Honey and ginger are a match made in heaven and this recipe by The Quality Chop House’s Shaun Searley, taken from the restaurant’s new book, is a marriage of wonderful flavours
IMAGE: ANDREW MONTGOMERY
The Quality Chop House has stood on the corner of London’s Farringdon Road and Exmouth Market since 1869. It’s been a working man’s ‘eating house’, a ’90s celebrity magnet and, for the last seven years, one of the city’s best-known and best-loved restaurants. Bar a few elaborate recipes here and there, their book is aimed at amateur cooks and, here, we share their simple but utterly delicious recipe for Bell Honey Custard Tart with a generous spoonful of ginger crème fraîche.
Bell Honey Custard Tart, Ginger Crème Fraîche
GINGER CRÈME FRAÎCHE
- 400 g crème fraîche
- 30 g stem ginger plus 1 tbsp of syrup
FOR THE TART
- 500 ml whipping cream
- 10 free-range organic egg yolks
- 200 g bell heather honey
- 1 blind-baked tart case (see below for recipe)
- To make the ginger crème fraîche, finely grate the stem ginger into the crème fraîche along with a spoonful of the syrup. Combine, then ideally transfer into a muslin cloth bag and hang in the fridge overnight. Leave a small bowl underneath to catch the excess liquid.
- Transfer to an airtight container until you are ready to use.
- Warm the cream in a large saucepan over a low heat until it reaches 50°C.
- Whisk the egg yolks and honey together in a large bowl until combined, then pour over the hot cream, whisking continuously; it should start to thicken slightly. Pass the custard through a fine sieve and leave to rest for 5 minutes. Skim off the layer of foam that will form on top.
- Preheat the oven to 110°C. Half-fill the blind-baked tart case with the cooled custard, then carefully transfer to the oven. Bake for 45 minutes–1 hour. You are looking for a slight wobble in the centre of the custard. Leave to rest for a couple of hours before you cut into it.
- To serve, slice the tart into wedges and serve with a generous spoonful of ginger crème fraîche
Sweet Pastry Tart Case
- 250 g butter at room temperature
- 180 g caster sugar
- 1 vanilla pod split lengthways and seeds scraped out
- 2 free-range organic eggs
- 500 g plain flour beaten egg yolk to glaze
- Cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla seeds until light and fluffy and almost white in colour.
- Beat in the eggs one at a time – if the mixture looks like it is going to separate, add a little flour. Fold in the rest of the flour in 3 batches and bring it together to form a dough. Divide the dough into 3 pieces, then wrap in cling film and store in the fridge or freezer until you need it.
- To make a blind-baked tart case, take a piece of dough and roll out to a 25cm circle, 3mm thick. Use it to line a 20cm fluted loose-bottomed tart case. Leave to rest in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 170°C. Lay out 2 sheets of cling film to really get into the grooves of the tart case, one on top of the other, and press into the lined tart case. Fill with baking beans or dried haricot beans and bake for 15–20 minutes. Carefully remove the beans and continue to bake for another 5–10 minutes. The pastry should be a pale golden colour and firm to the touch – if the centre is still a little soft give it another minute or two in the oven.
- Once it’s definitely baked, make sure there are no holes (you can patch them up with a little leftover pastry), then brush with a little egg yolk to glaze.
Extract taken from THE QUALITY CHOP HOUSE: Modern Recipes and Stories from a London Classic by William Lander, Daniel Morgenthau & Shaun Searley (Quadrille, £30) Photography: Andrew Montgomery