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Italian Easter tart

"This is a traditional tart eaten in Naples at Easter," says Ingram. "The legend goes that a mermaid called Parthenope in the Gulf of Napoli would sing to celebrate the arrival of spring each year. One year, to say thank you, the Neapolitans offered her gifts of ricotta, flour, eggs, wheat, perfumed orange flowers and spices. She took them to her kingdom under the sea, where the gods made them into a cake. I love to add nibs of chocolate to Parthenope cake because I think it marries nicely with the candied orange and sultanas, but, really, do you need an excuse to add chocolate to anything?" Start this recipe a day ahead to prepare the pastry and soak the sultanas.

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Apple and cinnamon hot cross buns

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Treacle tart


You will need to begin this recipe 1 day ahead.

You'll need

  Filling 1.1 kg golden syrup (and another 300gm up your sleeve) 2 lemons, zest grated and juiced 2 tsp ground ginger 400 gm fresh white breadcrumbs To serve: double cream (optional)   Sweet pastry 315 gm unsalted butter, softened 225 gm caster sugar 1 large (70gm) egg 5 large egg yolks (from 70gm eggs) 560 gm strong white flour

Method

  • 01
  • To make the sweet pastry, cream the butter and sugar together until white and fluffy. Lightly beat together the egg and egg yolks, then add them to the mixture a little at a time to prevent curdling. Sift in the flour and mix until just incorporated. The pastry will be very soft, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  • 02
  • Take the pastry out of the fridge and let it soften at room temperature for 1-2 hours. Then cut it in half and roll one piece on a lightly floured work surface to about 3mm thick (you won’t need the other piece but it will keep well in the freezer). Use to line a 30cm loose-bottomed tart tin and chill for 1-2 hours.
  • 03
  • Preheat oven to 180C. Cover pastry case with baking paper, fill with dried beans and blind bake for about 10 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. Remove the baking paper and beans and return pastry case to the oven and bake until it is a good, golden colour all over. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
  • 04
  • For the filling, place the golden syrup, lemon juice and zest and ground ginger in a pan and cook over medium heat until hot. Stir in the breadcrumbs, remove from heat and stand for 10 minutes or until golden syrup has been absorbed by the crumbs. Then add the extra golden syrup little by little until it starts to bleed out of the breadcrumbs; you might not need to add all the syrup. Pour the filling into the pastry case and bake at 180C for 30-45 minutes, until golden brown. Serve with double cream, if desired.

"Every cookbook, it would seem, has its Navajo Factor. To my shame, in book one it was the treacle tart. Fortunately I'm ready to meet the great chef in the sky, thanks to Justin remedying things in this new book."
This is one of cult UK chef Fergus Henderson's favourite puddings from his book Beyond Nose to Tail (Allen & Unwin).

At A Glance

  • Serves 9 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 9 people

Featured in

Sep 2007

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