DSC EDIT 9138 1536x1007

Nicola Hordern’s Rhubarb and Strawberry Fruit Tart with Chantilly Cream

A fruit tart that uses seasonal, locally sourced ingredients – a taste of what’s to come at The Canteen @ The Old Hospital, Southwold

A few weeks ago, Nicola Hordern treated the SouthGen team to a luncheon business meeting in her garden – the delicious lunch included a red onion and escarole quiche; a grand aioli inspired salad; St Jude cheese (made by Nicola and Julie Cheney) with bread made by E5 Bakehouse, followed by her favourite fruit tart with Chantilly cream and rhubarb from her garden. All ingredients were locally sourced and every dish was exquisite. Nicola shared her recipe for the fruit tart. It’s a perfect pudding for a warm summer day.

Fruit Tart with Chantilly Cream, Rhubarb and Strawberries

Ingredients (for one 10 inch tart)

Flaky pastry

Chantilly cream

  • 400ml double cream
  • 3 tbsp icing sugar
  • Splash of rum
  • Vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla extract

To top it off

  • A selection of fresh seasonal fruit of your choice (Nicola used strawberries & rhubarb)


Step 1

To make the pastry weigh out the flour into a large bowl and then add the chilled butter cut into cubes, along with a pinch of salt. Rub the flour and butter together until it resembles large breadcrumbs. It doesn’t have to be too perfect. Add the cold water to the mix, stir together or mix together with clean hands until it has roughly come together.

Place onto your work surface, form into a roughly rectangular shape and then with the long edge nearest to you fold the pastry by folding the left side across and then placing the right side on top so that you are left with pastry roughly in the shape of a book.

Using your fingers gently press the pastry into a rectangle shape again, turn by 90 degrees and bring the top edge down, the bottom edge up so again you have a a book shaped piece. Repeat this three times, so you have folded six times in total.

Wrap the pastry in clingfilm or greaseproof paper and leave to rest in the fridge for at least an hour, ideally overnight. The pastry also freezes well so that you can make a large batch and freeze any that you don’t immediately need.

Step 2

Once the pastry has rested, pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees fan. Then, roll out your pastry on a floured surface until it is large enough to line your chosen tin (base and sides). Carefully line your tin with the pastry and leave to rest for an hour or pop in the freezer for 30 mins or so. Again, you can prep ahead and leave your lined, uncooked tart case in the freezer or fridge until you need it (wrap well; it is best used within three days in the fridge or after a week in the freezer).

Step 3

Once the lined tart case has rested, line the inside with baking parchment and baking beans (you can buy ceramic beans or use dried beans that you can save and re-use especially for the purpose). If you have frozen your tart case there is no need to defrost or line it, just pop it straight in the oven from the freezer.

Cook for 15-20 mins, or until it is golden brown and the pastry is cooked through. If using beans remove these for the last 5-7 minutes to make sure the centre of the tart is cooked through and golden brown. Set aside to cool, and only remove the pastry shell from the case once it has fully cooled.

Step 4

To prepare the fruit, wash the strawberries then cut in half. Leave the leaves on some for decoration but hull the others. Sprinkle with lemon juice and granulated sugar and leave to gently macerate for 15 minutes or so.

Pick over the raspberries but avoid washing if you can. Peaches and apricots can be poached or fresh, sliced into eighths. If using rhubarb you will need to poach gently in sugar syrup or roast in the oven sprinkled with plenty of granulated sugar and some orange juice until the pieces yield when pressed but are not so soft that they collapse. You can use any fruit in season. Have fun playing around with different flavour combinations.

Step 5

To make the Chantilly cream whisk the cream until it forms soft peaks. It needs to hold its shape but only gently. Overwhipping will make it become grainy; too little and it will not form peaks once in the tart shell. Add a tablespoon of rum or brandy (optional), the seeds from a vanilla pod (save the pod for vanilla sugar) or vanilla extract.

Then finally, sieve the icing sugar into the cream – I would recommend adding the sugar and tasting until you are happy with the level of sweetness and flavour.

Step 6

To assemble your fruit tart, remove the tart shell from the case and place on a suitable plate for you to present the tart. Using a spatula, spoon the cream into the shell and then swirl into peaks. Top with the prepared fruit, dust with icing sugar and serve.

South Genphoto4 1200x801

Southgen Bread ‘n’ butter event

Read more

DSC EDIT 7201 1200x1800

Nicola Hordern is helping SouthGen to create The Canteen @ The Old Hospital

Read more