Somewhere in the vast palace of the Internet lurks my original recipe for this tart. It was a version I baked on Bake-Off to some acclaim. It takes about 5 hours to prepare. I regularly get requests for the recipe to this tart, as old re-runs are shown and people’s curiosities are re-piqued. And it’s always a source of guilt that I have to point them to such a pointlessly prolonged and difficult recipe. No longer. This recipe is a tart of equal greatness to the original, but with a fraction of the effort. Certain aspects will horrify some – my use of ready-made pastry, for example – but I think you should try to cast off these negative perceptions and just enjoy a truly wonderful tart.
First, preheat your oven to 180c/160c fan/gas 4. Seek out a metal, loose-bottomed tart tin and grease it with plenty of butter, making sure you get into all the grooves.
Roll out your pastry on a floured surface with a rolling pin, if it’s not ready-rolled. It should be the exact thickness of a £1 coin, or even a wee bit thinner. Lift this onto your buttered tin, and tuck the corners in. Trim the pastry round the edge so there’s at least 1cm hanging over; this stops it shrinking.
Prick the pastry all over with a fork, scatter with your flaked almonds, then place a sheet of baking paper on top. Weigh this down with spare coins or baking beans. Bake this for 15 minutes, then remove the sheet and bake for a final 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown. Leave to cool, then trim around the edge with a sharp knife.
Make the crème patissiere whilst it’s in the oven. For this, you need a bowl and saucepan. Into the saucepan, put your milk. Place this on a medium heat. Whilst that heats up, put your yolks, cornflour sugar and vanilla in the bowl, and whisk these together.
Once your milk is simmering, add half of it into your eggy mix, and whisk this together. Then, add all of this new mix back into your saucepan, and bring it back to the simmer, whisking all the time. Keep bubbling for a few minutes, or until it’s gone very thick. Then, remove from the heat, stir in your butter and leave to cool.
Make your rose cream – just mix all your ingredients together. If it’s very stiff, you can whisk in a tiny little bit of milk or cream to loosen.
Assemble. Place your pastry case on a plate or cake stand. Drain your lychees into a sieve above a bowl, and then place the fruit in your pastry case. Spread your crème patissiere around, making it as flat as you can. Then, spread your rose cream on top, again making it as flat as possible.
On top, arrange your raspberries. To finish, you can boil down the juice from the lychee tin into a glaze; you want to aim to reduce it by half. Brush this on top of your raspberries.
As one fancy final touch, you can make an almond caramel. Scatter the rest of your flaked almonds onto a piece of greaseproof paper. Into a saucepan, add your caster sugar and water. Stir these together over a high heat until the sugar is dissolved, then don’t stir any more. Bring to the boil, and then keep boiling until it turns a medium-dark brown. Pour this over your almonds and leave it to cool, before smashing it up and scattering over your tart.