Summer Pasta and Bakewell Tart

13 July 2006

For me, there is nothing better than having cold noodles when the warm weather puts you off hot food. Summertime here in the UK actually isn’t bad at all, compared to Japan where it is so hot and humid, even I lose my appetite and have to face endless sleepless nights. You sometimes have to force yourself to eat, and quite often cold noodles are the only choice for me.

Thankfully, we’ve had hot-but-not-too-hot weather for a while in the UK and I’ve been enjoying cold Soba or Udon noodles that my mother sent. It may not be so authentic, but I love pasta salad also – there are so many flavours you can enjoy during the summer. I found this pasta salad recipe in the latest issue of Japanese Elle a Table – it was featured as one of the ‘summer noodles ready in 30 minutes!’, though all of them looked tempting I decided to go for the summer vegetable pasta salad with Anglaise sauce. (it takes even less than half an hour to make, a bonus!)

It’s a sort of cold version of carbonara – pasta and the veg are all plunged into ice-cold water after cooking and served with ham-infused eggy cream sauce (also chilled). Pouring the sauce over noodles as you eat is a fairly common way of serving in Japan, so although this is a pasta recipe, it still feels like eating in Japanese style.

You can use any vegetables you think would work (the recipe suggests adding okra, courgettes and soy beans too) – I used broad beans, peas and asparagus this time since all of them were bought us by our friend, it was all cooked just after picking. Actually the only ingredients I didn’t get locally were the pasta and Parma ham (and the salt & pepper :)) You can adjust the egginess/creaminess of the sauce to your taste, but the recipe was just about right for me – it has twice as much milk as double cream, I normally don’t like rich creamy sauce but this was lovely. Make sure to use very thin pasta like cappellini or spaghettini, and if your veg is chunky, slice or cut into thin uniform pieces.

This is my version of Bakewell Tart – it was Andrew’s suggestion to make it, as an attempt to save it from extinction. I’m going to leave the origins of and commentary on the tart to the other participants, as eveyone has done a brilliant job creating their own renditions.

I actually didn’t know what bakewell tart was like – I had heard the name but never tasted it. I followed Sam’s recommendation for a recipe in his book and got a better idea of what it involves.

I was supposed to post this by the end of June, but I wanted to use my redcurrants (which I started growing this year) for the tart – but they weren’t ready at the end of June :) I knew my harvest wouldn’t be enough for making a tart, so was going to buy some from the market too – and then when mine were fully ripe, I still couldn’t find any at the market! So I decided to make one mini tart with my full harvest.

Ripening in progress…
and my cat investigates this year’s harvest

I got the idea for this when I tried a redcurrant and pistachio tart from this bakery in Paris. I fell in love with the combination and wanted to recreate it (yes, I bought the redcurrant tree when I came back from Paris :)) I was flipping through my dessert books looking for a suitable pistachio frangipane recipe – and found a promising-sounding one in my favourite book. The filling is made with almond cream (frangipane), custard cream and pistachio paste – it wasn’t the easiest recipe for a tart filling, but it was definitely worth it – the rich, moist and nutty flavour works perfectly well with the sharp and tangy redcurrants (the original recipe paired it with cherries) I was experimenting with the quantities of each filling but wasn’t taking notes so I’ll try to put a recipe up when I get enough redcurrants to make a bigger tart :)

So, my version may not be a certified, card-carrying Bakewell Tart, but I’m quite happy with how it turned out and hoping for a bigger harvest next year… Thanks again, Andrew, for the inspiration.


Summer vegetable pasta salad with Anglaise sauce

serves 3-4

300g long thin pasta like Cappellini or Spaghettini
Summer vegetables of your choice
A sprig of chervil

for the sauce
40g ham (Parma or similar)
4 egg yolks
200ml full fat milk
100ml double cream

For the sauce, put the egg yolks in a bowl and lightly whisk. Place the milk, cream and ham in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Slowly pour it over the egg yolks stirring constantly. Put the mixture back to the pan and cook until it coats the back of a spoon (keep stirring!) Check the seasoning and add salt if necessary. Sieve into a clean bowl and discard the ham (you can serve it with the pasta if you want to, why waste it?) and chill in ice-cold water.

Cook the vegetables in salted water, just enough so they remain crunchy. Cook the pasta (also in salted water) until al dente – you can use the same pan if you’re confident about getting the timing right. Drain the vegetables and pasta and quickly plunge everything into ice-cold water then roughly dry with kitchen paper. Serve the sauce separately and pour over as you eat. It’s nice to serve the sauce individually especially if you have guests.

Food - Savoury    Food - Sweet    39 comments    Permalink

  • mmmmmmm, yum, amy just told me she had found a source for red currants in the bay area. I have never seen them in the US before. I might have to make a summer pudding...

    Posted by sam | 13 July 2006 #
  • hi keiko, how very very gorgeous - i love yoshoku, and this japanese twist on an italian classic temperature- and presentation-wise looks fabulous! i’m already greedily imagining in my head how the various greens (i’m thinking a mixture of edamame, soramame, peas and asparagus...) will look and taste together...yummm...

    i love how you were determined to "baptise" your very first harvest with a mini tart. it looks dreamy!

    Posted by Joycelyn | 13 July 2006 #
  • Both the pasta and the tart look very refreshing given the heat we’re experiencing as well! I truly love the idea of serving the sauce separately from the pasta - it allows each person to personalize their own serving!

    The pictures are beautiful as always - vibrant greens and reds... just lovely!

    Posted by gilly | 13 July 2006 #
  • No problem Keiko; just pleased you could join in. I knew you would come up with some slighty different and unusual - looks delicious.

    Posted by Andrew | 13 July 2006 #
  • Amazing photos as always. The tart and pasta look great.

    Posted by Krithika | 13 July 2006 #
  • It was really gorgeous ...

    Posted by Fabienne | 13 July 2006 #
  • Yum! Gosh that looks good, I love the idea of serving the carbonara styled sauce separately from the pasta.

    Mmmm your Bakewell tart looks divine too!

    Posted by Bron | 13 July 2006 #
  • Keiko, this is an interesting way to eat pasta. I always learn something fascinating after a visit to your site. AND you grow your own currants! Also, I love your sous chef (the cat). This has turned out to be one of those rambling stream-of-conscienceness comments--let me end with a "thanks."

    Posted by Kevin | 14 July 2006 #
  • Ah this is so perfect. I just posted about red currants as I am typing and needed inspiration for leftovers of red and white currants in my fridge! Thank you! :-) I really really like the look of your first pic. Very playful!

    Posted by Bea at La Tartine Gourmande | 14 July 2006 #
  • YummyYummy!! :D

    keiko-san saikou!

    Posted by azu | 14 July 2006 #
  • I also just attempted a bakewell tart not previously knowing what it was but thought I would help save it from exticntion. Although mine looks no where as good as yours! As always you photos and food are stunning!

    Posted by jenjen | 14 July 2006 #
  • This noodle dish really seems to be the perfect summer lunch. It sounds/looks SO good.

    Now i’m hungry and it’s not even 12.


    Posted by fanny | 14 July 2006 #
  • Oh my - both these dishes look delicious! I love the idea of cold pasta as my Other Half craves pasta all year round, but I seldom feel like cooking or eatign it when the weather is as hot as it’s been. And the tart looks divine. I love pistachios beyond all reason, so frangipane made with pistachios sounds absolutely heavenly!

    Posted by Jeanne | 14 July 2006 #
  • Hi Keiko san, This is so beautiful as always and inspiring post! What a coincidence, I was just reading latest issue of Elle a table in Aoyama Book Center in my nighbor (I mean Tachiyomi)on my way to home now :) I will get back there to try this pasta in hot and humid Tokyo. As you said, today was also really hot - it got 34 degree today with that humid air - it is like, living in steam sauna !

    Posted by prosperity_pie | 14 July 2006 #
  • I love the idea of cold noodles, especially with all green vegetables. Just looking at the photos has cooled me down. I’ll try the cold pasta for dinner one night this week! What a great idea!!!

    Posted by Bonnie | 14 July 2006 #
  • Keiko-san,

    That hiyashi noodle dish is even more appropriate for the summer we’re having here in England! Summery enough for a cold noodle dish but just cool enough to want one with a richer sauce like that one. It looks gorgeous. I’m going to try it and buy an issue of Elle a Table the next time I see it!

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    Posted by akiko | 14 July 2006 #
  • Hi Keiko!All is beautiful:recipes,colors,pictures,...I can’t take my eyes out of this red and green tart,yum!

    Posted by Moony | 15 July 2006 #
  • ooh, thanks for inspiring me, I think I’ll try making a pasta salad! Your tart looks wonderful too!

    Posted by Kat | 15 July 2006 #
  • When Ryoko was with us she told me about serving the noodles cold.Now I understand the concept.

    Posted by Barbara | 15 July 2006 #
  • OMG! Food Porn at its best!

    Fabulous photos!


    Anni :-)

    Posted by Anni | 15 July 2006 #
  • you have posted beautiful photos as always. they are so inviting and elegant i always want to gobble up the food you make but at the same time admire it as i would a work of art.

    red currants are such beauitful subjects as well. we don’t get them often in australia and when we do, like all berries, they are very expensive since they don’t grow well in warm climates. i just have to wait until i visit my mother-in-law in sweden. she grows so many berries i’m in heaven!

    Posted by Anna | 15 July 2006 #
  • hey keiko, i always look forward to your delicious entries, and this is no exception! :)

    Posted by Lil | 15 July 2006 #
  • I want the pasta. The third photo is to die.

    The tart also seems delicious.

    Posted by bonheursdesophie | 16 July 2006 #
  • A wonderful celebration of the season!

    Posted by the chocolate lady | 17 July 2006 #
  • I buy both recipes so pleasant for summer, I love your pasta, looks great , and there is a lot of red currant at that time here, and I’ve a Felder’recipe for the "pistache frangipane", I’m sure children will enjoy all!

    Posted by mercotte | 17 July 2006 #
  • Keiko - The pasta looks so fresh! Bakewell tart is amazing. The green red color combination looks perfect. I am sure it tastes great, too!

    Posted by Cenk | 17 July 2006 #
  • I’m a pasta addict, italian or japanese, j’adore!

    Thank you for the recipe !

    your cat is kawaï :)

    Posted by ooishigal | 17 July 2006 #
  • As usual recipe and photos are great my dear friends!!! :-)

    Tatina want’s eat too... ^-^


    Bye and thank’s for your delicious comment!!

    Kisses from tati!

    Posted by Gourmet ( Sandra ) | 17 July 2006 #
  • Interesting sauce recipe, which indeed has something of the carbonara. Given the 32+ evenings we are having, I should try it out.

    Maybe with the udon ... not that I can find good ones here.



    Posted by thefoodtraveller | 17 July 2006 #
  • Splendid arrangements! I love cold noodles on hot hot day (although it’s pretty unpredictable down in the little red dot as usual) i’m toying the ideal of dipping cold pasta in eggy cream sauce instead. just like the way I like to have it with the cold soba. i wonder a little wasabi wmay helped spiced up things a little too. :D

    pity, we don’t have redcurrant here, but we do have our india cherry trees. slightly larger that the redcurrants, they taste sweet with nice aroma. but i need alot to these tress to collect enough for the tarts :( besides i need to battle with a the birds & creatures that were also fond of these cherries as well.

    Posted by slurp! | 17 July 2006 #
  • Even though I eat all the pasta I can, I’ve never tried one like this before. It sounds great, perfect for summer heat. And your currants look beautiful!

    Posted by Natalia Spampinato | 18 July 2006 #
  • Hi there, thanks so much for all your feedback.

    Sam - I didn’t know it’s hard to find redcurrrants in the US, you must miss them lots.

    Joycelyn - you know I’ve been eating broad beans like edamame... thank you for your kind word on my redcurrants, I’m glad I could make good use of them.

    Gilly - hope you’re surviving the heat!

    Andrew - thanks again for *approving* this :)

    Kevin - the sous chef mainly works on the disassembly line :)

    Azu-san - hope you’ll enjoy it too ;)

    Jenjen - your tart looked absolutely beautiful, I’m glad we could do something to save them :)

    Jeanne - it must be even hotter in London, hope you’ll enjoy some cold pasta recipes. I’ll refine the tart and bring you some next time ;)

    prosperity_pie - thank you for your kind notes, oh I miss ABC! You’re so lucky to live near them :) I can imagine how hot it’s been in Tokyo, just being outside in the heat makes you dizzy... take care and be sure to eat well!

    Akiko-san - thank you for your kind notes, are you based in the UK? I can send you the mag if you would like, please email me :)

    Kat - I miss Hiyashi Chuka lots...

    Barbara - hope you can try it some time :)

    Anna - I didn’t know they don’t grow well in Australia, what a shame! I hope you’ll enjoy visiting Sweden, I love it there too...

    Mercotte - looking forward to seeing your gorgeous creation.

    Ooishigal - I’ll let my cat know, thanks ;)

    Sandra - kisses to Tati too!

    Francesco - I think you should stick to pasta - I don’t think this sauce would work well with udon (and definitely not with soba :))

    Slurp - it must be really hot in Singapore too... I wouldn’t dare, but let me know if you try the wasabi infused eggy cream sauce :) The Indian cherry sounds lovely, I’m actually not a fan of cherries but they sound quite different from *normal* ones? Could you put a picture up when you find some? :) I know what you mean about birds, they just know when is the best time!

    Posted by keiko | 19 July 2006 #
  • Oh, your Summer pasta ! All this green, it’s superb !!! And Bakewell tarts are one of my "Pêchés mignons". Yours are so uncommon and beautiful !

    Posted by Camille | 19 July 2006 #
  • Hi Keiko

    I wanted to try my hand at the Bakewell tart as well--one of my books has a recipe for it, but I found out about it far too late for the event. I’ll probably try it in the autumn or winter--such rich are bound to perk up the darker months...


    Posted by Jasmine | 20 July 2006 #
  • I am looking forward to your tart recipe because I would love to use the pistachio filling. I’ve just discovered the joy of tart baking. Thanks!

    Posted by Julie | 20 July 2006 #
  • hmmm... never thought of making a savory/european version of cold asian noodles. wonderful idea, thanks much!

    Posted by ann | 21 July 2006 #
  • Thanks for sharing the recipe for the summer pasta - my mouth was watering as I read yr post. Sometimes its super hot (and humid) in Singapore too and this cold pasta would be an ideal meal.... And your own redcurrant tree! What a great harvest for your little tart - looks absolutely delicious.

    Posted by steffles | 26 July 2006 #
  • Hi there, thank you for all your feedback.

    Jasmine - better late than never :) Looking forward to seeing your lovely creation.

    Julie - I’ll experiment a bit more and try to post it.

    Steffles - I can imagine how hot and humid it can be in Singapore, take care and try to eat well.

    Posted by keiko | 27 July 2006 #
  • Your photographs are so beautiful. And I also love cold noodles so this recipe will find it’s way to my table this summer :) Thank you.

    Posted by Popcorn | 14 April 2007 #

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