bramble and nectarine flan

Pete picked the first of the brambles on Saturday – we didn’t get much from them the year before, as the landlord hacked the plants right back, but they’ve returned to glory this year. I must clear some freezer space, because they are truly delicious.

There weren’t all that many, and there was also half a pack of frozen pastry left from the walnut and stilton flan, and there were some nectarines in the fruit bowl.

Pete rolled the pastry into the rectangular flan tin, and tipped the baking beans straight on top. It’s a trick everyone does once, I think, so just as well to get it over. We fished them out, added some greaseproof paper and put them back. Blind baked it at gas 6 for 15 minutes.

In the meantime, I put about half a packet of digestive bikkits in a plastic bag, and whacked them with a rolling pin, all the time muttering the name of my least favourite client under my breath. Added a couple of tablespoons of ground almonds.

Into a shallow pan went blackberries, 2 fat nectarines and a cinnamon stick (well, why not?) and some water, and I cooked this down until the nectarines were soft, and I had a nice brambly syrup. The nectarines were fished out, set aside to cool, and then cut into neat(ish) slices.

The digestive/ground almond was spread across the pastry base, and then the brambly mixture poured over the top, and the nectarine slices placed over that. Then it went back in the oven for 15 minutes.

When it came out, it looked nice, but a bit dry. Pete said “add some alcohol”, so we poured a shot glassful of Cointreau over the top. It was still a bit dry, but we didn’t care – we soused it in double cream and scoffed it anyway. It rapidly became known as Cointreau Pie.