- 1 x 26cm sweet pastry case
For the almond filling:
- 300g blanched (skinned) almonds
- 300g unsalted butter, softened
- 300g caster sugar
- 3 organic eggs
- Crème fraîche, to serve
To make your own sweet pastry case:
- 250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 75g icing sugar, sifted
- 180g unsalted butter, chilled
- 2 organic egg yolks
This tart makes a very versatile dessert because it can be served with all kinds of fruit.
For example, in summer it is lovely with raspberries and crème fraîche or with baked fresh apricots (to bake apricots, cut them in half and remove the stones, then spread in a baking dish and sprinkle with vanilla sugar and Amaretto to taste; bake at 180°C until soft).
Pears baked with lemon and sugar are good too. In winter try the tart with marinated prunes. It is always best freshly baked, when the pastry is crisp and the filling moist.
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line the tart case with baking parchment and fill with baking beans. Blind bake for 15 minutes until golden in colour. Remove the paper and baking beans, then return the tart case to the oven to bake for a further 5 minutes.
Set aside. Leave the oven on.
2 Make the filling while the pastry case is baking. Grind the almonds in a blender or food processor; tip into a bowl and set aside. Cream the butter with the sugar in the processor until pale and fluffy. Add the almonds, then mix in the eggs one at a time until combined.
3 Spread the filling in the tart case. Bake for 30–40 minutes until the filling is golden brown. Cool before serving with crème fraîche.
To make your own sweet pastry case
Makes a 26cm tart case.
1. Put the flour, icing sugar and butter in a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolks and pulse for 10 seconds, then tip into a bowl and mix briefly by hand into a dough.
2. Cover the bowl and leave the pastry to rest in the fridge for 1 hour.
3. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and press into a 26cm fluted, loose-bottomed tart tin to line evenly. Leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes before baking as directed in the recipe.
This is an edited extract from My Simple Italian by Theo Randall (Ebury Press, £25).