Pistachio, apricot and cardamom slices

I love a Bakewell tart. Every Bakewell tart from artisan bakery slices to Mr Kipling’s finest is deserving of attention in my books, and I’ve often spent a rainy afternoon overzealously making these almondy, sickly sweet goodies. But there comes a time (god forbid) that you tire of the usual flavours of this classic afternoon snack, and it’s time for something new. Enter pistachio apricot cardamom slices. Taking a leaf from my time at Rosie’s, I toned down the sweetness of the Bakewell with a slightly less sweet apricot jam, the more complex tasting pistachio sponge and the omission of the sticky iced top and glacé cherry. The spicy cardamom base makes these feel slightly more grown-up, and I’d even go so far as to say, a little fancy. Don’t be afraid to add a bit more cardamom than the recipe says, especially if you’re using the ready-ground stuff – the sweetness of the topping can take it.

Ingredients

Makes 12 slices
For the topping:
1/2 a jar of apricot jam

100g pistachios
100g ground almonds
200g golden caster sugar
4 large eggs, beaten
100g self-raising flour

200g of very soft butter

For the pastry:
3 cardamom pods
75g cold butter, cubed
150g plain flour
50g icing sugar
1 egg yolk
2-3 tbsp of cold water

  1. First, make your pastry. Split open the cardamom pods and tip the black seeds into a pestle and mortar. If you don’t have a pestle, you can use ready ground cardamom.
  2. Then, tip into a large mixing bowl with the flour and butter. Using your fingers, rub the butter into the flour until it looks like fine breadcrumbs. Try to do this as quickly as you can, the less time you spend handling your pastry, the shorter and snappier it will be.
  3. Then, add the icing sugar, egg yolk and cold water and bring together using a spoon. If the pastry is looking a little dry and crumbly, you can add more water until it just comes together in a smooth-ish dough.
  4. Chill your pastry in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  5. Next, you need to make your sponge topping. Measure out 50g of the pistachios and grind them up in a food processor or coffee grinder. Finely chop the other 50g.
  6. In another mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, flour, butter, sugar, ground almonds and ground pistachios with an electric whisk until smooth.
  7. Then, line a 30 x 18-20cm baking tin. To keep the baking paper nice and flat in the tin, I like to grease it with butter first so the paper sticks.
  8. Once your pastry has chilled, roll it out into a 30 x 18-20 rectangle, or a similar shape to fit your tin. Then, place your pastry in the lined tin and prick it all over with a fork before chilling for another 20 minutes.
  9. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees, then once the chilling time is over, bake the pastry for 10-12 minutes until the pastry is cooked but not too coloured.
  10. Then spread the jam over the pastry – it can be easier to pop your jam in the microwave for 20 secs to make it a more spreadable consistency.
  11. Top with the sponge mix, then scatter over the finely chopped pistachios.
  12. Turn down the oven to 160 degrees and bake for 35-40 minutes until golden and springy to the touch, then leave to cool completely in the tin before removing and slicing into 12 pieces.

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