Kathy Slack shares one of her favourite ways to enjoy the summer berry harvest
When the berry harvest is at its peak, the best thing you can do is just enjoy them in their natural state. Piled high on top of this fragrant cream, these summer berries are totally un-fussed with and all the more beautiful for it.
For the pastry:
330g plain flour
100g icing sugar
180g cold butter, cubed
1 egg yolk
For the filling:
250g crème fraîche
1 vanilla pod
½ tsp rose water
2 tbsp orange blossom honey, or to taste
350g mixed red berries (strawberries, raspberries, redcurrants, blackcurrants, blackberries)
For the pastry, mix the flour, icing sugar and butter in a food processor until sandy in texture. Add the egg and 2 tbsp cold water and whizz until just combined. Shape into a round and chill for at least 30 mins.
Roll the pastry between 2 sheets of cling film to 3-4mm thick, then use it to line the pastry case. Prick with a fork, trim the edges and pop in the fridge for 30 mins.
To blind bake the pastry case, preheat the oven to 180C. Cover the pastry with cling film or baking paper and fill the case with baking beans, rice or lentils. Bake for 20 mins, or until sandy and firm in the middle. Remove the beans and continue to cook for a further 5-10 mins, or until the pastry is lightly golden. Remove and allow to cool.
For the filling, fold together the mascarpone and crème fraîche. Scrape the inside of the vanilla pod into the mixture, add the rose water and honey and stir again. Check the sweetness and add more honey if needed. Spoon the creamy filling into the cooled pastry case, pile the berries on top and serve.
Recipe and image: Kathy Slack