Sorrel can difficult to use in bulk and when cooked it turns an unattractive murky colour. Thankfully, as Hugh says, the tart requires a load of sorrel which meant the allotment’s overgrown plants got a good trim. This is a dessert and it turned out beautifully – it’s really an egg custard tart with sorrel in the mix so nothing to be scared of.
- About 300g sorrel
- Knob of butter, about 15g
- 2 large eggs, plus 2 egg yolks
- 200ml double cream
- 200ml whole milk
- 75g icing sugar
- 50g raisins
For the sweet shortcrust pastry
- 200g plain flour
- 35g icing sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 125g cold, unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 1 large egg yolk
- About 75ml cold milk (or water)
Make the pastry first. Put the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and blitz briefly to combine (or sieve into a bowl). Add the butter and blitz (or rub in with your fingertips) until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk, and enough milk or water to bring it together into large clumps. Tip out on to a lightly floured surface and knead gently into a ball. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes.
Heat the oven to 190C/375F/gas mark 5 and put a baking sheet inside. Roll out the pastry to fit a 24cm tart tin. Line the tin with the pastry, leaving the excess hanging over the edge. Prick all over with a fork and chill for 10 minutes more.
Line the pastry with greaseproof paper or foil, making sure the edges are covered, fill with baking beans or uncooked lentils or rice, and bake blind for 15 minutes. Remove the beans and paper, and cook for another five minutes, or until the pastry looks cooked but not browned. Leave to cool, then trim off the rough edges. Reduce the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4.
Remove any tough stalks from the sorrel. Wash the leaves, dry thoroughly and shred finely.
Heat half the butter in a large frying pan over a medium-low heat. Add half the sorrel and cook for a few minutes, stirring often, until collapsed and drastically reduced in volume. Transfer to a colander to cool. Repeat with the remaining sorrel. When cool, squeeze out the excess moisture with your hands.
In a wide bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, cream and milk. Sift in the icing sugar, whisk to dissolve, then stir in the raisins and wilted sorrel. Pour carefully into the prepared pastry case, using a fork to distribute the sorrel and raisins evenly. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until set and just golden. Leave to cool, and serve warm or at room temperature.