The first time I cooked this was raspberry season, late summer when the British raspberries are at their best. The combination was inspired by the famous Scottish classic cranachan, but the techniques for this are undoubtedly French – the filling drawing on Child, Bertholle and Beck and the pastry being light, crispy and sweet enough to enjoy by itself. Using spelt flour seems to lift the lightness and crispness to another level altogether.
The second time I cooked this was for Vlad’s supper club. I feel somewhat ashamed that the raspberries had to be imported but I wanted to show something impressive and the whisky certainly seemed appropriate for the time of year. A more seasonal approach might be to use some preserved fruit, but fresh raspberries and whisky certainly hit the right flavour spots.
330g white spelt flour
90g icing sugar
grated zest ½ lemon
¼ tsp sea salt
180g cold unsalted butter, cubed
2 tbsp cold water
90g caster sugar (or vanilla sugar if you have it)
120g ground almonds
150ml single malt Scotch whisky (nothing too peaty, Glenmorangie and Macallan both worked well) plus about ½ tsp extra for sprinkling
punnet of fresh raspberries
icing sugar to dust
In a food processor, mix together the flour, icing sugar, lemon zest and salt, gradually adding the butter. Mix until you achieve a coarse breadcrumb texture with no large lumps of butter. Add the water and mix until the dough comes together. You may need to add a drop more water but don’t mix any longer than necessary.
Remove the dough from the mixer and knead gently to form a smooth disc 5–6cm thick. Wrap in cling film and chill until ready to use, but at least an hour.
When the pastry has chilled, roll it out and place in a greased loose bottomed tart case. Cut away excess pastry and chill again for at least 30 minutes.
Heat the oven to 170˚C. Line the bottom of the pastry with baking parchment and baking beans. Bake for approximately 20 until the pastry barely starts to colour.
Remove from the oven and when it’s cooled enough remove the baking paper and beans.
Beat the eggs and sugar together to form a thick, pale yellow mixture that falls back on itself in a slowly dissolving ribbon.
Beat in the almonds then fold in the whisky. You need a good strong whisky flavour, so if you are OK with raw eggs, have a little taste. Otherwise you can cook half a teaspoon of the mixture quickly in a small pan and check the flavour.
Pour the filling into the pastry case and bake in the oven for about 25 minutes. The filling should puff and brown very lightly. It’s cooked when a needle or knife pushed into the centre comes out clean.
Slide the tart onto a rack to cool.
When ready to serve, arrange the raspberries over the top, very lightly sprinkle over a little whisky and dust generously with icing sugar.