From a very young age, one of Neven's favourite pastimes was to shadow his mother in the kitchen, watching her cook; his pastime soon became ...
200 g soft cream cheese
1 tsp cornflour
100 g golden caster sugar
1 vanilla pod (split and seeds scraped out)
finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
finely grated rind of 1 orange
1 tblsp dark rum
225 g blueberries
for the pastry:
75 g butter (diced and chilled)
175 g plain flour (plus extra for dusting)
50 g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
3 tsp whipped cream
fresh mint sprigs and zest of 1 orange to garnish
whipped cream, to serve
To make the pastry, place the butter in a food processor or liquidiser with the flour, salt and sugar and pulse until just blended. Add the egg yolk and cream and blend again briefly. Be careful not to over work or the pastry will become tough. Gather up into a ball and wrap in clingfilm, then chill for 1 hour to rest.
To make the filling, place the soft cream cheese in a clean food processor or liquidiser with the cornflour, eggs, caster sugar, vanilla seeds, lemon rind and juice, orange rind and rum. Blend until smooth.
Preheat the oven to 190C (375°F/Gas 5). Roll out the chilled pastry on a lightly floured surface and use to line 6 x 10cm (4in) individual quiche tins. Prick the base with a fork and then chill for another 10 minutes to allow the pastry to rest, then line each one with a circle of non-stick baking paper that is first crumpled up to make it easier to handle. Fill with baking beans or dried pulses and arrange on baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the pastry cases look 'set' and are lightly coloured.
Lower the oven temperature to 180C (350°F/Gas 4). Carefully remove the paper and beans from the pastry cases and pour in the cream cheese mixture, scatter over the blueberries and bake for another 15 minutes or until filling is just set around edges but still wobbly in the middle. Leave to cool at room temperature.
To serve, carefully remove the tarts from the tins and arrange on serving plates. Place small dollops of whipped cream on top of each. Scatter the orange zest over and garnish with mint leaves.