Custard Berry Tart and…PT

My chance encounter over the weekend with my ‘Sweet Sixteen’ boyfriend took me back to my teenage years where I was reminded of a chap, who was nothing like my sweet sixteen boyfriend, we named PT.

I grew up as the second oldest of five girls in a very lovely suburb where nothing ever happened and the only crime to report would be the vandalising of the flowers of the Agapanthus plants that many residents grew along the fence-lines of their properties.  They would wake up in the morning to find all the blue flower heads had been snapped off in the night.  Another horrendous crime was when my father hired a mini-skip bin and it was delivered to the nature strip.  Before dad had a chance to fill it someone had dumped their broken-down dryer in it.  The audacity!  Who would do such a thing?  The neighbours talked about that for weeks.

My parents were always out and often away and we five teenage girls would be left at home watching videos and taking turns to use the phone.  On these nights Emma and I would most likely be dressed in our nighties watching a Beta movie in the family room that had French doors opening onto the backyard.  We’d be engrossed in the movie when suddenly there would be a banging on the glass and a rattling of the door handles and we would immediately look to the French doors and a naked man with his face covered would be standing there showing off his bits and acting like he was about to break down the door while we ran screaming from the room.  We would call the police who would quickly be on their way and we’d phone the family with three big boys who lived two houses away and they would come running with torches and baseball bats and would scour the property and the street but once again, our Peeping Tom would have slipped into the night and vanished.

On another occasion when I was 17, I was in my bedroom dressed in my school uniform sitting at my desk doing homework.  I had a door that led to a verandah and as it was a stifling night I had the door open trying to get some breeze.  I was doing some study but became ill at ease because I was sure someone was out there.  I looked out but with the lights on inside, looking outside was like peering into a black hole.  I sat at my desk and continued to work but couldn’t concentrate.  Something was out there.  After about 40 minutes of being watched, I heard ‘the watcher’ start grunting like a pig.  I knew immediately PT was back.  He approached the screen door while I ran from the room yelling to my sisters, ‘It’s PT, PT’s here’.

I’d like to say this only went on for a few months but the truth is PT spied on us and disturbed us for many years.  He always managed to turn up when my father was overseas or when my parents were out for the night so we knew he must be watching the house closely.  But who was he?

The neighbours were intrigued.  This was a much bigger story than the snapping of the Agapanthus heads and the broken-down dryer dumped in a mini-skip.  They would ask, ‘Has he been round lately?’  ‘What was he wearing the last time you saw him?’  ‘Do you think you could pick him in a crowd?’  “How do you think he manages to get away so quickly?’

Berry Custard Tart Served with Clotted Cream and Fresh Raspberries

My father had had more than enough of his daughters being terrified and traumatised and was tired of the money he was spending on security.  After the first visit he’d had blinds installed on all windows.  After the next visit he had deadlocks installed on all the doors.  But he came again so then we had window locks put on all the windows.  Then a security alarm, then a brick wall built up the side of the house to prevent anyone getting into the backyard, then an intercom between ourselves and my friend across the back fence because he had started visiting her as well, then a second phone line so we could always get through to the police etc. PT was not just a criminal, he was an absolute nuisance.

The police never caught him and neither did any of the big boys living two doors up wielding baseball bats and torches.  PT was a mystery.  But one night was his undoing.  He was no longer in his teens but now in his 20’s and not quite as agile or as athletic as he once was.  He also was more brazen and careless like he didn’t properly check to make sure my father wasn’t home.

And so he re-appeared.  My father heard my little sister scream and knew it was him.  Quick as a flash dad was outside and he saw PT run down the street.  Dad followed and saw him slip into a house four doors down.  The owner of that home was a widow who had two sons, one my age and the other about three years older.  Dad banged on their front door and the poor widow answered.  Dad demanded to see her sons.  Only Dwayne, the older boy was home.  He came to the door all huffing and puffing after his mad sprint and was looking disheveled like he’d just thrown some clothes on.  He pretended to be all casual and asked, ‘Oh, hello, is there anything I can help you with?’  And dad asked him if he knew of anyone flashing at his daughters.  And he said he didn’t.  So dad grabbed him by the collar around his neck and yanked him towards him.  With the boy two inches from dad’s face my father yelled at him, ‘You tell him from me, if he ever comes near my family again, I’ll kill him.’

And we never saw PT again.

I’m sure you’re all tired of hearing about my internet woes but yes, still no connection.  So again, I’ve been baking.  Here’s a very quick, easy and simple dessert.

Berry Custard Tart:

Serves:  9

Degree of Difficulty:  2/5

Cost:  This is best made when fresh berries are in season as that is when they are best priced.  Alternatively, I’m sure this recipe would work with frozen berries.

  • shortcrust pastry (or you can make your own but I have been yelling at internet providers and phone companies so had to take a shortcut)
  • 6 0r 7 egg yolks
  • 150g castor sugar
  • 300ml sour cream
  • mixed berries

Pre-heat oven to 180C.

Make pastry case by blind baking and let it cool.

Beat eggs and sugar until thick and creamy then add sour cream.

When the pastry case has cooled, arrange berries on the pastry and pour over the custard.

Bake until just set – about 20 minutes.

Refrigerate overnight or until set.

This recipe is by Tahnia Trusler

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  1. Scary story. If I had ever had something like that happened to me … well, I don’t know what I would have done.

    Pretty cake … kind of reminds me of a clafouti but with a pastry base.

  2. Oh my goodness! PT sounds absolutely terrifying! And I’m glad he was caught and suitably dealt with. What a perv!

  3. Magnolia Verandah says:

    Goodness what a terrifying experience for a house full of young girls. Hope your mum made this wonderful looking berry custard tart to sooth the nerves. I would like to say that PT got what he deserved but he probably got off light, albeit frightened away.

  4. How disconcerting to think he was down the street all the time!! Perhaps he was the flower head cutter too…although one would imagine not the skip dumper. It’s good to hear your Dad managed to scare him off, hopefully with some character conversion thrown into the scare (although that may be too much to hope for).

    I’m still sympathetic about the internet! You are making some amazing concoctions though, so I suppose there is a silver lining? 🙂

  5. What a horrible invasion of privacy by someone who was probably far too stupid to realise the consequences of his actions.

  6. Philippa says:

    yum, that dessert looks delicious! and another good story…

  7. Oh my god, that is INSANE. Definitely a much bigger and more interesting story than the flower heads being cut off. Perfect for telling over a slice of this delicious custard tart!

  8. Great story but must have been very scary. Love the berry custard tart must give it a go. GG

  9. That must have been awful for you and your sisters. I love that your father was so ferocious when he found the guilty party. Go Dad!

  10. Kudos to Daddy (now there’s a man)! And that’s all I have to say.

  11. Hi Cherie Louie .. I had that happen to me as a prefect at school, monitoring homework – I told the girls not to turn round .. guess what happened .. the poor chap never returned .. to our knowledge! Incredible it went on for so long …

    Glad your father sorted it out .. cheers Hilary

  12. OMG Charlie that is SO scary!!! I can’t believe he managed to spy on you girls for so many years!!! And it took so long for you guys to catch up! I’m so glad your father was finally there to speak to him and give a piece of his mind!!! I would have been terrified and if it happened so frequently I would have wanted to move away 🙁

    I’m so glad nothing really bad happened though and that the neighbours were so kind to help you!

    I think it’s really sad now…when neighbours don’t really talk to each other…I finally spoke to a neighbour who lives two doors down and she’s SO nice! I wish I had talked to her sooner 🙂

  13. Oh, I was also the second of five girls! Great looking dessert!

  14. That story is absolutely frightening. My goodness. I’m so thankful this did not become an even worse crime. Kudos to your strong, protective father.

  15. I guess the upside to your lack of internet connection is that it leads to delicious baked treats! This Berry Custard Tart makes me want to leave work right now and make it! (The problem with that is that I’d likely eat ALL OF IT!) This is definitely on my list of things to make.

  16. That is absolutely terrifying Charlie; he’s likely a total loser now, maybe even in jail! Your berry custard looks delightful. I would love to be your neighbour, just to pop over for a spot of tea or glass of wine and your wonderful deductibles.

  17. Creepy. And scary. Bravo to your Dad for being on top of it all. But I do love the idea of five sisters–what an experience that must continue to be!

    Love this easy dessert. We have so many lovely berries right now, I feel inspired. And who doesn’t love custard in any form. Yum. Comfort dessert.

  18. Dear Charlie Louie

    What a pervert but I somehow think he is harmless, only wanting a bit of a peek. I would have given the big boys with the baseball bat some incentive and challenge to catch PT in the raw. That would be quite hilarious then! 🙂

  19. PT was scary! O.O
    At least he listend to your dad, he realy needed to be told to keep away…

    Berry custard sounds devine, sigh… what would I do for that now.

  20. What a scary story… Thankfully that’s never happened to me!

  21. What a scary story… Thankfully that’s never happened to me!

  22. My dad owns guns, he wouldn’t have contacted the police 🙂
    I had a stalker for a short while once, and it was very creepy! A poor neighbor with a nasty drug habit who ended up locked in the pysch ward.
    The Sour cream is a lovely idea and would add a great touch, yummo!

  23. I was reading this and thinking all the while it had to be a neighbor. So glad your Dad caught him and showed what was really quite remarkable restraint. And I’ve no doubt things would have gone much differently if that boy had “visited” again. Lucky thing the boy came to the same conclusion. That little custard tart looks soo good! I’m definitely going to give it a try this Summer. Thanks, Charlie Louie, for a great recipe and story.

  24. Thank heaven for defensive Dads. At least it turned out to be a pervy boy/man and not an older neighbor/parent which I was nervous is where the story was going. Our Mom passed down a recipe for Blueberry Buckle which had a similar look but she surely didn’t use sour cream. Yum.

  25. I don’t think you should get the internet connected. Clearly it leads to wonderful things in your kitchen!

    How scary and what a weirdo!

  26. PT has a pretty good run but all good things come to an end. Would be funny if you ran into him. Maybe he works at a male strip club?

    • hotlyspiced says:

      I haven’t run into him but I have run into his brother because I have a good friend who is a friend of his. When I saw him at one of her parties I did want to approach him and ask him what Dwayne is up to (gaol most likely), but when he saw me (knowing I’m very aware of his brother’s activities) he disappeared into the night just like his big brother used to.

  27. Your dad sounds like my husband! How scary – I cannot imagine how terrifying that must have been. I hope you get your internet SOON!!! And this recipe looks marvelous. Totally bookmarking this.

  28. What a chilling tale! As if you would go to bed without a knife or something, lol. So glad your dad found who it was though 🙂

  29. Wow, that must have been terrifying as a kid. Glad your Dad scared him silly so he never bothered your family again. Hopefully, he never bothered anyone like that again!

  30. HOLY FRICK. Aaaaaaaaah!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I’m finding it very hard to want a creamy desserts after this tale :S

  31. I can’t believe this went on for so long. If this had happened to me and my sisters we would have just kept screaming till everyone got till everyone in town hunted him down….. love the recipe

  32. How completely freaky that must have been for you. When I was newly married we had a neighbour who was an old guy in the units across the driveway and his balcony overlooked our house. He used to do obscene things on that balcony and we called him pervy. One day we had enough and called the police and he was taken away. Apparently he was put in a home by his family as he was mentally unstable – I always felt bad that we were the cause of him leaving his home.

  33. And you call that a suburb where nothing ever happens? That is terrifying! I grew up in big cities, starting in NY, and never witnessed anything like that. How awful.

  34. That is just awful. It sounds like a movie, and not at all like a place where nothing happens. So glad your dad caught the guy! A lovely looking tart…so soothing.

  35. That is quite a story Charlie and I think that the PT is lucky he got away with a verbal warning of death.

  36. omg… i have goosebumps reading this. how terrifying for u girls, and what guts ‘PT’ pervert must have doin this sorta thing to his neighbours ofcourse he’d get caught someday! u guys shudav reported him.. taught him a lesson

  37. It sounds so scary! I have never lived in a house, but have often heard my friends living in houses not flats were scared to death when their parents were not there…
    The berry tart looks delicious.

  38. adding some cream to the tart would be really delightful for me 🙂 how can i resist such good dessert

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  39. haha .. quite witty post , i must say .. love to read from top to bottom…

    nice recipe too.. glad to follow u

    do visit my space as and when you like 🙂

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