The late Rose Gray and Ruth Rodgers of the River Café demonstrated this gorgeous moist tart when they were guest chefs here some years ago. The pastry is delicious but hell to handle so I’ll pass on Roses solution tip for lining the tart tin.
6 ozs (175g/generous 1 cup) flour
4 ozs (110g/1 stick) unsalted butter
1 oz (25g/1/8 cup) castor sugar
2 egg yolks
10 ozs (285g/2 1/2 sticks) soft butter unsalted
10 ozs (285g/scant 1 1/2 cups) castor sugar
10 ozs (285g/2 cups) whole almonds
1 dessertspoon (2 American teaspoons) Amaretto or Rum
1 lb (450g) fresh strawberries
1 x 30.5cm (12 inch) tart tin with ‘pop-up base
First make the pastry.
Put the flour and butter into the food processor. Whizz for a few seconds then add sugar and egg yolks, turn off the machine just as the pastry starts to form a ball. Chill for 2-1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/regulo 4.
Line the flan ring and bake blind for 15 minutes. Meanwhile make the almond filling. Blanch the almonds in boiling water, remove the skins and grind in a liquidiser or food processor.
Whisk the butter with the sugar until soft and fluffy, add the freshly ground almonds, eggs and amaretto if available. Pour into the pastry case, reduce the temperature to 160ºC/325°F/regulo 3, and bake for approx. 40 minutes. Remove from the tin onto a wire rack. Allow to cool. Cut the strawberries in half or quarters and stud into the tart.
Almond and Pear Tart
Peel and halve 4 pears, poach gently in a light sugar syrup, allow to get cold, arrange on the pastry base and cover with the almond mixture. Bake in the usual way (as above).
This pastry can be difficult to roll out so you could grate the chilled pastry into the flan ring and then just press it into a tart shape with your fingers.
Almond and Prune Tart
Arrange the prunes on the pastry base and cover with the almond mixture. Bake as above.