Sweet Pastry Method:
Place all ingredients in the food processor and blend till a ball begins to form. Remove and work the dough with your hands till smooth. Flatten the ball as to make it ready to roll then wrap in film and rest in the fridge for ½ hour.
Lightly butter or spray the flan ring then dust with flour. Roll the pastry till approx 3mm thin, cut a circle larger than the ring, roll the pastry onto the rolling pin and unroll it over the ring. Gently press it into the ring ensuring the dough goes tightly into the corners, ‘lift’ the dough up on the ‘edge’ so it is 1mm higher than the ‘edge’ – it will shrink back with cooking. Rest for 1 hour in the fridge then bake ‘blind’ with greaseproof paper cut out to fill the ring, lined with baking beans or rice.
Cook at 180C for 10 minutes or till starting to colour, carefully remove the paper and beans then return to the oven and cook for another 10 minutes, lowering the heat to 165C so as not to over colour the pastry. Once cooked allow to cool and when ready to serve fill with the liqueur cream and decorate with fruits.
Crème Patisserie Method:
Bring the milk to the boil with approx ½ the sugar, whisk the yolks with the remaining sugar then add the flour and mix in well. Pour the boiling milk onto the egg mix, whisk well then return it to the pot. Stir continuously over the heat till it returns to the boil and begins to thicken. Tip into a bowl to cool and press a piece of cling film onto the mix to prevent a skin forming on top.
For the liqueur cream you can make any flavour you wish. The crème patisserie base is ‘lightened’ with some whipped cream then the flavourings are added. I particularly like this orange crème made with Cointreau.
Liqueur creme Method:
Lightly grate the zest of the orange taking care not to grate the ‘white’ part of the fruit. Add this to cream, then fold gently into the Cointreau and crème patisserie.
Fill the base with the liqueur crème. If using strawberries slice and arrange on top of the cream, for raspberries or blueberries arrange on top ‘whole’. For a ‘fruit salad’ arrangement of various fruits, slice all fruit first then arrange decoratively and dust with icing sugar just before serving.
1 x fluted flan ring with loose base