This is an elegant, free-form tart for which I like to use a more savoury, sour-cream shortcrust pastry, rather than sweet pastry. Serve warm with cream or at room temperature for afternoon tea.
445g packet sour-cream shortcrust pastry (pre-rolled, I use Careme)
1 egg, whisked
2 tbsp strawberry jam, warmed
400g strawberries, hulled and cut in half-centimetre slices
120g unsalted butter, softened
150g castor sugar
325g almond meal
1 tsp almond essence
1 tbsp plain flour
1. Preheat the oven to 180C fan-forced or 200C conventional.
2. For the frangipane, cream the butter and sugar in a food processor until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and mix to combine. Add the almond meal, almond essence, flour and brandy and mix briefly to combine. Spoon into a piping bag with a star nozzle and set aside at room temperature.
3. Lay out the defrosted pastry and cut a dinner-plate-sized disc (about 26 centimetres diameter) from one end. Lay it on a baking tray lined with baking paper and brush with egg. Brush the remaining pastry with egg and cut into strips two centimetres wide.
4. Lay the ribbons of pastry around the outside of the cut round, pleating them as you go, folding the pastry ribbons back in on themselves as you move around to create texture, and with half the width overhanging the edge. Repeat with the remaining strips inside, and slightly overlapping, the first circle.
5. Brush the exposed disc of pastry with half the jam. Pipe in the frangipane mixture in a spiral pattern, covering the base. Tuck the strawberry slices between the lines of frangipane, with the tips pointing up.
6. Bake for 35 minutes or until the pastry is golden and the frangipane starts to puff and brown. Brush with the remaining jam while still warm. Serve with cream.