There’s quite a small window for fresh blackcurrants in this country. I think the Ribena company buys most of them – 95% their adverts used to say. Well, this is a divine thing to do with the remainder, refreshing and indulgent at the same time. The curd recipe is worth making and bottling, as an alternative to jam. Try it spread on toasted brioche. In this recipe, it’s tart enough to balance the white chocolate cream, which also has cream cheese to add acidity. White chocolate can be a bit sickly otherwise. And the dark chocolate pastry is just for contrast. It is a bit long-winded, and each component needs to rest or chill between stages, but that just gives you time to do the same.
For the Pastry:
210g plain flour
50g icing sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
110g unsalted butter, chilled
2 large egg yolks
For the Blackcurrant Curd:
300g of blackcurrants, washed and destalked, then cooked gently for 10 minutes and sieved
6 medium eggs and 2 medium egg yolks, whisked
150g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
100g caster sugar
Juice of 1 lime
For the White Chocolate Cream:
150ml double cream
200g white chocolate
100g unsalted butter, softened
300g full fat soft cheese
50g icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
You will need 1 23cm (9″) fluted, loose-bottomed tart tin greased, or sprayed with non-stick spray.
Pre-heat the oven to 180C
For the pastry, blitz the butter, flour. cocoa powder and icing sugar until sandy, then add the egg yolks and process again, just until it starts to stick together. Squash the pastry together into a fat disc (about 12cm across), wrap in cling-film and refrigerate for an hour.
While it rests, make the curd. Melt butter, sugar and blackcurrant purée together for a minute, before stirring in the whisked egg yolks. Cook gently for 10 minutes, stirring until it is smooth and thick. Add the lime juice to taste, then allow to cool. Set aside until needed.
For the white chocolate cream, heat the double cream, then break up the white chocolate and add to the pan, off the heat. Stir occasionally while it melts. I use Green and Blacks, because it has a lovely speckled appearance from the vanilla seeds. In a mixer, beat together the butter until very soft, then add the icing sugar and beat again. Add the cream cheese, vanilla extract and cooled chocolate mixture and beat again until smooth.
Take the pastry from the fridge and roll out to fit the tart tin, allowing it to come up above the sides of the tin. It doesn’t matter if it flops over the sides a bit. Chill the pastry case for another ten minutes and then line it with foil and add baking beans or any dried beans to weigh it down and stop it from shrinking too much. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 10 minutes, then remove the foil and beans and bake for another 15 minutes until firm and crisp. Using a serrated knife, cut the overhang off the sides of the pastry shell so it’s even all round and looks neat. When it is cool enough, pour in the blackcurrant curd and chill until the surface is firm enough to take the next layer. Then spread the white chocolate cream over the top, spreading it smooth with a palette knife. Chill for at least an hour before serving.
This doesn’t need anything else with it in the way of cream, but a stalk of fresh blackcurrants alongside would make it look very special indeed.