Feature my Food Friday: Introducing Charlotte and her Summer Berry & Custard Tarts

Custard tarts… yum… am I the only one craving one right now?

I have been reading Charlotte’s blog since she started sharing her recipes online, and if I remember well, the first recipe I made from her website was her hummus. I had never heard anyone mention peeling chickpeas before, and the children certainly enjoyed the hour we spent doing it!

Charlotte cooks flavoursome family food and her blog features lots of key recipes like burgers, pies, risotto and chocolates, to name a few. I am a huge fan of Charlotte’s photography are her monthly reports are fascinating.

Check this beautiful shot!

Blueberry-Tarts

Photo credit: Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen

We met at River Cottage a few months ago, and the real Charlotte is as nice as the online one (phew!). Enough ramblings now, over to you, sweetie!

Tell us about you

I’m Charlotte Oates and I love spending time in the kitchen experimenting with food, creating new recipes and cooking for my husband and two boys. As well as cooking yummy food I also love getting creative and having fun in the kitchen, especially making decorated cakes for family parties.

Where do you find inspiration for your recipes?

All over the place… online, magazines, adverts on the TV, eating out, anywhere there’s food something might give me an idea.

Sometimes random recipes will pop into my head from nowhere – many of which turn out to be delicious and a few that are best confined to the food waste bin. I remember Mel being particularly horrified at my attempt to make baked garlic crisps J.

Is there anything you would not touch even if you were given £1000 to eat it?

I’ve thought long and hard about this and I’d like to think I’d be willing to give everything a go just once – as long as it’s meant to be eaten that is!

What is your favourite way to share recipes?

I love sharing recipes on my website. One of the main reasons I started blogging was that I have a tendency to cook things a lot and then not make them again for ages. I would never remember to write the recipe down and always forget it by the time I came to make it again! I decided a website would be a great place to store my creations, and I write each one in exactly the way I want to read it when I come back to make it again.

What recipe did you choose to share today and why?

Today I’m sharing my recipe for Summer Berry and Custard Tarts (OK, I know it’s not the summer but you can buy berries all year round these days, and you can always switch the berries for a more seasonal topping if you prefer).

Strawberry-and-Custard-Tarts-1

Photo credit: Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen

I’ve chosen this recipe as alongside my love of cooking, I’ve also discovered a love of food photography and the photographs for this recipe are some of the pictures I’m most proud of.

Blueberry-Tarts-1

Photo credit: Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen (I cropped the original photo to feature it as a landscape picture).

Print

Summer Berry & Custard Tarts

A recipe by Charlotte's Lively Kitchen
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

Pastry

  • 275 g plain flour
  • 40 g caster sugar
  • 125 g unsalted butter
  • 1 medium egg
  • A little vegetable oil to grease the tins or other flavourless oil

Custard

  • 600 ml full fat milk
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 60 g caster sugar
  • 60 g plain flour
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 8 handfuls of fruit . I particularly like strawberries, raspberries and blueberries
  • A sprinkling of icing sugar

Instructions

Make the custard

  1. 1)Put the full-fat milk (600ml) into a saucepan and heat gently until the milk is warm but not boiling.
  2. 2)While the milk is warming, separate 8 eggs. Put the yolks into a large bowl, add the caster sugar (60g) and mix until thoroughly combined.
  3. 3)Add the plain flour (60g) and vanilla extract (1 tbsp) and mix again until combined.
  4. 4)Once the milk is warm, remove it from the heat and gradually add it into the egg mixture a bit at a time. Ensure that each addition is fully combined before adding more.
  5. 5)Pour the mixture into a saucepan and heat very gently until the custard has thickened. You need to whisk the mixture constantly to ensure that it doesn’t burn or go lumpy. You want the custard to thick enough so that as you move your whisk it should leave a clear trail that doesn’t immediately disappear.
  6. 6)Once the custard has thickened, remove it from the heat and pour it into a bowl or jug. Cover it with clingfilm so that the clingfilm is in full contact with the surface of the custard. This will stop a skin from forming.
  7. 7)Put the custard into the fridge to chill for a couple of hours while you make you pastry.

Make the pastry

  1. 1)Cut the butter (125g) into cubes
  2. 2)Sift the flour (275g) into a large bowl. Add the caster sugar (40g) and butter and rub the ingredients together with your fingers until it has the consistency of breadcrumbs.
  3. 3)Add one egg and mix the ingredients with your hands until they come together.
  4. 4)Wrap the pastry in clingfilm and chill for half an hour in the fridge.

Cook the pastry

  1. 1)Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan.
  2. 2)Lightly grease the tins with vegetable oil (or other falvourless oil).
  3. 3)Remove your pastry from the fridge and roll it out until it’s very thin. I find this easier to do by rolling out only enough for one tart at a time and rolling the pastry between two sheets of clingfilm.
  4. 4)Carefully put the pastry into the tins and very gently press it into the corners. Don’t worry if you accidentally make a small hole, you’ll be making holes to allow air to escape in a minute anyway and if the hole is a bit bigger then you can always use a bit of spare pastry to patch it up.
  5. 5)Trim off any spare pastry that’s hanging over the sides of the tin by either trimming it with a sharp knife or running your rolling pin across the top.
  6. 6)Using a fork, make several holes in the bottom AND sides of your tarts. It’s important that the holes go all the way through the pastry to allow air to escape otherwise your pastry will puff up at the bottom and shrink at the sides.
  7. 7)Put the tins into the oven and bake for 12-14 minutes until just golden.
  8. 8)Once they’re cooked, remove them from the oven and allow to cool in the tins for about 10 minutes, then remove them from the tins and put them onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. Build the tarts
  10. 1)Evenly share the custard you prepared earlier between each of the tarts and then top with your fruit.
  11. 2)Finish them off with a sprinkle of icing sugar and serve.
  12. Photo credit: http://charlotteslivelykitchen.com/summer-berry-and-custard-tarts/

Thanks for sharing so much, Charlotte! Your photography is definitely something to aspire to and I loved seeing you develop a passion for food photography over the past few months. Your icing sugar shot is definitely something I would love to attempt one day. Have you ever thought of making a ‘behind the scenes’ tutorial?

I remember the mention of garlic crisps very well. Yuck! I can imagine how bitter (and disgusting) that would be. You really made me laugh a lot that day… and also inspired me to make sweet potato chips!

Your tartlets are making my mouth water. La tarte aux fraises is such a French classic. I love it and I might just go and get myself one in a patisserie when I am in France. Yummy!

Fancy seeing your recipe on Feature my Food Friday? Whether you are a keen baker, a blogger or a reader who would like to see their creation online, I would love to feature you! Just email me and I will send you more details.

Link up your recipe of the week

Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com

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13 Comments

  1. 18/12/2015 / 5:31 pm

    So would garlic crisps be on your lists of foods you wouldn’t eat for £1000 then?

    Thanks for featuring my recipe. Have a lovely Christmas xx

    • 20/12/2015 / 9:57 pm

      They wouldn’t actually! Just transfer £1,000 to my account and I’ll try your garlic crisps, he he!

  2. Louise Savage
    18/12/2015 / 11:13 pm

    Hi Mel! It’s Charlotte’s Mum – so pleased that you found her to be really lovely cos she is. However, your £1,000 challenge, she wouldn’t eat my macaroni cheese or lemon meringue pie when she was a child – perhaps my bribes just weren’t big enough!

    • 20/12/2015 / 10:02 pm

      Hi Louise, Thanks a lot for writing a little message. You made me laugh… a lot! I can’t believe Charlotte wouldn’t eat your lemon meringue pie as a little girl. It’s my favourite dessert!

  3. 21/12/2015 / 1:43 pm

    Really enjoyed reading this Mel and Charlotte! I always love to know more about the person behind the blog. (I must be very nosy!?!) Totally agree about Charlotte’s photographs – definitely something to aspire too!! Love the idea of Feature my Food Friday, Mel – I’m going to come back in the new year (when I will have more time – at least in theory!!) and read the other ones. 🙂

    • 21/12/2015 / 11:04 pm

      Thanks Eb! I’m the same: I love knowing a bit more about fellow bloggers. Charlotte’s photos always make me feel hungry: she is an amazing gphotographer!

    • 21/12/2015 / 11:05 pm

      Thanks Eb! I’m the same: I love knowing a bit more about fellow bloggers. Charlotte’s photos always make me feel hungry: she is an amazing photographer!

  4. 21/12/2015 / 11:09 pm

    Oh Mama Mia, Charlotte’s tarts are making me want to get off the health wagon, I forced myself on today after weeks (and weeks) of indulgence. I know, it’s the worst time to try and be healthy but my face was bloated from it all! Eek! Just divine though and definitely a treat worth having! Adore the food photography x

    • 22/12/2015 / 11:38 pm

      I have no idea how you can go back to a healthy diet now! Good luck my lovely. x

  5. booandmaddie
    22/12/2015 / 3:06 pm

    Goodness me, such inspiration! I’m a total novice when it comes to cooking and baking and my photography is non-existent but once I’ve honed my “skills” I’ll be in touch 🙂 Those tarts look just mouthwatering, thank you for sharing Charlotte’s site X #TastyTuesdays

    • 24/12/2015 / 12:02 am

      If you need tips for better food photography, Charlotte is your lady! She has a brilliant post on her blog about food photography. x

  6. 24/12/2015 / 1:05 am

    I LOVE your Food Fridays!!! I really adore discovering new blogs to follow. You are so generous with your time, getting to know and sharing these blogs with us. Thank you so much Mel! And MERRY CHRISTMAS to you and your family!! N xx

    • 31/12/2015 / 1:23 am

      Merry Christmas to you too, my lovely! It’s been so nice getting to know you in 2015!

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