I came across Congress Tarts in a book I was reading. So I looked them up on the internet. It seems to me that they are very similar if not identical, in most instances, to Bakewell Tarts. I did see a couple of references to using coconut as well as almonds.
So for mine I decided to make a sweet shortcrust pastry base and mix coconut with the almonds for the filling. My recipe is simple and easy to follow and the mix of ingredients for the filling really does give them a wonderful taste. The coconut and almond mixture is placed on top of a little raspberry jam, so the end result if very tasty indeed.
The use of self raising flour and a little extra baking powder with the filling lets it rise very nicely. Many versions of these tarts place a pastry cross on the top of the filling, but I thought that would break as the filling rose so I decided to do without it.
I am very pleased with how mine turned out. They really are delicious and go well with my cup of tea in the afternoon.
For the pastry:
- 225g plain flour(1 3/4 cups) or 255g pastry flour)
- 110g *just under one stick)unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- 50g (1/4 cup) caster sugar(icing sugar is fine too, or granulated)
- 1 large egg(xl in USA)
- 1 tbsp ice cold water
For the filling:
- 6 tsp raspberry jam
- 80g(1/2 cup + 1 heaped tbsp) self raising flour
- 80g (about 2/3 cup) ground almonds
- 50g (2/3 cuo) dessicated coconut
- 80g (1/3 cup + 2 tbsp) Caster sugar
- 1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk(xl in USA)
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 80g(1/4 + 2 scant tbsp) very soft butter
- 1 tsp almond extract
- Place the plain flour, caster sugar and butter into a large bowl(you can do this in a food processor) and rub between your fingers until the butter is worked in and the mixture has a breadcrumb like texture.
- Add the eggs and stir in with a table knife until the mixture begins to clump together.
- Add the water if necessary to make it clump.
- Use your hands to pull the mixture into the ball of dough, working just a little bit so that it is smooth.
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for one hour.
- In a large bowl place the self raising flour, baking powder, ground almonds, sugar and desiccated coconut.
- Mix to combine.
- Add the softened butter and mix until everything is coming together in clumps( I used my hand mixer).
- Add the eggs and almond extract and mix until everything has formed a paste.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160C F/350F.
- Grease a 12 hole bun/patty tin( or use non stick).
- Flour the work surface and roll out the pastry to a thickness of 3mm(1/8 inch).
- Use a 9cm/3 1/2 inch cookie cutter to cut out 12 circles of pastry dough, re-rolling once if necessary.
- Gently place the circles into the 12 holes of the bun tin.
- Spoon 1/2 tsp raspberry jam onto the centre of each pastry case.
- Gently place an amount of the almond mixture(I used about a dessert spoonful) over the rapberry jam and push the mixture gently to the sides to try to avoid jam seeping up during baking.
- Bake in the oven for 20 to 23 minutes, until the tarts have risen and are a nice golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.