85g (3 oz) caster sugar/white sugar (½ cup less 1 tbsp)
1 lemon, zest only
3 tbsp double cream/whipping cream
For the topping
170g (6 oz) blackberries
icing sugar/powdered sugar to dust
6 tartlet tins
For the pastry
Put the flour, salt and sugar in a food processor. Whizz for a couple of seconds to mix. Add butter and whizz for a few seconds to blend. Then add egg yolk and vanilla essence/extract, if using, and process until the mixture starts to bind together. Remove from the processor, knead lightly, then wrap in clingfilm. Chill for 10 minutes.
Roll out the pastry thinly and then cut rounds 3.8cm (1½ in) larger than the tartlet tin, re-rolling the pastry until there are six rounds. Line the tartlet tins, pressing the pastry gently down into the edges of the tins. Roll the rolling pin over the top of each tin to remove the excess pastry. Prick the base using the tines of a fork, to allow air trapped underneath to escape. Now chill again while the oven is heating up.
Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F) (gas 5).
Lay the tins on a baking sheet and cover with baking parchment. Pop in the oven for 10 minutes and then remove the baking parchment and cook for a further 2 minutes to crisp up.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a couple of minutes before carefully removing the cases from the tins to completely cool on a wire rack. They will be very delicate until completely cold.
For the filling
Using a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese, sugar and lemon zest together until creamy and well blended. Add the cream and beat again until there is a light, soft mixture.
Once the pastry cases are cold they can be filled. Divide the mixture equally between the cases using a small pallet knife to spread the mixture into the edges of the pastry and then smooth the top.
Divide the blackberries between the cases pressing them down a little into the filling. Cover the tartlets loosely with clingfilm and then chill for 1 to 2 hours.
Just before serving, dust the icing sugar/powdered sugar over the top of the tarts using a small sieve.
I love making crêpes to fill with summer fruits. They are so light and make a really impressive summer dessert.
Crêpes aren’t difficult to make. My tip is to start off with a really hot pan and then turn the heat down a little. The pan only needs to be smeared with melted butter between cooking each one. It should just glisten, not be running with the butter.
I hope you will want to try them and enjoy them too.
Thin, light, crêpes are filled with a selection of delicious summer berries, then topped with velvety, whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
200ml/7½ fl oz semi-skimmed milk mixed with 75 ml/2½ fl oz water
450g/1 lb a selection of fresh berries, such as blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, redcurrants, or strawberries
600ml/20 fl oz double cream/whipping cream
60g/2 oz plain/dark chocolate
heavy gauge aluminium frying pan
Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl.
Make a well in the centre of the flour and break the eggs into it. Using an electric whisk or a balloon whisk, whisk the eggs into the flour gradually adding the milk and incorporating the flour from around the edge of the bowl. Scrape any remaining flour down from around the edge of the bowl with a rubber spatula and whisk again until all the mixture is smooth. It should be the consistency of thin cream. Leave to rest for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, wash the berries and pat dry. Hull any strawberries, if using. Place in a bowl and set to one side.
Over a shallow bowl, grate the chocolate to create chocolate shavings to be used for decoration.
Then in a large bowl whip the cream until stiff and put to one side while making the crêpes.
Melt the butter in the pan. Spoon 2 tablespoons into the batter and whisk it in, pour the rest into a small bowl. and set aside. Use a wodge of kitchen paper dipped in the melted butter to smear the pan between each crêpe.
Get the pan really hot, then turn the heat down to a medium setting.
Use about 3 tablespoons of batter for each crêpe. It is easier to measure this into a ladle or measuring cup first and use this to tip the batter into the pan in one go. Using the ladle or cup, hold it so that the base is very close to the bottom of the pan in the centre and then pour it in. As soon as the batter hits the hot pan, tip it around from side to side to get the base evenly coated with the batter. If there are any holes, just fill them in with the batter using a teaspoon. It will take less than a minute to cook. Lift the edge with a palette knife to check the underside is golden.
Flip the crêpe over with the palette knife. The other side will need less time to cook. Then slide it out of the pan onto a plate.
Continue until there are 8 crêpes, (you may not use all the batter) overlapping them on the plate as you go and separating each one with a piece of kitchen paper. Keep them warm by covering the plate loosely with foil.
They can now be filled. Divide the fruit between the crêpes, spooning a portion onto a quarter of each crêpe. Fold the crêpe in half and then in half again to form a triangle. Place two on each plate.
Then spoon a generous dollop of cream on top of each crêpe and sprinkle with the chocolate shavings.