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Peach and Almond Tart

This is a DELICIOUS recipe from our founder chef, Sylvain Jamois. Don’t be at all surprised if the whole thing is eaten at once.

Serves 8

First make the pastry:

This pastry will fill a 24cm tart tin with a loose base. Sift the flour and icing sugar together. In a food processor or by hand, blend the butter with the flour until you have a texture similar to fine bread crumbs. Add the egg yolk and mix until the ingredients more or less come together. If the pastry looks too dry add a tiny splash of milk or water. Shape into a ball, flatten slightly, wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes.
When you are ready, roll or grate the pastry (it can be quite hard) on a coarse grater and press it evenly around the edges and base of the tart tin to a thickness of 3-5mm. Prick the base with a fork and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C.
When the pastry shell is ready, line it with baking paper so it covers the base and all the way up the sides. Fill it with rice, beans or lentils: this will weigh down the pastry and prevent it from shrinking as it is cooking. This is called blind baking.

Bake the tart shell on the top shelf of the oven for about 10-15 minutes. Take it out and check that the pastry is still pale looking but most importantly, that it looks dry. If it does, carefully remove the baking paper and the pulses/rice. These should be saved and can be re-used many times. Return the tart shell to the oven for another 15-20 minutes until golden brown. It’s important that the pastry is fully cooked at this stage. It should be like a pale biscuit colour – it won’t cook much more once the filling is in and you need to avoid a soggy, slightly raw pastry base. Once done, remove the tart shell from the oven and let it cool on a rack.

Next, make the frangipane:

This recipe normally has equal parts of butter, ground almonds and sugar and one egg per 100g. The only tweak needed to this traditional and versatile recipe is to take the sugar down by about a quarter as it can be a little too sweet.
In a food processor, cream the butter and sugar together until thoroughly mixed.
Next, add the ground almonds and when fully incorporated, add the eggs one by one.
You can add all sorts of flavourings to this; orange blossom water is used a lot in Italy. Brandy, vanilla or almond essence are also very good additions.

Now to assemble the tart:

Cut the peaches in half and remove the stones. Then cut the peaches into quarters. Carefully spread some frangipane into the tart shell – it should come to about half way up the sides.
Arrange the peach slices on top of the frangipane, pushing them in slightly. You may want to add a little more frangipane on top if you have any gaps but the peaches shouldn’t be completely covered. Any leftover frangipane can be frozen and used at a later date, but remember to date and label it first.

Bake the tart in the pre-heated oven for about 15 minutes. After that, check it is not getting too brown, and reduce the heat to 160°C and cook for another 30 minutes until golden brown on top.
Leave to cool before serving.

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