It’s Damsons season! I love these glorious late summer fruits for their rich lavour and deep colour. Here’s a fantastic tart recipe that I first found on the Delicious magazine’s website and adapted to our taste and method of making pastry.
We have used Damson’s from our very generous neighbour (although they are now readily available at local greengrocers and good fruit stalls at local markets. All other ingredients were from the Newtwon Farm Shop with the exception of the soured cream.
This recipe does take patience, but wow, it was so worth it. When editing the video for Youtube and Instagram all I wanted to do was eat some of it (but we finished it too fast!).
INGREDIENTS (SERVES 8):
- 170ml soured cream
- 80 ml double cream
- 1 free-range egg
- 7 tbsp caster sugar
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 1 tbsp ground almonds
- 700g damsons (before removing stones)
- a little icing sugar (for dusting)
- 170g plain flour
- pinch of salt
- 50g icing sugar
- zest of 1 large orange
- 100g unsalted farmhouse butter
- yolk of 1 large free-range egg
- 2 tbsp cold water
- mix the flour, icing sugar, salt and orange zest in a bowl until evenly combined
- add the chilled butter and using the tips of your fingers (run them under cold water if your hands are warm) rub the butter into the flour until looks like bread crumbs
- in a small separate bowl, add the egg yolk and 2 tbsp cold water, and whisk together
- add the egg and water mix to the butter and flour mix and combine until the mix starts to come together
- on a floured surface knead the pastry dough until smooth, wrap with some cling film and chill for 15/20 minutes
- whilst the pastry is in the fridge, remove the stones from the damsons. Slice round the damson, then twist to separate one half from the stone. Place the ‘good’ half in one bowl and twist the pip out of the remaining half and place that half in a separate bowl. Sprinkle half a tablespoon of caster sugar on each of the bowls of damsons
- remove the pastry from the fridge. On a floured surface, roll out until the pastry is 4 mm TIP: to roll out pastry without additional flour and to make it easier to lift into the tart tin, use clingfilm. Place a piece of cling-film on the table. Place the pasty on it and cover with another piece on top (like a sandwich). Rolling pastry between clingfilm. If the cling film starts to stick, peel it off and place it back on top
- line a 23cm round loose bottom flan tin with the rolled pastry. Gently press into the edges of the tin, cut off the excess pastry and place back into the fridge to chill for another 20 minutes
- preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4/365F. Once the pastry has chilled, line with baking parchment and fill with baking beans/rice/dry lentils. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes (or until the edges are golden)
- remove from the over and take out the baking beans and parchment. Using pieces of aluminium foil cover the edges and return to the oven for a further 7 minutes or until the base is also golden
- remove from the oven, discard the aluminium foil and set aside to cool
- in a bowl, whisk together the soured cream, double cream, flour, ground almonds and the remaining 6 tbsp of caster sugar until smooth
- place the ‘not so good’ damson halves on the bottom of the pastry face up until the base is mostly covered. Pour over 3/4 of the cream filling mix.
- add the ‘good’ damson halves (round side up) arranging evenly over the tart until it looks full and pretty. Pour over the rest of the cream mix or until the filling is the same height as the pastry.
- return to the oven for a further 35 minutes, until the filling is firm and golden in patches. TIP: Don’t worry if the filling rises above the pastry line, it sinks a little when it cools
- When cooked, remove from the over and allow to cool in the tin
- To serve, remove from the tin and dust with icing sugar. Best served warm.