Sourdough and currant tart recipe


Here’s a very old-fashioned, very English recipe, with its dried fruits and fragrant spices, and its clever way of turning something simple into something luxurious. In this tart day-old breadcrumbs do exactly the same job as stale bread in bread and butter pudding.

  • Yield: 8 Servings


For the Pastry
  • 120 g butter, at room temperature
  • 60 g cornflour
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tbsp water
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 130 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
For the Filling
  • 90 g currants
  • 90 g sultanas
  • 120 g fresh breadcrumbs
  • ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 430 ml double cream
  • 1 lemon (rind only peel it off in strips with a vegetable peeler)
  • 80 g butter, diced, at room temperature, plus extra for dotting
  • 80 g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • ½ tsp natural vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp brandy
  • 1 tbsp demerara sugar
How to Make It
  1. First, make the pastry. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the beater, beat the butter until smooth and soft. Stop the mixer, scrape down the bowl, and add the cornflour, egg yolk, water, salt and sugar. Mix again on low speed until a soft paste forms. Stop, scrape down and add the flour, then mix slowly until you have a soft dough. Flatten out into a thick disc and wrap in cling film. Chill for 2 hours, or overnight.
  2. Halve the pastry, wrap one half and store to use another day. Roll out the other half on a lightly floured surface to a 3 mm thick disc. Use it to line a 24 cm tart tin and bake blind.
  3. Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 3, then make the filling. Just over the currants and sultanas with boiling water in a bowl. Leave to soak until they become juicy and plump about 10 minutes then pour off the water and pat them dry with kitchen paper. Toss the plump fruit with the breadcrumbs and half the grated nutmeg and set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, put the cream and strips of lemon rind into a large pan and slowly bring to the boil. Remove from the heat. Fish out the rind you won’t need it anymore. Add the fruit and breadcrumb mixture to the warm cream and stir in well, leave to cool to room temperature.
  5. In a separate bowl, beat the butter with a wooden spoon until smooth, then add the sugar and carry on beating until the mixture is light and fluffy. Swap your wooden spoon for a balloon whisk and whisk in the eggs, one at a time, then add the vanilla and brandy. Add the cream and currant mixture and stir in with the wooden spoon until completely combined.
  6. Pour the filling into the cooled pastry case. Sprinkle it lightly with the demerara sugar and the remaining nutmeg. Dot with small flakes of butter – just enough to ensure that every mouthful will have a light, buttery topping. Bake for 30 minutes until just set, with a slight jiggle left in the centre. Serve slightly warm, with a jug of double cream for everyone to help themselves.

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