Conor is currently cooking a chicken jalfrezi in the kitchen, whilst I’m sat watching TV with my feet up. Except I can’t concentrate on any shows long enough to tell you what’s going on because I’m almost certain he’s done something wrong and is trying to make up for it. It’s not the cooking part – we always take turn – but he’s cooking chicken even though he hates touching raw meat (I usually prep the meat for him if he’s cooking, but I’m under strict instructions not to enter the kitchen). He’s also promised me an iced minty green tea, and suggested we play Scrabble later. He hates Scrabble. That’s a red flag right there.
Not that I’m complaining. After a (HOT!) day like today I’m thankful to not be slaving over a hot stove. He’ll be making a big batch of the curry so we can freeze some and eat later during Ramadan. Because with the heat, and the fasting, and the working long hours, the chances of either of us wanting to cook for too long over the next few weeks are slim. I’ll also be turning to quick and easy desserts like these strawberry cream tarts – which not only are effortless to put together, but are sweet, light and refreshing.
I made 6 tartlets but the recipe also contains instructions if you want to make a single large tart instead. I was going to arrange the strawberrys on top in a nice pattern, but considering it took Conor less than 10 seconds to eat one, I’m glad I hadn’t bothered. The tarts are rich and creamy, with a base which melts in your mouth, and topped with fresh fruit, and a sweet and sticky syrup.
- For the pastry:
- 200g plain flour
- 130g unsalted butter
- 35g icing sugar
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 tsp water
- For the filling:
- 250g mascarpone
- 5-6 tbsp icing sugar
- 2-3 tbsp golden syrup
- 250g strawberries, hulled and sliced
- To make the pastry, combine the flour, butter, sugar, egg yolk and water in a food processor, or with your hands, until a dough starts to form. Tip the mixture onto your work surface and work the dough into a ball. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface so it is approx. ½cm thick. Line the pastry into six 8cm loose-based tart tins (for 1 large 20cm tart see notes section). Prick the base with a fork. Place in the fridge and leave to chill for 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 180C/ 325F/ Gas mark 4. Line the pastry with greaseproof paper and place baking beans on top to bake the tarts blind for 10 minutes. Then remove the paper and beans and place tarts back in the oven to bake for another 10 minutes un-blind. Once baked, allow to cool.
- To make the filling: mix the mascarpone with 2-3 tbsp of the icing sugar and the golden syrup. Spread the mixture into the tart tins and use a palette knife to evenly spread.
- Place the sliced strawberries and 2-3 tbsp of icing sugar into a pan over a low-medium heat. Leave to cook for a few minutes until the strawberries soften and a syrup starts to form. Spread the mixture on top of the tarts. Leave to chill in the fridge for approx. 30 mins, or longer, before serving.
Bake the pastry blind for 10 minutes and then unblind for 15 minutes.