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Orange and Lemon Almond Tart

Sweet oranges did not arrive in Britain until the late sixteenth century, well in time for Nell Gwynne to show them as part of her wares. Their colour and taste rendered them great favourites with those who could afford them and there are a number of tales of seafaring captains courting the favour of kings and queens by returning with armfuls of oranges. A number of recipes for an Elizabethan orange tart have been handed down through the centuries, including this one, which has a delicious orange and lemon almond base with the easiest of lemon sauces.

ingredients

serves 6 - 8
175 g (6 oz) rich sweet shortcrust pastry
1 large thin-skinned navel orange
1 small thin-skinned lemon
2 eggs
175 ml (6 fl oz) double cream
85 g (3 oz) caster sugar
1 teaspoon almond essence
85 g (3 oz) ground almonds
3 tablespoons good lemon curd
1 tablespoon light soft brown sugar

method

1. Line a shallow 23cm (9 in) tart tin with the pastry case and pre-bake or bake blind.

2. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4.

3. Scrub the orange and lemon, cut them into quarters, remove and discard the peel and take out and discard any pips or end bits.

4. Place the fruit in a food processor. Add the eggs, cream, caster sugar and almond essence and whizz up for a short burst.
Whizz in the almonds in an even shorter burst and then turn the mixture into the pre-baked pastry case.

5. Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until risen and golden. Remove the tart from the oven and let it cool a bit.

6. Put the lemon curd and light soft brown sugar into a small saucepan and heat until liquid, stirring, then pour into a sauce jug.

7. Serve either warm or cold with the lemon sauce and a dollop of creme fraiche or thick double cream.

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