WHAT YOU NEED
- ready to bake sweet short pastry sheets
- Grand Marnier (or a like liquor of your choice)
- mixed frozen berries (or any fresh or frozen berries of your choice)
- vanilla custard
- vanilla extract
- cinnamon sticks (or powdered cinnamon)
- lemon curd (FAM: if you haven’t got any ready-made, it’s quite easy to prepare: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqUKUxgsq44)
- Raspberry cordial (or strawberry)
- brown sugar
- grapeseed oil
WHAT YOU DO
- Pre-heat oven to 200° C – make sure shelves are one level lower than the middle.
- Examine the size of the pan you chose (it should be ideally a bit on the deep side), and defrost enough pastry to cover pan and over lap over the edges – then brush grapeseed oil all over the inside of the pan. Also examine the size of the pan to decide how many berries you’d need to layer it once
- Stew the berries over medium heat with a generous pour of the raspberry cordial and a splash or two of Grand Marnier.
- Add cinnamon sticks (or cinnamon powder), one or two capfuls of vanilla extract, and brown sugar – start small, adjust to your taste, but make sure the berries end up sweetened enough – keep stewing for about 20 minutes – keep watching, and stirring occasionally – the large amount of liquid you’re going to have is fine...
- Decide on the amount of vanilla custard – it should make a layer at least an inch thick to cover bottom - pour vanilla custard in bowl, mix in with a spoon generously lemon curd to taste – however, make it nice and tart. (it should counter effectively the sweetness of the berries).
- By this time, your pastry sheets should be defrosted. Layer the pan with them. Leave an overhang around the edges. What you want to be able to do (which I did not do quite adequately, but it doesn’t matter so much in the end) is curl the edges over in a curve.
- Brush pastry with grapeseed oil.
- Pour custard/lemon curd mixture in and spread thickly over the bottom.
- Spoon in berries (you will need slotted spoons for this part), taking care to leave most of the liquid behind in the pan. Do not press the berries into the custard. Cover the custard layer with a berry layer.
- It should look like this, just like a container. (By the way, do NOT discard that pan full of spiced berry juice!)
- Cover loosely with tin foil. You do not want to burn the pastry before it is cooked. Put it in the oven for approximately 15 minutes. Then uncover for approximately 10 minutes or so. Just keep checking. It will be done when the pastry is nice golden brown.
- Take out and cool. (When it is cool, you may chose to sprinkle powdered sugar over the edges of the pastry or not.) Keep in mind, the structural integrity is not important. It WILL be a bit of a mess, but a TASTY mess, to be sure!!
NOW, what to do with the leftover berry juice? Why, simmer, add more spices and wine and whatever else you think should go into your glühwein (mulled wine), of course!