Autumn is undoubtably my favourite season. If I’m being honest, all through the year I’m keenly anticipating the first days of frostiness so I can break out my best fair-isle mittens and wooly hat, but this year we’re enjoying an extended Indian summer which is why it seems appropriate to be making this summery recipe now. The recent spate of hot weather we’ve seen has been particularly beneficial to lingering soft fruits, such as strawberry and raspberry plants, who turn all the sunshine into earthy red sweetness, juicy and fragrant.
This recipe is adapted from the trädgårdscafé at Ulriksdal, where they have a permanent vegetarian buffet – if you’re in the Stockholm region, totally check that place out as it’s got a fantastic selection of really delicious food. Our good friends Karl and Märta very kindly bought us their cookbook (in Swedish) as a Christmas present which I’ve been working my way through and translating as I go.
I hope this recipe can be used with different seasonal fruits right into the autumn and winter.
Summer strawberry, blueberry and raspberry pie
For the custard:
- 500ml whole milk
- 3 egg yolks
- 90g caster sugar
- 40g cornflour
- vanilla essence
- 100ml whipped double cream
For the pie-crust:
- 3 egg yolks
- 230g plain flour
- 3 tablespoons of cold water
- 70g caster sugar
- 60g butter
For the fruit topping:
- 3 handfuls each of strawberries, raspberries and blueberries (around 250-300g each)
- A spoonful of icing sugar, plus more for dusting
Start by making the custard. Separate the eggs and reserve the whites for another project. Place the yolks in another bowl and mix with the cornflour and sugar, adding a scant amount of milk if needed to loosen up the batter.
Heat the rest of the milk in a pan on the hob until steaming. Temper the eggs with a small splash of the hot milk, whisking continuously and vigorously so that the eggs don’t scramble. Pour the eggs back into the rest of the milk and return to the heat and cook until thick and glossy.
Finally take the pan off the stove, stir in the vanilla essence and transfer the custard to a storage container, pressing clingfilm into the top so that it prevents a skin from forming. Wait until cold and then store in the fridge. This stage can be done up to 3 days in advance.
To make the pie crust, add all the ingredients (save the water) into a bowl and mix. When it gets to a breadcrumb consistency, add the water, little-by-little and work it into a solid lump.
Press the dough into a tart tin, prick with holes and bake in the middle of an oven at 200 degrees centigrade for approximately 15-20 minutes. Use a piece of grease-proof paper with baking beads (or old mung beans in my case!) to weigh the pastry down as it cooks, removing part way through to allow the bottom of the crust to crisp up. You’re aiming for the colour of a hobnob or digestive biscuit when it’s done.
Allow the pie crust to cool on a wire rack, until completely cold.
To assemble the pie, take the custard out of the fridge and combine it with 100ml of whipped double cream. Slather the crust with custard. Cut any stalks off the strawberries, half them, and toss them in a bowl with a little of the icing sugar, blueberries and raspberries. To finish, take handfuls of the fruit and strew it over the custard before dusting with more icing sugar.
Keep in the fridge until you’re ready, and then serve while still cool.