produce to create world-class fine-dining dishes. A word of warning - this recipe is quite complex and contains a lot of elements, but many of the components can be made ahead of time.” Luke Nguyen, Luke Nguyen's United Kingdom






Skill level

Average: 3.9 (8 votes)



  • 300 g (2 cups) plain flour
  • 150 g cold unsalted butter, chopped
  • 3.5 g table salt
  • 120 g caster sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 vanilla bean, halved and seeds scraped
  • 1 orange, zest finely grated
  • 25 g double cream


Honey and orange blossom cream

  • 1 leaf of bronze gelatine
  • 20 g orange blossom water
  • 2.5 g dried chamomile flowers
  • 10 g golden caster sugar
  • 30 g honey
  • 65 g egg yolks
  • 100 g milk
  • 300 g U.H.T. cream (35 % fat)
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped


Lovage puree

  • 25 g blanched lovage leaves (see Note)
  • 55 g glucose syrup
  • 10 g olive oil
  • 20 g water


Lovage meringue

  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 35 g water
  • 50 g egg white
  • 30 g lovage puree


Strawberry and rose water fluid gel

  • 75 g water
  • 3 g agar agar
  • 50 g fructose
  • 250 g strained strawberry puree
  • 38 g rose water


Strawberry sorbet

  • 500 g strained strawberry purée
  • 50 g verjuce
  • 60 g fructose
  • 12 g vodka


Violet ice-cream

  • 600 g milk
  • 150 g whipping cream
  • 37 g milk powder
  • 60 g egg yolks
  • 135 g violet syrup (see Note)
  • 25 g honey


To serve

  • wild strawberries, crystallised mint leaves and edible blossoms

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Freezing time 2 hour

Standing time (in oven) 24 hours

You will need to begin this recipe 1 day ahead. 

To make the pastry, place the flour and butter in a food processor and use the pulse action until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Combine the salt, sugar, egg yolks, vanilla and orange zest and pulse for 30 seconds. Add the cream, then pulse just until the pastry comes together. Shape into a disc, cover in plastic wrap and freeze for 1 hour. 

Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface until 5 mm-thick, the use a 10 cm cutter to stamp out 6 rounds. Line six 8 cm tart tins with the pastry, trimming the sides. Line the pastry shells with baking paper (see Note), fill with dried beans or rice and freeze for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 175ºC. Bake the tart shells for 10 minutes, then remove the dried beans and paper and bake for another 7 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

To make the honey and orange blossom cream, soak the gelatine in the orange blossom water for 2-3 minutes or until soft. Using an electric mixer, whisk the chamomile flowers, sugar, honey and egg yolks until thick and pale. Heat the milk, cream and vanilla bean seeds in a saucepan over low heat to 50ºC. Whisking continuously, gradually add the hot milk mixture to the egg yolk mixture and return to the pan. Stir over low heat until the custard reaches 80ºC, then remove from the heat. Stir in the soaked gelatine and orange blossom water until dissolved. Strain the custard through a fine sieve into a bowl, cool, then refrigerate until cold.

To make the lovage puree, blend all the ingredients together until smooth.  

To make the lovage meringue, preheat the oven to 80ºC. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Place the sugar and water in a saucepan and stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Simmer until the syrup reaches 121ºC on a sugar thermometer. While the syrup is coming to temperature, place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk until soft peaks form. With the motor running, slowly pour the hot syrup into the beaten egg whites and continue whisking until the meringue is cool. Fold in the lovage puree until well combined. Spread the meringue evenly over the prepared trays and bake for 1 hour. Using a 7.5 cm cutter, cut out rounds from the meringue, then cut in half again to make semi-circles. Return to the trays and bake at 80ºC for 24 hours or until crisp and dry. Remove and stand until completely cool, then store in an airtight container until needed.

To make the strawberry gel, place the water, agar agar and fructose in a saucepan and use a hand-held whisk to combine well. Place over medium heat and bring to the boil. Add the strawberry puree and whisk until smooth. Remove from the heat, stand until cool, then refrigerate until cold. Add the rosewater and use a stick blender to puree until smooth. Pour into a squeeze bottle and refrigerate until needed. 

To make the strawberry sorbet, puree all the ingredients in a blender, then churn in an ice-cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions. Freeze until firm. 

To make the violet ice-cream, place the milk, cream and milk powder in a saucepan over low heat to 50ºC. Whisk the egg yolks, honey and violet syrup in a bowl until well combined. Whisking continuously, gradually add the warm milk to the yolk mixture, then return to the pan and stir over low heat until the custard reaches 72ºC. Keep the mixture at that temperature for 10 minutes, then strain through a fine sieve into a bowl placed in a larger bowl of ice. Stand until cool, whisking frequently, then churn in an ice-cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions.

To assemble, spread a large spoonful of the honey and orange blossom cream into the tart cases. Top one side with the hulled wild strawberries and the other with a semi-circle of lovage meringue. Pipe small dots of strawberry gel in amongst the strawberries, then top the tart with a quenelle of sorbet and ice-cream. Decorate with crystallised mint leaves and edible blossoms. 



• All the liquid ingredients are measured in grams, rather than millilitres, as it is a more accurate measurement.

• While the much-forgotten Mediterranean native lovage is not widely available, you can buy it online or from select nurseries. The leaves resemble Italian parsley, but the flavour is a combination of celery and parsley with a hint of pepper. If unavailable, use a combination of flat leaf parsley leaves and young celery leaves.

• Violet syrup can be found in specialist food stores or online. If in doubt, look for the Monin label.

• Before lining the tart shells with baking paper, it is best to run the paper under cold water and scrunch up, then unfold at least 3 times. This will make the paper more flexible and won’t tear the paper.

• Some components will make more than you need for 6 serves, but will keep frozen or in an airtight container.  


Luke Nguyen's United Kingdom starts Thursday 14 May 2015 at 8pm on SBS ONE and finishes 2 July 2015. Visit the Luke Nguyen's United Kingdom website to catch-up on episodes online, scroll through recipes or find out more about the show.