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Jordan Ryan, head chef at The Weeping Willow, gives us his recipe for the perfect summertime dessert.





Well, summer is nearly here and today we are talking desserts – and this one is a barbecue showstopper in my opinion: rich, creamy and full of sugar, it’s a salted caramel tart.

So we have this on at the restaurant and it flies out, easily one of our best-selling desserts. I think it is my personal favourite on our current pastry menu; for me it has that perfect balance of sweet and salty and different textures. I have spoken before about how important textures are to me as a chef and I find with this dessert in particular it has good texture but it also allows you to garnish it with different textures again, for example a biscuit, tuile, praline or ice cream, cream, crème fraiche – all of these work so well with it.

I’d personally choose ice cream to have on the side of mine. At the restaurant we predominantly make all our own ice creams, so I sell this with a milk ice cream which just works perfectly, but I am aware most of you won’t have an ice cream maker at home so I haven’t included that as part of the recipe. However, if you’d like it, feel free to get in touch and I’m more than happy to share the recipe.

Jordan Ryan, head chef at The Weeping Willow, in Barrow
Jordan Ryan, head chef at The Weeping Willow, in Barrow

Instead of giving you an ice cream recipe, I’ll point you in the direction of a fantastic local ice cream company – Saffron Ice Cream Company. They have a huge selection of ice creams that you can buy in small pots or two-litre tubs. For this dessert I’d recommend either the double cream ice cream or vanilla. But don’t be afraid to experiment if there’s a flavour on there you like, I can assure you it’ll be tasty. And as I said, just cream and crème fraiche work really well with this too, though if I was to have crème fraiche I’d probably zest a little orange in there and some juice to have some acidic flavour alongside the sweetness of the tart.

So test this out see what you think, as I said it’s a showstopper at the end of a barbecue. I’ll be back next month with some more summer delights, until then enjoy this one and see you next month.

Salted Caramel Tart
Salted Caramel Tart

SALTED CARAMEL TART

Serves 8

For the pastry:

150g unsalted butter (room temp)

10g caster sugar

1 egg

5ml whole milk

215g plain flour

For the tart filling:

420g caster sugar

50ml Madeira

1500ml double cream

5g Maldon sea salt

105g muscovado sugar

400g egg yolk

Method:

Make the pastry by creaming the butter and sugar together in a mixer, once it has fully combined add the egg and milk and mix till fully combined. Slowly add the flour and you’ll see the pastry start to form. Once all the flour is in take out the mixing bowl and knead for two to three minutes to form a really nice dough. Set aside in the fridge for an hour.

Once the hour has passed, take out of the fridge and roll the pastry, you want it to be about the depth of a £1 coin. Place into a buttered pastry case and then blind bake it for 20 minutes at 180c, then take out the baking beans and cook for a further 10 minutes at the same temperature.

Now the ice cream and pastry is made and chilling we will make the tart filling. Start by caramelising the caster sugar in a large saucepan, once caramel is a hazelnut colour, add the Madeira and cook this out, then add the double cream and salt and mix it in well. Now let it come to boil.

While we’re waiting for the caramel to boil, whip the egg and muscovado sugar together until light and fluffy, pour the caramel over this and then put it through a sieve into a measuring jug ready to pour into our cooked pastry case.

Pour the caramel mixture into the tart case (top tip do this bit in the oven so there’s no spillage). Fill the tart right to the top and then bake at 120C for about 25-30 mins – you want the tart to still have a nice wobble – then place in the fridge to set.

The tart will set in around 3-4 hours and once set, cut the tart into 8-10 slices, get a nice healthy scoop of the ice cream and tuck in.

Jordan Ryan is head chef at The Weeping Willow,

39 Bury Road, Barrow Hill, Barrow, Bury St Edmunds IP29 5AB

Call 01284 771881

See www.theweepingwillow.co.uk