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Elderflower Custard Tart with Poached Gooseberries

Updated: Jun 5, 2023

by Nathan Outlaw from Nathan Outlaw’s Home Kitchen (Quadrille)

Photography: David Loftus

Elderflower & gooseberries are an exceptional pairing & the combination of this richly flavoured tart & poached gooseberries works a treat. As it’s easier to make a larger quantity of pastry than you need & it freezes well, I’ve given you enough here to make two tarts.

Serves 6

Prep time: 30-40 mins (+ 50 mins chilling time)

Cooking time: 50-60 mins


For the pastry

200g unsalted butter, diced

180g icing sugar, sifted

1 medium free-range egg

140g free-range egg yolks (about 6 large yolks)

500g plain flour, plus extra to dust

For the filling

600ml double cream

200ml elderflower cordial

100ml lemon juice

200g golden caster sugar

8 large free-range eggs

For the poached gooseberries

500g gooseberries

5 tbsp caster sugar

180ml elderflower cordial


1. To make the pastry, using a stand mixer or electric hand mixer, cream the butter & icing sugar together in a bowl until pale & fluffy. Lightly beat the egg & egg yolks together, then gradually beat into the creamed mixture. Add the flour & stop mixing as soon as a dough is formed.

2. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface & knead briefly until smooth. Divide in half, shape each piece into a ball & flatten to a disc. Wrap both pastry discs in cling film. Chill one in the fridge for 30 mins; freeze the other for another tart.

3. Preheat your oven to 180°C/ Fan 165°C/ Gas 4.

4. Roll the chilled pastry out on a floured surface to the thickness of a £1 coin & use to line a loose-based 25cm round tart tin, pressing it firmly into the edges of the tin & making sure there are no holes or cracks. Trim away any excess pastry. Prick the bottom of the pastry case with a fork several times.

5. Line the pastry case with a scrunched-up piece of greaseproof paper then fill with baking beans. Place in the fridge to rest for 20 mins.

6. Bake the chilled pastry case for 15 mins then remove the baking beans & paper & return the tart case to the oven for a further 5 mins. Place on a wire rack to cool; do not remove the tart case from the tin. Lower the oven temperature to 120°C/ Fan 110°C/ Gas ½.

7. To make the filling, pour the cream, elderflower cordial & lemon juice into a pan & bring just to a simmer over a medium heat. Meanwhile, whisk the sugar & eggs together in a bowl.

8. Pour the hot creamy liquid onto the whisked egg mixture & whisk to combine. Pass the mixture through a sieve into a large jug or container & allow it to cool.

9. When the filling has cooled, place the tart tin on a baking sheet in the oven & carefully pour the custard mixture into the pastry case. Bake for 30–40 mins until the custard is set with a slight wobble in the middle. Nigel says if the tart is not set after 40 mins, give it extra time in the oven, checking every 10 mins until set. Remove from the oven & allow to cool, then refrigerate to chill.

10. Meanwhile, for the poached gooseberries, put all the ingredients into a pan & heat slowly until the sugar dissolves, then bring to the boil. Lower the heat & cook until the gooseberries soften, about 2–3 mins. Remove from the heat & leave to cool.

11. Carefully remove the elderflower tart from the tin, decorate all over with the poached gooseberries & cut into wedges. Serve with the left-over poached gooseberries alongside.

Nigel says there appears to be more custard mixture than needed to fil the tart, so like the extra pastry, do freeze it or make an extra tart.

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