Lorraine’s date tart

Lorraine’s date tart is famous. Apparently it started off at Neil Perry’s Rockpool restaurant. It was then improved by Lorraine Godsmak who spent some time as a pastry chef at Rockpool who then took it to her new venture: Lorraine’s Patisserie at Ivy.

The one time I tried to visit the patisserie: it was Sunday, and it was shut. I guess everyone needs their down time.

The date tart is so popular, it frequently sells out. To be guaranteed a taste you need to pre-order your slice at $15 a pop.

Bad day at work, let’s do some baking.

My kitchen stories provided the recipe…. instead of the easy biscuit crust, I used a shop bought sweet short crust. $3.29. That doesn’t even buy you the butter.

I used 20 dried dates instead of the 8-10 suggested fresh dates. Actually the only place I remember seeing fresh dates for sale was in the Barcelona market. I wonder if you can buy them in Australia?

Here is are the dates laid out in the pastry shell:

Date tart

I forgot to look up the recipe whilst at the shops, so instead of cream I had only light milk (approx 1-2% fat). Oops. I compensated by using six egg yolks and one whole egg. My shop bought pastry at 18cm inside diameter really only managed to fit 1.5 cups worth of the custard. I’m going to use the leftover custard to make French toast. I shouldn’t have worried about setting…

The tart before baking:

Lorraine's date tart - pre baking

Perhaps my pastry shell was shallower than that in the original recipe, or it was the thin aluminium baking tray. But my tart cooked really realty fast. Instead of the 50 minutes at 180 deg C ‘until just set’ – it took a mere 20 minutes. It was more than set… It was solid.

Verdict?
With the shop bought pastry crust, this was super easy to make. I’ve made pastry before, I don’t think I needed to make it again just for this date tart. This would be an easy dessert dish to make if you had the ready-to-go-pastry or use the biscuit crumbs like the recipe suggests. Also if you have a ready supply of eggs fresh from the chook.

The custard was really sweet: added to, I’m sure by the sweetness of the dates. The dates had gone from dried and hard to gooingly soft. I tried my piece the next day (I can’t believe I waited so long!), so the pastry wasn’t crispy.

In any case, I save the last piece for you:

Lorraine's date tart - ta da

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by My Kitchen Stories on February 24, 2014 at 07:18

    Hi, although your date tart looks great I thought I’d just drop you a line. Dried dates are much sweeter than fresh dates so the custard will probably taste sweeter. They also go mushy much easier than fresh ones. I worked with Lorraine when she was making this tart over and over and over and I have a vivid memory of just how amazing it tastes.It only has just enough sugar in it so that it balances with the fresh dates and cream. The second part of the recipe says to turn the oven down to 150 degrees and so that means it will take almost 50 minutes. It probably isn’t hot enough to cook your pastry though so you would still have to cook that first. It’s nice to find a new blog to visit. Great job. Tania

    Reply

    • Hi Tania. How Excitement! Your recipe *is* the recipe for Lorraine’s date tart. I took your comments on board and tried making this tart with the savoury store bought crust and frozen guava pieces from last year’s crop. I prebaked the case and turned it down to 150 degrees. The result was too savoury and really needed the sweet pie case.

      Guava tart

      But I’ll try to make it to spec when I can find some fresh dates.

      Do you know where to buy some in Sydney? The closest I’ve found is something like Lyna Date at Harris Farms

      Reply

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