A fragrant strawberry tart with custard and homemade dough will have anyone asking for more. Angela Nicolettou has combined a sugarless strawberry jam with rose geranium and a fluffy custard to create a seasonal dessert which is as pleasing to the eye as it is to the palate.
Strawberry and custard tart with rose geranium
2 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
¼ cup olive oil
½ cup water
500ml full cream milk, plus 2 tbs extra
¼ cup fine semolina
1/3 cup caster sugar
zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp vanilla paste
3 rose geranium leaves, lightly bruised
1 punnet strawberries (250g)
½ cup honey
1 tsp lemon juice
2 rose geranium leaves
Start with the pastry. Place the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl, mix and make a well in the center. Add the olive oil and mix with your fingers until the mixture feels like crumbs. Slowly add the water and knead the dough until it comes together. Rest, covered with a tea towel for 1 hour.
Heat oven to 180C and oil a 20 to 25cm wide quiche pan. Roll the pastry to a thickness of 3mm and large enough to spill over the sides of the tart pan. Place the pastry in the pan and gently press at the base of the sides so the pastry lines the tin. Use a fork to make little holes all over the base of the pastry, cover with baking paper and some pastry weights (rice or dry beans work well) and then bake for 10 minutes. Remove weights and let cool slightly.
For the strawberry jam, wash and cut the strawberries into 4 or 8 pieces depending on their size and add to a medium heavy based saucepan with the honey, lemon juice and rose geranium leaves. Bring to the boil while stirring to combine. Simmer for 5 mins then remove from heat and let cool. Remove the rose geranium leaves before using.
For the custard, mix eggs and sugar until well combined and set aside while you prepare the milk. Heat milk with geranium leaves and vanilla to just before boiling point. Reduce heat to a simmer and slowly add the semolina, while continually stirring until it begins to thicken. Remove from heat and add the egg and sugar mix, while continuing to stir. Place back on a medium heat and stir until the custard thickens. Remove from the heat, discard the geranium leaves and cover the custard with a piece of glad wrap (or baking paper) placed directly on the surface (this is so it does not form a crust as it cools) until needed.
To assemble, spread the jam over the base of the tart shell and spoon the custard on top. Bake at 180C for 30mins. Remove from oven and let cool. Before serving, cover the top in sliced fresh strawberries, dust with icing sugar and garnish with rose geranium flowers (if available).