Yeah! A recipe without a lemon in sight, I can do this! Once you have mastered a wonderful pâte sucré ( rich sweet pastry) there is no going back
– you can do it. After you have blind baked this wonderful crust the rest is truly a 'piece of cake'. Pâté sucré is notoriously hard to handle but master the tricks, namely using your fridge and not stretching your pastry to fit, and you'll wonder why you avoided making all those wonderful French style flans. Start small, if an 11″ flan dish looks too daunting, make 8-10 separate individual flans.
My recipe for my previous blog on tarte au citron had the basic recipe here.I added poppy seeds to this recipe to give it a slight crunch and add interest. I always make double quantity of this wonderful pastry, so 500g of flour, 200g icing sugar, 250g cold butter, and 4 egg yolks. Just thinking about all that richness makes it mouthwatering. It freezes well and of course you can freeze it in the tin if you have plenty of freezer space and then just pop it out, defrost and create a beautiful dessert in double quick time.
One of the marvellous benefits of owning an aga is that pastry baking is perfect every time, and no blind bake needed. Aga owners just pop the tin directly on to floor of roasting oven and hey presto, perfect pastry case with or without the filling.
This is enough filling to generously cover an 11″ flan case: whisk together 2x8oz packets mascarpone, 3 tbls double cream, 2 tbls crème de cassis, and 2tblsp of maple syrup or honey for added sweetness if you like it sweeter. Spread this on cooled flan case. Then arrange the halved, hulled strawberries (or summer mixed summer fruits) on top before brushing a little creme de cassis mixed with maple syrup or honey. Refrigerate for a a couple of hours.