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I have to admit I have not been to Santiago De Compstella, where this tart originates from. The town has a shrine to St James the Great and during the middle ages, the pilgrimage to Santiago was the most important christian pilgrimage in the world. This tart recipe is also part of that history and although they are not sure where it originated from, it’s still available for sale in Santiago today and many tourists purchase them. I saw this recipe in the Frank Camorra and Richard Cornish cookbook Movida. It just looked so enticing I had to bake it. Luckily I had previously made some quince paste but you could buy pre-made paste.

I took it to Flour & Chocolate, the bakery where I work as a consultant. The patisserie chef taste tested it and said he thought it was great.

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Recipe

Ingredients

300g unsalted butter at room temperature

500g plain flour

480g caster sugar

rind of two lemons grated

1 egg yolk at room temperature

8 eggs at room temperature

350g blanched almonds

60ml of Pedro Ximénez sherry

rind of 1 orange

1 egg extra lightly beaten

500g quince paste

icing sugar to dust

 

Method

To make the pastry, cut 250g of the butter into 1cm cubes. Using your fingertips rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add 325g of caster sugar, the lemon rind and a pinch of salt and mix in well with a wooden spoon. Mix in the egg yolk and then the other two eggs, one at a time.  Mix together for 1 minute until soft dough forms. Roll the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 2 hours.

To make the filling blend half the almonds in a food processor for 2 minutes until finely crushed. Add the remaining almonds and blend for 30 seconds until very roughly crushed. The idea is to have a mix of finely crushed and roughly crushed almonds.

Mix together the almonds and remaining sugar, sherry and orange rind in a bowl. Add the remaining six eggs, one at a time and mix well.

Melt the remaining butter and mix thoroughly into the filling. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

With a little butter, grease then flour twelve 10cm flans or one large flan tin. Cut the pastry into the right size portions and roll each one out on a clean, well floured bench to about 2cm thick. Cut out the right shape for the tin. Place pastry in the tin and prick the base. Trim the edges. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Line each pastry case with baking paper and layer baking beads or dry beans and bake for 15 minutes. Remover the paper and beans and brush the base with a little of the beaten egg and return to the oven for a further 5 minutes, or until lightly golden. Remove from the oven.

Divide the quince paste between the tarts. Place a slice of quince paste into each pastry shell and cover with filling. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until firm to touch. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Dust with icing sugar.

As you can see it is a bit of a process but the results are terrific. And most tarts involve quite a few steps. Good Luck.

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