Monday 22 June 2020


Let's be honest, summer 2020 will be all about upping your picnic game. Even with restaurants on track to re-open on 4th July, social distancing and a lack of al fresco dining options will mean that most social gatherings and eating out occasions will take place in parks, fields or any other sort of green spaces which means now is the time to perfect your picnic foods!

Hearty, easily transportable and delicious, picnic food doesn't have to be just your standard crisps, dips and M&S salads, no, with a little bit of imagination you can impress your friends, at a safe distance, with some great little dishes like this amazing tart, packed with punchy flavours and a real crowd pleaser!

I got the tart ready in the morning of the picnic and baked it while doing a zoom workout so it really couldn't be easier and I have to say it was a real hit with my fellow picnickers! Watch out for more dishes to make picnics a little sophisticated on here, after all we may as well make the new normal a culinary experience!

  • 1x ready made shortcrust pastry sheet
  • For the filling
  • 200g white crab meat
  • 1 bunch of green asparagus 
  • 1 bunch coriander, picked and chopped
  • 1 medium-sized red chilli, sliced (pith and seeds removed, if you prefer less heat)
  • 1lime, zested and juiced

  • For the savoury custard
  • 300g double cream
  • 200g milk
  • 2 whole eggs plus 3 egg yolks
  • Salt and black pepper

  • Heat the oven to 190C (170C fan)/375F/gas 5. 
  • Roll out the pastry to 3mm thick and use it to line a greased 25cm tart ring. 
  • Prick the base all over with a fork, line with greaseproof paper and baking beans (I didn't have any so used rice), then blind bake for 16 minutes.
  • Lift out the greaseproof paper and the baking beans, brush the base all over with beaten egg yolk and return to the oven for six minutes more. 
  • Once cooked, remove from the oven, trim the top of the tart and leave to cool. Turn the oven down to 140C (120C fan)/285F/gas 1.
  • Meanwhile, make the custard. 
  • Combine the cream, milk, eggs and egg yolks, and whisk smooth. Pass through a sieve, then season.
  • Spoon the crab, aspargus, coriander and sliced chilli into the tart case. 
  • Stir the lime juice and zest into the custard, pour on top, then return to the oven until the custard is set (I used quite a a high form so the custard took longer to cook but keep checking once 20 minutes have past). 
  • Remove, leave to cool until warm or at room temperature, and serve.

No comments: