Chocolate, Almond Paste and Quince Tart

The quince preserve I made in late January is crying out to be let out to be enjoyed.  I had some left over chocolate pastry from the tea tasting event, and I wanted to make something to say thank you.  So, all I had to do was roll out the pastry for the tart base, make the almond paste, arrange some of the quince and bake!

You will need a 23cm tart pan


Shortcrust pastry

200g plain flour, plus a little extra for rolling out the pastry

50g cocoa powder

5g salt

5g sugar

100g butter (at room temperature)

1 large egg

5ml vanilla extract

10ml water

A little oil to grease the tart pan

Almond Paste

115g sugar

115g butter

2 eggs

115g ground almonds

30g plain flour

5ml vanilla

Zest of 1 lemon

Fruit of your choice

150g of preserved quince/prunes soaked in cognac/cooked rhubarb


Method – Shortcrust pastry

Sieve the dry ingredients into a big bowl.

Break the butter into small pieces into the dry ingredients. Using the tip of your fingers coat the butter with the flour and rub the two.   Continue to rub it until the mixture is course/sandy in texture.

Whisk the wet ingredients separately; eggs, water and vanilla

Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour the wet ingredients, use a scraper to bring it together as much as possible. Then use your hands at the last stage to combine it all.

Knead the dough to bring together but only do this a few times.  Otherwise the pastry will be tough.

Flatten the dough into a circle, 2cm thick wrap in cling film and place in the fridge to cool for 30 minutes.

Have a break, have a cup of tea

Preheat the oven to 170°C (conventional oven)/325°F/gas mark 3.

Spray the pan with oil and set aside.

Dust the counter with some flour ready to roll out the pastry. Remove pastry from fridge.

Roll out pastry by rolling to 3 to 4mm thick.  Run your fingers along the edges to check thickness.

Run pastry docker/prick with a fork to prevent the pastry from rising.

Use the rolling pin to roll up the pastry and transfer to the tart pan.  Push the excess of the pastry into the tart pan using my thumbs while turning the tin. Rest the pastry for a few minutes in the fridge. Use the rolling pin to remove any excess by gently rolling over the pan.

Slightly pinch pastry onto the outer edges of tin.

Cover the pastry with double layer of cling film (make sure the cling film is suitable for this purpose). Place in your baking beans and ensuring all of the curves are covered.

Bake for 25mins. Remove the baking beans and bake for a further 10 mins

Remove and let cool in the tart pan.

Method – Almond Paste

Whisk the sugar and butter until its creamy and light.  Add the eggs one by one and continue to whisk.

Fork the almond flour and plain flour

Whisk these into the sugar and butter mixture

Add the vanilla and lemon zest

Once the tart case has cooled, spoon in the almond paste and spread evenly.

Arrange your choice of fruit in the almond paste and bake for 10 minutes and then turn the pan round and bake for a further 10-15 minutes until the edges go a golden brown and the inside a deeper cream.

Let it cool in the pan. Its best a day or two after, dust with a little icing sugar, slice and serve.

Tea Pairing – Goes well with tea that’s blended with chocolate and spearmint