Amber tarts

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • For

    6

    people

Appears in

Oats in the North, Wheat from the South: The history of British Baking, savoury and sweet

Oats in the North, Wheat from the South

By Regula Ysewijn

Published 2020

  • About

Cookbook writer Mrs Rundell called these Amber pudding in 1808, but Amber tarts are indeed tarts. This used to be made as one large pudding or tart, but it is very nice to make individual ones. In the oldest recipes, the tarts are covered with a pastry lid, but I find they are much nicer without it because you can see the beautiful colour of the filling. Amber tarts owe their name to the beautiful golden-yellow colour that comes from the butter, egg yolks and candied orange peel.

Ingredients

For the shortcrust pastry

  • 250 g (9 oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 100 g ( oz) icing (confectioners’) sugar
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 125 g ( oz) chilled butter, diced
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 egg
  • butter, for greasing
  • flour, for dusting
  • 1 egg yolk + 1 tbsp milk, for egg wash

For the filling

  • 110 g ( oz) butter
  • 30 g (1 oz) candied orange peel
  • 110 g ( oz) icing (confectioners’) sugar
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 egg
  • zest of ½ orange, grated

Method

For 8-9 cm (3 ¼-3½ inch) individual tart tins

Make the shortcrust pastry by combining the flour, sugar, salt and butter in a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse for 8 seconds or until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg and water and pulse again until the dough forms a ball in the bowl. Remove from the bowl and knead briefly. Wrap the pastry in plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Butter and flour the tart tins. Briefly knead the pastry until smooth, then pat it into a rectangle and roll it out to a thickness of 3 mm (⅛ inch). Use a round cutter a few centimetres wider than your tart tins to cut out pastry circles. Let the pastry sink into the tart tins by gently pushing it down. Trim the edges with a sharp knife to create a neat rim. Prick the base of each tart shell three times with a fork. Freeze for 1 hour or refrigerate for a few hours.

Preheat your oven to 200°C (400°F).

Crumple up six pieces of baking paper, then smooth them out and place in the tart shells. This will help the paper fit the shape of the tarts. Fill the pastry with baking beads or rice and place in the middle of the oven to bake blind for 10 minutes until the edges of the crusts are coloured. Remove the paper and beads or rice and bake for another 5 minutes to dry them out.

Meanwhile, make the filling by melting the butter in a saucepan over low heat without allowing it to simmer. Set aside to cool.

Finely chop the candied peel and mash it to a paste using a mortar and pestle.

Add the icing sugar to the butter and beat until smooth. Add the egg yolks and the whole egg and beat well, then mix in the orange zest and candied orange paste. Let the filling rest and reduce the oven to 180°C (350°F).

Stir the filling well, then pour it into the tart shells. Bake the tarts in the middle of the oven for 10-15 minutes until the filling is set and golden.