Anna and I like very different things. I like coffee, in fact I’m a bit of a caffeine snob. I’ll regularly turn my nose up at chain coffee, delivered in large paper cups, with just a sniff of an espresso shot. Anna on the other hand is a little fussy on the cake front. It has to have fruit, possibly chocolate and ideally crumble in your mouth. These unwritten rules have always ensured a quick coffee break is a complicated affair….until we discovered Coffee@33 in Brighton.
They do a bloody lovely cup of java there, and more importantly serve up freshly baked fruit and almond tarts. Yes it’s a little pretentious in there, but we both walk out getting what we want. Perfect right? Until that is, Anna asks the question ‘could you make those tarts at home?’ Confidently, I mumble ‘of course’ while I sip the rich and velvety flat white. Only later did I realize I’d done myself out of any future such coffee experiences.
So if you don’t like coffee, but do like a fruit pastry, make this recipe. It’s really good.
BlackBerry & Almond Tarts Ingredients
350g shortcrust pastry
350g fresh blackberries
125g unsalted butter
1tsp vanilla extract or essence
200g ground almonds
150g blackberry jam
50g flaked almonds
Line a non stick baking tray with baking paper. If you’re making your own pastry, follow the steps in this Lemon Tart recipe. Trim the pastry so it fits the tin. Then gently crimp the edges with your fingers to keep the jam from running. Grab a fork and poke little holes all over the pastry. Turn on oven to 180°C and chill the pastry for 20 minutes, while the oven warms up. Bake for about 15 minutes, until it just starts turning golden.
Leave to cool for a bit, then spread all your jam evenly across the pastry. In a bowl, lightly beat the eggs with the vanilla extract and set aside. In a separate bowl, mix the sugar and butter until all light and creamy. Gradually add your eggy mix a little at a time until combined. Finally fold in your ground almonds until mixed through, but don’t over work it.
Spread your almond butter mix all over the jam as evenly as possible. Don’t worry if it swirls a bit with the jam. Then push the fresh blackberries into the tart. Pop in the oven and cook for 10 minutes. Then sprinkle with the flaked almonds and bake for another 10 minutes. Leave it to cool, then cut into bars. Best served with good coffee.