French Blueberry Tart

The pate brisee is crumbly and light, like freshly baked biscuit, and although it is very easy to prepare, this is the kind of dessert that always gives me a sense of achievement.


serves 6
250 g flour
175 g butter, cut into small knobs, plus extra for greasing
20 g unrefined caster sugar
1 egg
1/2 tbsp water

for the filling:

500 g blueberries or other berries, stalks removed
2 eggs
125 g unrefined caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
175 ml double cream
25 g flour
1 dessertspoonful creme de cassis


1. Rub the flour and butter together with your fingertips until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. It really helps to work in a cool kitchen and have cool fingers.

2. Mix in the sugar. Then add the egg and water, using a round-ended knife in a cutting motion to combine the ingredients until they form into a pastry ball.

3. Put the pastry ball on to a cool, floured work surface and lightly knead with the palm of your hand for a minute, to ensure a smooth pastry. Wrap and place in the fridge to rest for 40 minutes.

4. Lightly butter a 25 cm push-up-bottom flan tin. Dust a cool surface with flour and roll out the chilled pastry to more than fit the tin (because you do not want to have to stretch it). As this is a high-butter-content pastry, take care not to let the pastry stick to the surface - keep dusting lightly with flour.

5. Line the tin with the rolled-out pastry with the excess lying over the edges, and to trim it, simply roll the pin over the flan tin. Return the pastry to the fridge for 20 minutes.

6. Heat the oven to 200°C/gas 6.

7. Place the berries in the chilled pastry case. Mix together the eggs, sugar, cream, flour and cassis until smooth and pour over the fruit. Lightly sprinkle with a little extra sugar and bake for 35 minutes. Serve cold, if you can wait.

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