Moving is always a bit strenuous, it’s even more so when it’s Country to Country. Rob and myself have just finished moving from the Netherlands to my home town in Ireland. I moved first to get settled and get organised and Rob followed a few months later. Now we have finally made a wee home in a town I never expected to return to, not out of dislike of where I’m from but more that I never thought I’d be going backwards. To most peoples surprise, I’m really enjoying being back near my closest friends and my family.
It’s hard to put a gauge on how long we’ll stay here, but for the moment we are both able to work quite easily and able to enjoy the area we live in…not much can tempt us away from that. Although the calls from Scandinavia can be quite loud sometimes… time will tell.
Anyway, to test out my new (very average) kitchen, I decided to throw these together. I was in quite a sweet tooth mood and my favourite kind of sweet thing is always a tart in some form. You can always make the pastry and put them into the tins and throw those into the freezer for when you need to make a fancy pants dessert in very little time.
- Shortcrust pastry
- 250g plain flour
- 75g icing sugar, extra for dusting when finished
Pinch of salt
- 125g unsalted butter, chilled
- 2 free range egg yolks, beaten
- 1tbsp of cold water
- 6 tsp raspberry jam
- 125g butter
- 125g caster sugar
- 125g ground almonds
- 1 free-range egg, beaten
- ½ tsp almond extract
- 50g flaked almonds
To start with making the pastry, measure the flour and icing sugar into a bowl and rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Lightly beat the 2 egg yolks with the water and pour into the flour mixture. Use your hands to stir this around and start pressing to form a dough (don’t be tempted to add more liquid, it will come together) Form the dough into a ball, cover with cling film and pop into the fridge to chill for about 30mins.
Preheat the oven to 200°C or 400°F
Line each of your tins with a smear of butter and a dusting of flour. Roll out your pastry onto a lightly floured surface and cut out enough to fill each small tin (approx 6) line the pastry case with foil and fill with baking beans. Blind bake for about 15 minutes, then remove the beans and foil and cook for a further five minutes to dry out the base.
For the filing, begin by layering each base with a tsp of jam (hence 6tsp in the ingredients). Melt the butter in a pan, take off the heat and then stir in the sugar, ground almonds, egg and almond extract. Spoon 1 tablespoon (approx) of the filling on top of the jam into each of the tins and lightly spread across to flatten. Sprinkle with flaked almonds and pop into the oven for 35mins or until golden.
If you find the almonds are browning too quickly, cover with some tin foil.
Dust with icing sugar to finish