1 1/2 cups plain flour
125g butter, chilled and cut into cubes
2 egg yolks
1 tbsp chilled water
12 fresh dates, deseeded and halved
250g mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup thickened cream
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp cornflour
1 tsp vanilla extract
cocoa powder or icing sugar, to serve
1 Grease a 23cm fluted flan tin. Put flour and butter into the bowl of a food processor. Process until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add egg yolks and chilled water. Process until mixture comes together and pastry forms.
2 Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Form into a 3cm-thick circle. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until firm.
3 Preheat oven to 200C. Roll pastry between two sheets of baking paper until large enough to line the flan tin. Ease pastry into tin. Trim. Refrigerate for 20 minutes. Line pastry with a sheet of baking paper and fill with rice (or dried beans). Put tin on a baking tray. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove rice and baking paper. Cook for a further 10-15 minutes or until light golden. Cool.
4 Spread dates over pastry base. Combine remaining ingredients (except cocoa or icing sugar) and whisk until smooth. Gently pour custard mixture over dates. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until custard is golden and set. Cool and refrigerate. Serve sprinkled with cocoa or icing sugar.