Orange and Almond Tart

Here is something lovely to serve either instead of mince pies or simply as a pudding. Like mince pies, it goes beautifully with brandy butter. As with mince pies also the tart can be made well in advance, frozen and then re-heated before serving.

Ingredients

For the pastry

  • 8 oz (250 g) plain flour
  • 3 tablespoons (3 x 15 ml spoons) caster sugar
  • 5 oz (150 g) butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml spoon) water

For the filling

  • 1 medium-size, thin-skinned orange
  • ½ small thin-skinned lemon
  • 4 tablespoons (4 x 15 ml spoons) double cream
  • 1 large egg (size 1-2)
  • 3 oz (75 g) caster sugar
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml spoon) ground cloves
  • 2 oz (50 g) ground almonds
  • 2-3 oz (50-75 g) whole blanched almonds
  • icing sugar

Method

Lightly butter a -inch (24 cm), loose-based, aluminium, fluted flan tin. To make the pasty, sift the flour in a bowl. Stir in the caster sugar. Gently melt the butter with the water in a saucepan. Then pour slowly into the flour mixing it in thoroughly with a wooden spoon to form a dough. Now take up pieces of the warm dough and press it as evenly as possible over the base and up the sides of the flan tin. Refrigerate while you prepare the flan filling.

Cut the oranges into quarters and pick out any pips. Cut the half lemon in half and again extract any pips. Put the orange and lemon pieces into a food processor with the cream, the egg, the caster sugar and the ground cloves. Whizz through thoroughly to a mush. Then briefly whizz in the ground almonds. Heat the oven to Gas Mark 4/350°F/180°C. Spread the fairly thick filling mixture evenly into the chilled pastry case. Carefully lay lines of blanched almonds fanning out from the centre of the tart in a fairly close ‘starburst’ pattern. Bake in the centre of the oven for 35-40 minutes until browned and evenly risen, turning the tart round once or twice so that the pastry edges brown evenly.

Leave the tart in the tin for 8-10 minutes; then push it out and slide it carefully off the base of the tin on to a serving plate. Serve warm with cream or brandy butter. Sift some icing sugar over the top for a festive appearance.

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