Inspired by ingredients from far-flung places, Sarah Graham relishes the chance to be adventurous in the kitchen. She’s a food blogger (afoodieliveshere.com) and the author of the cookbooks ‘bitten’ and ‘smitten.'(both Struik Lifestyle)
For the lavender cream:
- 150ml fresh cream
- 1t fresh lavender flowers, removed from the stem
For the sweet shortcrust pastry:
- 1½ cups cake flour
- ½ cup icing sugar
- pinch salt
- 125g cold butter, cubed
- 1 egg
- 1t vanilla essence
- 15ml milk
For the filling:
- 1 lemon, chopped into small pieces, rind included but seeds removed
- 1½ cups sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1½T cornflour
- 125g butter, melted and at room temperature
- icing sugar, for dusting
- fresh lavender sprigs, to garnish
1. To make the lavender cream: whip the cream and the flowers until the cream reaches your preferred thickness and set aside in the fridge until serving.
2. To make the sweet shortcrust pastry: sift the flour, icing sugar and salt into a large mixing bowl to remove any lumps. Work the butter into the flour with your hands, breaking it up, then whisk by hand or with a beater until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg, vanilla and milk and mix gently. Avoid overworking the pastry. Form the pastry into a ball, wrap it in cling film and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
3. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Lightly grease a 20cm tart tin or ovenproof dish. Roll out the pastry on a lightly-floured surface to about ½ cm thick and line the tin or dish. Place in the freezer for 20 minutes (to avoid blind-baking).
4. To make the filling: blend the chopped lemon in a blender and add the sugar in about four stages, mixing it after each addition. Tip into a mixing bowl and add the egg, egg yolk, cornflour and butter. Mix well.
5. Remove the pastry case from the freezer, pour in the filling and bake for 15 minutes. Turn up the heat to 180°C and bake for a further 15 minutes. Allow it to cool to room temperature.
6. To serve: dust with a little icing sugar and serve in slices with a dollop of the lavender cream and a sprig of lavender to garnish.
Cook’s tip: You can make this tart the day before and reheat it slightly in the oven before serving. You can double the pastry and freeze half for up to 2 months. For easy filling and baking, freeze the dough in the pie dish.
This recipe serves 6 – 8.