A very royal tart

by Lesley Holdship

A red, white and blue celebratory pud


175g plain flour
50g sugar
100g butter
500ml milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g sugar
7 egg yolks
50g plain flour
150ml whipping cream
200g blueberries
300g strawberries


Preheat the oven to 180C. To make the pastry, place the flour, sugar and butter in a large bowl. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until the mixture is golden and smells delicious. The outcome should be a floury mixture with no lumps.

Bring together with 4 tbsp cold water using a round-bladed knife, then turn out onto a very lightly floured surface. Knead gently to smooth.

Roll out the pastry to fit a 28cm x 20cm flan tin or tray bake tin. It needs to be about 3cm deep. Line the tin, trimming off the edges to neaten. Prick the base, line with parchment paper and weight down, then bake blind for 15 mins. Remove the paper and cook for another 5 mins until crisp.

To make the crème patissiere, warm the milk along with the vanilla. Mix together the egg yolks with the sugar until smooth, then stir in the flour.

When the milk is hot, pour it over the egg yolks, whisking well, then pour back into the pan. Make sure you get all of the yolk mixture out of the bowl.

Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon and then a whisk, making sure you get into the edges of the pan. You will need to bring the mixture up to the boil to cook out the flour. Just make sure you keep on stirring!

When the crème is ready, place a buttered paper or a piece of waxed paper on its surface and leave it to cool. Once cold, spoon it into the pastry case, spreading it to make a smooth surface.

Whip the cream until it holds its shape, then spread over the crème patissiere. Decorate with the blueberries and strawberries.

ALTERNATIVE: For a quick alternative filling, mix 500g mascarpone with 50g icing sugar and 1 tsp vanilla extract and spread into the pastry case, then miss out the whipped cream for the top.

Recipe: Lesley Holdship
Image: John Holdship