Almond and quince tart with Spanish sherry

Neil Perry
Sweet tart with a dark Spanish heart.
Sweet tart with a dark Spanish heart. Photo: William Meppem

This tart has a sweet, dark, Spanish-flavoured heart. Opt for Pedro Ximenez sherry if you can; it's a sweet, dark, dessert-style sherry with a strong taste of raisins but another sherry, or port wine with similar characteristics, would also work. For a change, try cooked fruit such as apple, pear and quince, chopped and folded through some cream.

Ingredients

For the pastry case

1 1/4 cups plain flour

1/3 cup icing sugar

60g cold unsalted butter, cubed

pinch of sea salt

1 1/2 tbsp milk

1 egg yolk

130g quince paste

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

For the filling

I cup blanched whole almonds

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

zest of 1/2 orange and 1/2 lemon, finely grated

2 tbsp Pedro Ximénez

100g unsalted butter, softened

1/4 cup caster sugar

3 whole eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 heaped tbsp plain flour 

1 3/4  cups ground almonds

crème fraîche, to serve

Method

PROCESS THE FLOUR, sugar, butter and salt in a food processor until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Whisk milk and yolk together, add to the processor and mix until the dough just comes together. Form into a ball, wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. 

LIGHTLY GREASE and flour a 24cm tart pan with a removable base. Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured work surface to 5mm thick. Line the prepared tart pan with the pastry and prick the base. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

PREHEAT THE OVEN to 180°C.  

TRIM THE EDGES of the pastry case and cover with baking paper. Fill with baking weights (or use dried beans or rice).
Bake for 15 minutes until top edge is pale golden brown.

REMOVE THE BAKING WEIGHTS and paper, and bake for a further 15 minutes or until the base is cooked through and starting to colour. 

MELT THE QUINCE PASTE with 1 tbsp water and lemon juice, smoothing out any lumps. Brush mixture onto the tart base.

ROUGHLY CHOP the blanched almonds and mix with cinnamon, orange and lemon zests and sherry, then leave for 5 minutes. 

IN A SEPARATE BOWL, beat the butter and sugar until pale and creamy, then beat in eggs and vanilla extract. Sift in flour and fold through with a metal spoon, then fold in almond mixture and remaining ground almonds. Pour filling into the pastry case and bake for about 40 minutes, until ready when tested with a skewer and a golden brown crust has formed.

ALLOW TO COOL, remove from tin and cut into 10-12 portions. Serve with crème fraîche.

 
Photography by William Meppem. Styling by Hannah Meppem. Food preparation by Nick Banbury.