Maid of Honours

The finished articlesThese are one of Mrs^‘s favourite baked treats; made from a recipe she used as a child with her Granny.
They are essentially a Bakewell-like cake: a gooey-sticky almond-y filling with raspberry jam liquid-y centre. Very moreish and they disappear far too quickly.

Oops – we seem to have been too eager to try them before I got a photo.

Ingredients (Makes 12)

~2/3 pk preroll shortcrust pastry
2 eggs
100g caster sugar
100g+ ground almonds
2 (generous) tsp almond extract
raspberry jam
butter (for greasing)
icing sugar (for dusting)

Method

Step 1: Grease a muffin/cupcake. Cut out pastry circles so that they’re larger than the holes such that they extend above the tray when placed in. Add a good sized blob of raspberry jam to the centre of each.

Pastry with dollops of raspberry jam

Step 2: Beat the eggs until they become fluffy. Add the almond extract. Slowly add the sugar beating as you go until the mixture is smooth and stiffer.
Step 3: Whisk in 100g of the almonds bit by bit until they are combined. Depending on the wetness of the mix (due to the size of the eggs) you may need to add up to 50g more until it resembles dropping consistency.
Step 4: Carefully spoon the mix into the pastry cases ensuring that the jam stays in the middle. Each case should be filled so that it has a casual bulged top.
Step 5: Place the tray in the middle of the oven, preheated to 180°C.

Covered with mix, & in the oven

Step 6: Bake for 15 minutes, then check with a skewer – the finished filling should leave no stickiness. If required continue baking for 5 minutes each time until the centre is cooked and the tops are a golden brown.

Warm and fresh

Step 7: Dust with icing sugar and enjoy one (or 2) while warm.

UPDATE: I doubled the recipe and found that it worked particularly well. Aside from the usual twice-quantities, 3 large eggs and 260g ground almonds gave the mix a very good consistency. A larger dollop of jam in the case has also given the Honours a better centre to bite into. Making sure that you shape the top of the mix into as flat a surface as you can will improve the look of each tart. This mix required 25 minutes at 180°C, with a turn in the middle.
Ohh, and use a fluted cutter – makes them look so more appealing 🙂

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