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MasterClass - Masala Chai Crème Brulée Tarts with Sweet Kachumbar

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Masala Chai Crème Brulée Tarts with Sweet Kachumbar

Recipe by Ray McVinnie

Pastry (recipe makes twice as much as much pastry as required)
4 tbsp caster sugar
125g Mainland butter
Zest of 1 lemon
1 large egg
200g standard flour

500ml Anchor cream
Large pinch of salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
6 cardamon pods, squashed
1/4 tsp ground ginger
8 cloves
2 Dilmah Ceylon tea bags
6 large egg yolks
Demerara sugar for sprinkling

1 firm banana, sliced
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp caster sugar
Pinch of salt
1/4 cucumber, peeled, seeded, diced to 1cm
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
2 tbsp long thread coconut, toasted

Yoghurt cream
200ml Anchor cream, soft whipped
100ml plain unsweetened yoghurt

1. Preheat oven to 200C.

2. To make the pastry, place the sugar, Mainland butter and lemon zest in a food processor and process until well creamed. Scrape the sides of the bowl and then add the egg and process until smooth. Add the flour and process until it just forms a ball. Do not over-process. Remove from the processor and wrap the pastry in waxed paper and refrigerate until firm enough to roll out.

3. Roll the pastry out on a well-floured surface and line 6 x 7cm diameter individual tart tins. Place back into the refrigerator until the pastry is hard

4. Line the tart tins with baking paper and baking beans or rice and blind bake for 10 minutes. Remove the baking beans, return to the oven and bake until well browned. Remove from the oven and cool. Reserve.

5. To make the filling, put the Anchor cream into a saucepan and add the salt, cinnamon, cardamom pods, ginger, cloves and tea bags. Slowly bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring and squeezing the tea bag with a spoon occasionally.

6. Place the egg yolks into a heat-proof bowl and mix well. Strain the simmered cream mixture and pour over the yolks slowly, stirring continuously. Place the mixture over a saucepan of barely
simmering water and stir until very thick. Remove from the heat, cool and then chill.

7. To make the yoghurt cream, fold the whipped Anchor cream into the yoghurt. Chill until ready to serve.

8. To make the kachumbar, place all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix gently just before serving.

9. To serve, heat a brulée iron over high heat for at least an hour. Put 1/6 of the brulée mixture into each tart shell and smooth the top do that it is level with the pastry. Sprinkle an even, generous layer of Demerara sugar on top of each tart. Iron the layer of sugar on each tart until well melted and browned. Allow to cool, serve with a little yoghurt and cream mixture and the kachumbar on the side.    

1. The extra pastry can be frozen and used when needed for things like fruit tarts, jam turnovers, or sweet fruit mince pies
2. The pastry cases and filling can be made 1 day in advance if you prefer but assemble and iron the top a few hours before you serve the tarts
3. To make a classic crème brulée just make the filling, minus the spices and tea but with a little vanilla extract instead. Pour into ramekins and proceed as per the recipe to iron the sugar on top.