Italian fruit & nut tart

Italian Fruit and Nut Tart


Serves 4
  • 200g ready-rolled, all-butter puff pastry
  • A little softened butter
  • 100g unsalted butter, softened
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 125g ground almonds
  • 50g plain flour
  • 1 large egg [a large duck egg, in fact, would be perfect here]
  • grated zest of 1 orange
  • grated zest of 1/2 lemon
  • A little grated nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp Marsala
  • 1 tbsp Limoncello
  • ½ tsp vanilla essence
  • 60g candied orange peel [bought already chopped]
  • 60g chocolate chips [at least 70% cocoa solids]
  • 40g pine kernels
  • A little icing sugar


  1. Roll the pastry out thinly
  2. Line a 20cm x 3cm, well buttered tart tin. Trim the pastry edge, but leave it slightly raised above the rim of the tin, as it will shrink a little during the cooking. Also, prick the base of the pastry with a fork all over. Place in the fridge to rest until the filling is ready to fill the tart. Note: there is no need to bake the pastry blind for this recipe - and how nice is that
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 190C/gas mark 5; also, have a flat baking tray ready in the oven, too, which will help to cook the base of the pastry.
  4. Electrically beat together the butter and caster sugar until really light and fluffy; about 5 minutes beating on full speed.
  5. Turn down the speed a little and briefly beat in the ground almonds and flour until blended in, then beat in the egg as well.
  6. Now, using a rubber spatula, fold in the two zests, the nutmeg, Marsala, Grand Marnier, vanilla essence, orange peel and chocolate chips [do not add the pine kernels, yet].
  7. Remove the pastry-lined tart tin from the fridge and fill with the almond paste mixture. Now sprinkle the pine kernels over the surface.
  8. Slide into the oven, onto the pre-heated oven tray and bake for 5 minutes. Turn the heat down to 180C/gas mark 4 and bake for a further 30-35 minutes, or so, until the filling has puffed up, the pine kernels have become golden and the whole thing smells quite divine.
  9. Remove the tart, dust the surface with sifted icing sugar and then return to the oven for 2-3 minutes until the sugar has slightly glazed.
  10. Leave to cool for about 15 minutes then remove from the tin. Best eaten warm, with cold, thick cream.