Florentine-topped tarts

Makes 6 Desserts and puddings

11 15 17 Annie Rigg D5 Florentinet 026


For the sweet pastry

  • 200g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 125g unsalted butter, chilled and diced
  • 40g icing sugar
  • 1 egg yolk (save the white for sealing the pastry)
  • 2tsp lemon juice

For the filling

  • 1 medium egg, plus 1 egg yolk
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 75g ground almonds
  • 25g plain flour
  • 1⁄4tsp ground cardamom
  • 1tsp finely grated orange zest
  • 25g unsalted butter, melted

For the Florentine topping

  • 50g glacé cherries
  • 50g candied mixed peel
  • 75g flaked almonds
  • 40g slivered pistachios
  • 75g unsalted butter
  • 75g soft light brown or demerara sugar
  • 2tbsp double cream
  • 1tbsp clear honey


To make the pastry, tip the flour and a pinch salt into a bowl. Add the butter and, using a round- bladed or palette knife, cut the butter into the flour until the pieces are half of their original size. Now switch to using your hands to rub the butter into the flour. Working quickly, pick up handfuls of the flour and butter and allow it to pass across your fingertips, gently pressing and rubbing the mixture as it falls back into the bowl.

Still working quickly, continue rubbing the butter into the flour until there are only very small flecks of butter remaining. Add the sugar and mix. Make a well in the middle of the mixture. Add the egg yolk, 2tbsp ice-cold water and the lemon juice and mix, using the palette knife until the pastry starts to clump together. Gather into a ball using your hands and very lightly knead for 10 seconds until smooth. Flatten the pastry into a disc, wrap in cling film and chill for at least 2 hours.

Dust the work surface with flour, divide the pastry into 6 equal portions and roll each out into a round with a thickness of 2-3mm. Line the tart tins with the pastry, pressing the dough neatly and evenly into the corners and edges.

Trim the excess from the top, prick the bases with a fork and chill on a baking sheet while you preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

Line the pastry cases with foil, fill with baking beans and cook on the middle shelf of the oven for 18-20 minutes, until the top edges are golden. Remove the foil and baking beans, brush the base of each pie shell with lightly beaten egg white and bake for 1 more minute to seal the pastry.

For the filling, combine the egg, extra yolk and sugar in a bowl and whisk until the mixture is pale and doubled in volume. Add the ground almonds, flour, cardamom, orange zest and a good pinch salt, and fold in. Add the melted butter and stir to mix. Divide the filling among the tart shells, spread level with the back of a spoon and bake for 10-12 minutes until risen and pale golden.

To make the Florentine topping, rinse the glacé cherries to remove any sticky syrup and pat dry on kitchen paper. Quarter and tip into a bowl with the mixed peel, flaked almonds and slivered pistachios. Mix to combine and set aside.

Melt the butter, brown sugar, cream, honey and a pinch salt in a small saucepan over a low heat, stirring constantly to prevent the sugar catching on the bottom of the pan. Bring to the boil, simmer for 1 minute, add to the dried fruit and nut mixture and mix to combine.

Spoon Florentine mixture on top of each tart and return to the oven for a further 12-14 minutes until the nuts are golden and caramelised. Leave to cool for 2 minutes then remove from the tins while still warm – if you leave them until cold, any hardened caramel might make it tricky to remove the tarts from the tins.

Recipes and photographs taken from Pies & Tarts for All Seasons by Annie Rigg, photography by Nassoa Rothacker (Quadrille, £22).
11 15 17 Annie Rigg D5 Florentinet 026
Recipes and photographs taken from Pies & Tarts for All Seasons by Annie Rigg, photography by Nassoa Rothacker (Quadrille, £22).


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