In my opinion, blackcurrants are such an underused fruit. They can be really hard to find in supermarkets but you can find them in food markets or if you go picking them yourself! This is what I did. I have a lovely friend who is lucky enough to have an allotment in the centre of London so I was able to pick fresh blackcurrants that were beautifully plump and juicy. So if you see any opportunity to get some fresh blackcurrants, I highly recommend you do! They have such a delicious and distinctive flavour that works so well in sweet desserts and treats!
I've used blackcurrants here to make a tart. Before this recipe I have never really used blackcurrants especially to make a curd, and I definitely going to do it more! Blackcurrants are naturally very tart so making a curd with them was like making a lemon curd but the colour is divine! The richness of the purple makes it such a showstopper by doing nothing special at all! This is a simple tart with a crisp vanilla pastry filled with the blackcurrant curd, Topped with fresh blackcurrants and white currants, which in my opinion, look like pearls! If you can't find blackcurrants you can buy the puree online very easily from places like Amazon. You can top the tart with loads of fresh fruit which will taste just as delicious.
Makes 1 large oblong tart or an 8 inch round tart
For the Pastry:
190g Icing Sugar
60g Ground Almonds
500g Plain Flour 4g Salt 2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
For the Curd:
400g Blackcurrant Puree (450g Fresh Blackcurrants and 50g Sugar)
400g Caster Sugar
50g Plain Flour
Fresh Blackcurrants or any berries! Method:
1. Cream the butter and sugar in a free standing mixer. Mix until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs and continue to mix until completely combined.
2. Add the salt, vanilla, almonds and flour to the mixture. Mix until just combined.
3. Turn out onto a clean surface and knead lightly until a dough is formed. Make sure not to over mix otherwise the pastry will become tough and dry.
4. Chill in the fridge for at least 30minutes to an hour until firm.
5. Roll out the chilled pastry to a thickness of 2-3mm. Make sure to lightly flour the surface and rolling pin.
6. Lift up the dough and place on top of the tart case, using your fingers to gently ease the pastry into the case pressing into the corners and edges.
7. Using a knife, trim off the excess pastry. Chill in the fridge for 30 mins.
8. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees celsius (fan). Line the tarts with baking paper or clingfilm and fill with uncooked rice or baking beans, then place in the oven for 15 minutes. Then remove the rice and clingfilm and cook for another 5 minutes.
9. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
10. Now for the curd. If you are making the puree, place the 450g blackcurrants and 50g Sugar in a pan, cook until the blackcurrants have burst and the sugar has dissolved. Using a small food processor or blender, blitz the mixture until smooth. Pass through a sieve to remove any larger bits. If you have bought pre-made puree, you can ignore this step!
11. Place the puree into a medium pan and bring to the boil.
12. Whisk together the sugar, eggs and plain flour until aerated and well combined.
13. Pour 1/3 of the hot puree into the egg mixture and whisk. Then pour all of the mixture back into the pan.
14. Whilst continuing to whisk, heat the mixture in the pan until it starts to boil, and then continue to boil for about 1 minute.
15. Take off the heat and add the butter, whisking until the butter has melted and mixed through.
16. Pour the curd into the tart case making sure it is evenly distributed and smooth.
17. Leave to cool and set.
Decorate with fresh berries and currants.