Berry and summer fruit lattice tartlets

Fresh strawberries, plums and peaches, all baked up in rich golden pastry: this is the perfect summer dessert. Did we mention there's condensed milk in the pastry?

Serves: 6 - 8 small tartlets

Preparation time: 30 minutes and 30 minutes for resting

Cooking time: 25 minutes


450g butter
1 cup (250ml) caster sugar
397g can condensed milk
5 cups (1250ml) cake flour
5 tsp (20ml) baking powder
Pinch salt
1 lightly beaten egg
2 Tbsp (30ml) cream
400g berries (such as strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and blueberries)
250g stone fruit (such as nectarines, peaches and plums)
1/2 cup (125ml) caster sugar
1/3 cup (80ml) Cointreau liqueur
1 Tbsp (15ml) cake flour
3 Tbsp (45ml) strawberry jam


To make the pastry
Cream the butter and sugar. Add the condensed milk and beat well. Sift the remaining ingredients and mix into the butter mixture until a workable dough forms. Flatten the dough and wrap in plastic film. Rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

To make the filling
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Hull and quarter the strawberries and place them in a big bowl with the rest of the berries. Stone and quarter the nectarines, plums and peaches. Add them to the berries and add the sugar and Cointreau, if using. Set aside until needed.

To assemble the pies
Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface. Cut 10 circles (bigger than the tins) out of the dough and line the tins, trimming any excess pastry. Keep any leftover pastry cold in the fridge for the latticework. Place all the tins on a baking tray. Blind bake the pastry for 10 minutes until lightly golden, remove the tray from the oven and allow the pastry to cool slightly. Divide the jam evenly between the tartlets and spread over the pastry bases. Dust the fruit with the flour in a separate bowl and mix through. Divide the fruit among the tartlet tins. Roll out the rest of the pastry and cut into 1.5 cm strips. Make a lattice pattern on top of the berries with these. Brush each strip with egg wash and bake for 15 minutes or until golden. Serve warm with lashings of double cream.

Change with the season
Make beautiful autumn tarts with apples and pears. Prepare the tarts as indicated but substitute the berries and stone fruit with 650g apples and pears (about 3 of each), peeled, cored and quartered. Substitute the Cointreau with brandy and use apricot jam instead of strawberry on the bottom of the pre-baked pastry cases.

By Vickie de Beer. This recipe first appeared in the 2012 Eat In Magazine.

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