GUAVA + ALMOND TARTS WITH BRANDY CREAM

In South Africa, September to February is guava season! And although there’s nothing stopping you from using freshly peeled and halved guavas in this recipe, using preserved guavas means you can make this delicious dessert all year round. The ground almonds lend these tarts a great crumbly texture, so make sure you don’t buy almond meal - the base ingredient in macarons - which has a finer, more delicate consistency. Suffusing the cream with brandy garnishes these tarts, which are not overly sweet, with a delectable dollop of festive flair.

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Whether planning a menu at JAN or whipping something up at home, I live by the seasons. They’re almost sacred to me and almost always the main inspiration behind a dish. Growing up, our pantry was always chock-a-block with Consol jar upon Kilner jar of preserved quinces, peaches, pears and guavas. Preserving fruit was a beautiful ritual perpetuated by my grandmothers - a way of preserving the seasons that felt like magic - and I relished taking part in it.

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Guava is one of my favourite fruits. It doesn’t matter if it’s from a can - drenched in evaporated milk - or taken up a notch as the star of one of these tantalising tarts. To me, that first whiff of its unique strawberry-pear notes, while driving behind a guava truck, was always the official signal that summer had arrived.

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GUAVA + ALMOND TARTS WITH BRANDY CREAM

prep: 30 minutes / makes: 4 x 10cm tarts

Ingredients

For the guava and almond tarts

  • 90 g (100 ml) soft butter

  • 90 g (110 ml) muscovado brown sugar

  • 2 eggs

  • 100 g ground almonds

  • 40 g (70 ml) cake flour

  • 1 ml baking powder

  • 12 preserved guava halves

  • 45 ml muscovado brown sugar

  • icing sugar, to dust

For the brandy cream

  • 250 ml cream

  • 30 ml icing sugar

  • 45 ml brandy

Method

For the guava and almond tarts

  1. Preheat the oven to 160 °C. Cream the butter and 90g of the sugar until light and fluffy.

  2. Add the eggs, ground almonds, flour and baking powder. Mix well.

  3. Spray four 10 cm loose-base quiche tins with cooking spray. Divide the almond mixture between the tins and spread it out evenly in the tins. Place 3 guava halves per tart on the batter of each tin and sprinkle the rest of the sugar on top.

  4. Place the tart tins on a baking tray and place in the oven. Bake for 40 – 45 minutes.

  5. Remove the tins from the oven and let them cool to room temperature before removing the tarts from the tins.

For the brandy cream

  1. Whip the cream and sugar together until soft peaks begin to form. Carefully fold in the brandy.

To serve

  1. Dust the tarts with a little icing sugar and serve with the brandy cream.