A scrumptious summer dessert that you can whip up in the kitchen for these long hot summer days
For the creme pâtissière
100g Caster Sugar
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
For the flan pastry
200g Plain Flour
100g Butter, (diced)
50g Caster Sugar
Zest of 1 Unwaxed Lemon, (finely grated)
2 Egg Yolks
2 Tbsp Cold Water
For the topping
300g Strawberries, (hulled and sliced)
3 Tbsp Strawberry Jam, (warmed and sieved)
To make the creme pâtissière, whisk the sugar and eggs together in a bowl using an electric hand mixer until very thick and pale. Then stir in the cornflour and vanilla extract. Heat the milk in a saucepan until just below boiling point, then pour onto the egg mixture, whisking well.
Return the milk and egg mixture to the saucepan and cook over a low heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly until it thickens. Beat the creme well until thick and very smooth then remove from the heat, cover with a disc of baking parchment to prevent a skin from forming and leave to cool completely.
To make the sweet flan pastry, sift the flour and salt into a bowl then add the butter and rub it into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Stir in the sugar, lemon zest, egg yolks and approximately 2 tbsp cold water (or enough to bind to a soft but not sticky dough). Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly until smooth. Wrap the pastry in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6 while the pastry is chilling. On a lightly floured surface, roll the pastry out to a 35cm circle, 3mm thick. Line a cicular flan tin with the pastry, using your rolling pin to carefully lift it into place. Press the pastry into the sides of the tin, then trim off any excess and lightly prick the base with a fork.
Line the pastry case with baking parchment and baking beans, place on a baking tray and bake blind for 15 minutes. Remove the paper and beans and bake for a further 5 minutes or until crisp and lightly golden. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
Give the creme pâtissière a good whisk to soften it before spooning it into the baked pastry case and smooth the surface.
Arrange the strawberry slices on the top in circles, starting from the outside edge and working into the centre. Heat the sieved jam until it is runny enough to be brushed on top, adding a splash of boiling water if too thick, and brush the jam over the strawberries to glaze.