This luscious 1960s strawberry tart bursts with flavour and sweetens the scent of whatever space it occupies. An excellent centrepiece for a summer party or picnic.
Original Recipe: 'Fresh Strawberry Flan' (Book 7, 1967)
Speed: 1½ hours | Serves: 6
113g plain flour
57g castor sugar
57g softened unsalted butter
The yolks of 2 small eggs
A pinch of salt
For the filling
¾ lb (340g) strawberries
4 tbsp. gooseberry jam
1 dessertspoonful water
To make the pastry
1. In a small bowl, mix the egg yolks with the softened butter and sugar and stir until the three are roughly blended.
2. Sift the flour and salt onto a board or pastry slab and make a well in the centre.
3. Tip the mixture into the well and lightly but quickly draw the flour into it. Knead together quickly before wrapping in greaseproof paper or cling film and put into the fridge for at least half an hour to rest.
4. Roll out the pastry 'as thinly as you dare, ideally to the thickness of half a crown' (about 4mm thick). Then, transfer to a well buttered tart tin and gently press into place around the corners and the edge. Do not worry about cracks or holes - one of the virtues of this pastry is that it responds well to patching, so gently patch these up where they occur.
Note 1: Roll your pastry out on a flour-dusted layer of cling film or grease-proof paper. This makes it a lot easier to transfer to your tart tin, which is well worth it when you are working with a delicate or thinly rolled pastry such as this one.
Note 2: The recipe doesn't specify what tin size to use. We used a 9 inch tart tin which was big enough for the pastry, but when the time came to fill the case we found that it was a little too big and we had to add a few extra strawberries. A 7 inch tin should be perfect.
Note 3: You'll have a bit of pastry left over to do with what you wish (decoration / individual tart cases, etc).
5. Prick the base all over with a fork, then line with grease-proof paper and fill with baking beans (if you don't have baking beans, rice, dried peas, beans or lentils will do).
6. Bake in the centre of a pre-heated oven for 10-12 minutes at 191 °C (375 °F / Gas Mark 5).
7. Then, remove the beans and paper and return to the oven for a further 5 minutes to bake the base.
8. Leave to cool completely before filling.
To make the filling
9. Set aside 6 of the strawberries. Slice the rest in half and pack them tightly into the pastry case so that the fruit comes to a slight peak in the centre.
10. To make the glaze, mash the 6 remaining strawberries 'til smooth. You can use a processor for this step, but if you don't have one (like us!):
a) chop the strawberries up as small as possible, then;
b) mash a bit with a fork, then;
c) pass this through a sieve to make a smooth puree.
11. Transfer the strawberry puree to a small saucepan and add to this 1 dessertspoonful of water and 4 tbsp. gooseberry jam. Stir this mixture over a gentle heat in until dissolved, and then set aside to cool completely.
12. When the glaze is quite cool, pour over the strawberries.
Original Recipe for 'Fresh Strawberry Flan'
'BOOK 7': The Sunday Telegraph Cookery Book (1967)
Authors: Jean Robertson for The Sunday Telegraph
Publisher: Collins for The Cookery Book Club (9 Grape Street, London, W.C.2, England, U.K.)