This is a very simple almond tart, made in exactly the same way as in the Middle Ages, using melted butter as the mixing medium and stale bread as breadcrumbs.
serves 6 - 8
225 g (8 oz) rich sweet shortcrust pastry
115 g (4 oz) butter
115 g (4 oz) ground almonds
4 eggs, lightly beaten
55 g (2 oz) breadcrumbs
finely grated zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
150 ml (1/4 pint) sweet wine (such as marsala or vino santo) or sweet sherry
1 teaspoon almond essence
115 g (4 oz) caster sugar
600 ml (1 pint) single cream (or cream and milk mixed)
1. Line a deep 23cm (9 in) tart tin with the pastry and pre-bake or bake blind.
2. Pre-heat the oven to 190°C (375°F) Gas 5.
3. Melt the butter in a pan, then remove the pan from the heat. Toss in the ingredients in the order given above, mixing well. You will now have a rather liquid mixture. Pour the mixture into the pre-baked pastry case. Place the tart on a warmed baking tray in the centre of the oven and bake for 45 - 55 minutes or until golden brown and a bit wobbly.
4. Glaze or decorate the tart to taste - sifted icing sugar and ground cinnamon mixed together and sprinkled over the top seem to complement the tart well.
5. Serve this adaptable and rich tart warm. It is very good with a glass of Madeira.
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