“This dish is pretty and easy to make if you buy in puff pastry. I’ve used rough puff in the recipe. The custard is heavenly on top of the cold, buttery pastry with the thinly-sliced strawberries. Woodruff flowers make a very pretty garnish.”
Prep time: 1 hour; cooking time: 45 minutes
1 puff pastry disc, 6-inch diameter
300ml double cream
35g caster sugar
5 egg yolks
1/4 vanilla pod, seeds scraped, pod retained
4 to 6 strawberries, thinly sliced, at room temperature
A dusting of icing sugar
A few wild woodruff flowers, optional
1 egg yolk, seasoned with a pinch of salt and sugar
Heat the oven to 190°C
Begin by laying the pastry on a sheet of non-stick ovenproof silicon or grease-proof paper. Be careful to buy the right stuff.
Then mix up the seasoned egg yolk with a pastry brush, and brush over the pastry disc and bake in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes until golden. Ensure the pastry is cooked all the way through and isn’t raw in the middle – there’s nothing worse! Remove from the oven and glaze again with the egg yolk and allow to cool.
Next, make the custard. Begin by whisking together the 5 egg yolks and sugar in a bowl. Then place the cream, vanilla seeds and pod in a pot and bring to the boil on the hob. Turn off the heat and leave for a moment or two to allow the cream to take on the vanilla flavour, then pour this mixture into the bowl with the egg yolks and sugar and whisk well.
Place the mixture in a clean pot on the hob and heat whilst whisking constantly until it reaches 86°C. This is important or it won’t set. If the custard curdles, place it in a liquidiser and blitz it for a few seconds, and it will come back to life.
Allow the custard to cool then spoon 2 tablespoons of it over the pastry. Arrange the strawberry slices in overlapping swirls on top and dredge with icing sugar. Garnish with a few woodruff flowers and serve. Summer on a plate!