Almond Tarts

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon almond essence
  • 125g butter
  • ½ cup castor sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chilled water
  • 200g cold butter (chopped)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 200g flaked almonds
  • 1.5 cups ground almonds
  • 3 tablespoons icing sugar
  • 300g plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • raspberry jam

Directions

To make the pastry, place the flour, sugar and butter in a food processor and process until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs.

With the processor’s motor running, add the egg yolk and water and process until the mixture comes together and forms a ball. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, flatten the pastry into a disc shape, wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the Frangipane (almond paste). In a standing mixer, beat the butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Beat in the egg and the almond essence. Stir in the almonds (leave some to sprinkle on top at the finish) and the flour. Preheat the oven to 180º C.

To assemble, line the muffin tins with crosses of baking paper strips – you will need about 48 strips 1.5 x 10cm. This cunning ploy will allow you to remove the tartlets painlessly.

Using your fingers, make little tart bases in the muffin tins by lining each one with about 1½ tablespoons of the pastry. You do not want your base to be too thick. The pastry should come to about halfway up the cup. The cases should have the free-form appearance of a homemade pastry case!

Prick the pastry in each case with a fork, and blind bake the shells for 10 minutes or until golden. Once the shells have cooled slightly, spread about 1½ teaspoons of jam into each tart shell. Then spread 2 teaspoons of almond paste on top of the jam. Finish with a generous sprinkling of the flaked almonds.

Bake at 180º C for 20–25 minutes until slightly browned on the top.

Leave to cool before dusting with icing sugar.

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