Elderflower Cream Shortbread Tartlets

Belvoir fruit Farms have enlisted the skills of Chef Valentine Warner, to bring you some wonderful Elderflower recipes, celebrating the six week Elderflower harvest,

Known for his love of seasonal ingredients and in particular his ability to forage for them, Valentine Warner has created three fantastic Elderflower recipes to capture the taste of summer and to raise the profile of this quintessentially British plant that has so much to offer.

The elder is a hedgerow shrub which occurs naturally all over Britain. However, as the hedgerows themselves are in decline so naturally occurring elders are in decline too.

To help raise awareness of the plight of the British hedgerow and wild flower meadows, Belvoir fruit Farms have forged a partnership with Plantlife, the charity that works to protect Britain’s wild plants and to improve understanding of the vital role they play in everyone’s lives.

Belvoir has committed to donating 10p to Plantlife for every person who signs up to the Belvoir newsletter.

Valentine has devised two truly delicious recipes featuring Elderflower cordial ; Elderflower & Gooseberry Jelly and Elderflower Cream Shortbread Tartlets – perfect for that other great British institution of afternoon tea.

True to his passion, Valentine has also provided a recipe for Elderflower cordial itself, using freshly picked Elderflowers.

Elderflower Cream Shortbread Tartlets

A delicate summery desert

Whilst relatively easy to make, it does need to stand for 24 hours and requires a large quantity of fresh Elderflowers. These can be great fun to pick but with only a short six week harvesting window – you have to be quick!

Elderflower Cream Shortbread Tartlets recipe

Here are some perfumed little tartlets perfect for the great English summer tradition of a little outside afternoon tea.
Serves 6

100g plain flour
50g semolina flour
100g salted butter
50g caster sugar
zested rind of the lemon
1 egg beaten
Pinch of salt

For the cream filling
125ml Belvoir elderflower cordial
300ml full fat double cream (not long life)
30g white castor sugar
Freshly squeezed juice of one medium lemon
You will need 1 x 6 hole muffin silicone mould

1.       In a large bowl combine the flours, sugars and salt with the lemon zest. Grate in the fridge cold butter
2.       Work everything together thoroughly with a wooden spoon until it forms loose dough then turn it out onto the work surface & briefly knead it into one block with your hands.
3.       Remember that the longer you work the dough, the warmth of your hands will make it overly sticky
4.       Divide the pastry into 6 parts & press it into each mould right up to edge, the pastry about the thickness of a one pound coin. Neaten up the open edges with a knife or if you like a more rustic looking tart then leave as is.
5.       Allow the chill in the fridge for one hour and preheat the oven to 150c
6.       Line each tartlet case with a scrumpled piece of baking parchment filled with ceramic beans or whatever you see fit for weighting down the pastry
7.       Bake the tarts for approx 30 minutes or until their top edges, are richly golden brown
8.       Remove them from the oven taking out the papers & beans. Lightly but carefully paint the inside of each tart case with beaten egg before returning them to the oven without the paper & beans. Cook them for a further 5 minutes or so until the bases are deep golden as well.  Allow the tart cases to cool
9.       In a non stick saucepan mix the double cream with the cordial & caster sugar, bring it up to a very brief but gentle boil and then simmer for 2 minutes (please do take care that it doesn’t split). Whisk in the lemon juice (it is the lemon juice that will set the boiled cream) and immediately turn off the heat
10.   Allow the mixture to cool for approximately10 minutes before pouring in to the 6 tart cases
11.   Place the tartlets in the fridge for 4 hours or  until the cream mixture has set
12.   When serving your elderflower tartlets dust the tops of each with icing sugar & accompany with fine tea, preferably outside

Cook’s Tips
If semolina flour for the pastry proves difficult to find, simply replace the 50g with plain flour so that you use 150g of plain flour instead.  In addition, if making your own pastry leaves you cold an alternative serving suggestion is simply to spoon the cream filling into ramekin dishes and sprinkle shortbread biscuits on top.  Delicious!

Other Elderflower Recipes

Elderflower Cordial

Elderflower and Gooseberry Jelly

More information

Belvoir supports the British Hedgerow