Alex Reynolds, Head Chef and Co-owner at Hackney’s Eline, shares a wintry dessert recipe.
This is a really simple tart recipe but the cardamom flavour and the zesty crème fraîche give it a real cold weather celebratory feel.
For the case:
Icing sugar 28g
Almond Flour 30g
Icing sugar (n°2) 54g
For the custard mix:
100g double cream
25 cardamom pods
375g egg yolk
For the cardamom icing sugar:
100g icing sugar
30g cardamom seeds
For the crème fraîche:
200g crème fraîche
1/4 orange zest
100g double cream
1 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
Sieve the flour, icing sugar, almond flour and salt.
Mix the butter with icing sugar n°2 until white and creamy.
Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
Incorporate the eggs without overworking the dough. Reserve in the fridge until chilled and then roll in between two sheets of baking paper (you can use a bit of flour if necessary).
Cover a 24cm tart case with the pastry, applying a little pressure onto the corners, mark it with a fork and put it in the freezer.
Bake from frozen at 180°C for 12 minutes until golden.
The custard mix:
Bash up the cardamom pods and put them in a pan with the cream. Bring up to the boil and leave to infuse for 15 minutes. At this point I usually taste the cream. If the cardamom flavour isn’t quite strong enough then give it a little blend with a hand blender and taste again. You can keep doing this until the balance is to your liking.
Pour the infused cream through a sieve onto the yolks and sugar and hand blend the mix together.
Pour into the pre-baked tart case and bake in a 110c oven for between 40 and 70 minutes. (The mix should have a firm wobble to it when shaken)
Allow to cool for at least an hour before carving.
The cardamom icing sugar:
Simply blend the icing sugar and cardamom seeds together. When dusting the tart with this I find a meshed tea leaf ball to be the best thing!
The crème fraîche:
Put all the spices and the double cream in the pan and bring up to the boil. Leave it to infuse for half an hour and allow it to fully cool. Pass the mix and whisk it into the crème fraîche along with the orange zest. It’ll get a bit loose but if you keep whisking it it’ll firm back up.