It is definitely blackberry season again – it actually seemed to start really early this year from what I could tell. We’ve already been out to forage for blackberries at our local blackberry patches 3 times at least and I have the jam to prove it!
I was inspired to make this cute little dessert by the colour of the pansies I grew from my gourmet flower kit. The soft yellow and rich, yummy purple immediately made me think of lemons and blackberries. We’re now reaching the end of season for pansies so decorating with them is a great way to make use of those still around.
There’s an easy and a more complex way to make these tartlets. You can buy shortcrust pastry (dang – you can probably find it already baked into tartlet cases!), or you can make it from scratch. Same with the lemon curd and even the meringues! Or you could make it all yourself if that’s how you wanna roll here – have some fun! “Find what feels good” as my yoga hero Adriene would say (seriously check out her YouTube channel). Making lemon curd is just fun so I’ve included a recipe here, and homemade shortcrust pastry does work better than bought (and as a bonus makes you feel like you’ve accomplished something fancy…well it does for me anyway!), but the option to buy it pre-made is there if you want/need a quick fix.
Making these is super easy once you have all the components. These went down really well in the test kitchen (i.e. The Husband) served with some whipped cream. The flavours of tart lemon and sweet wild blackberry complement so well – actually even better than I expected – and those colours are just so striking! The little garnish of edible pansies just had to be done given that they were the inspiration for the whole thing! Typically, I threw in some lemon thyme to liven things up, but you can skip that if it’s too much.
For the sweet shortcrust pastry
- 225g plain flour
- 100g unsalted butter
- 25g sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 egg white
For the lemon curd
- Zest and juice of 2 lemons
- 100g sugar
- 50g unsalted butter
- 2 eggs, beaten
For the blackberry compote
- 500g blackberries
- 75g sugar
- Splash of water
- Crumbled meringue
- Fresh lemon thyme
- Edible flowers if you have some
- Prepare the pastry about an hour ahead: crumb together the butter and flour, then add the sugar and combine with your fingers. Add the egg yolk last and knead together into a dough. Wrap in clingfilm and place in the fridge until ready to use. Preheat your oven to 200C or 180C fan.
- When the dough is cool, roll out to about 5-6mm thickness and cut to size with a pastry cutter that fits your tartlet tin. Grease the tin with butter and place the pastry into each. Line with a little disc of baking paper and fill with baking beans. Bake for 20 minutes. Take out of the oven briefly, remove the beans and brush the tartlet cases with egg white. Bake for a further 10 minutes or until golden brown and cooked on their teeny bottoms.
- While the tartlet cases are baking, make the lemon curd: Stir together the lemon zest and juice, sugar, and butter over a Bain Marie until the butter is melted and the sugar has all dissolved. Slowly whisk in the eggs and keep heating gently for about 10 minutes until it has thickened.
- Next prepare the blackberry compote (you could do this at the same time as the curd like a boss): In a saucepan, heat the blackberries with the sugar and water until the fruit is slightly softened and the juice has thickened a little and become slightly syrupy.
- Assemble your tartlets: fill each pastry case with lemon curd, top with a small spoonful of blackberry compote, and garnish with edible flowers, crushed meringue, and lemon thyme leaves if using.