June means sunshine and strawberries. This eye-catching pudding oozes natural berry sweetness and could happily accompany you on a weekend picnic or take centre stage at a midsummer soirée. Strawberries and thyme are good friends and the addition of the herb adds an interesting twist to the simple flavour.
Strawberry and thyme pie
for the dough
125g plain flour
125g almond flour (or use 250g plain flour in total)
pinch of salt
30g icing sugar
cold water, as needed
for the thyme custard
seeds of 1 vanilla pod
a few sprigs fresh thyme
2 egg yolks
30g icing sugar
150g cream cheese
for the topping
fresh thyme leaves
Make the dough: Work both flours, butter, salt and icing sugar into a smooth dough. If dough is too dry, add a few drops of cold water. Shape into a flat disc and wrap in cling film. Rest in fridge for 1 hour.
Start the thyme custard: Bring the milk to a near boil with vanilla and thyme. Turn off heat and let steep until ready to use.
1 Preheat oven to 180C/Fan 160/350F.
2 Dust countertop with flour and pat dough into a thin slab that fits a 22cm pie plate or a pie pan with a removable bottom. Grease the pan and line it with the dough. Leave some overhanging the edge. Carefully press a sheet of parchment paper onto the dough, fill with baking beans and blind bake the crust for 15 mins. Use the parchment paper to lift out the beans. Bake crust for 10 mins more.
3 Let crust cool, then neatly trim the edges. Keep the oven on.
4 Return to the custard. Beat the yolks and icing sugar until light and frothy. Pour into the warm milk through a strainer. Whisk it all and pour back into the pan. While stirring, bring mixture to a near boil and reduce it slightly over low heat. Turn off heat and beat in the cream cheese. Pour the mix into the blind-baked crust and put the pie back in the oven for 15 mins.
5 Allow the pie to cool on a rack for at least 30 mins.
6 Quarter the strawberries and use them to dress the pie.
7 Serve garnished with thyme.
From Home Baked by Yvette van Boven (Stewart, Tabori & Chang)