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The perfect Christmas gift for you or a loved one
To make the pastry, put the flour, almonds, sugar, butter and a pinch of salt in a food processor. Whizz until the mixture looks like coarse breadcrumbs (be careful not to over-process or the oil will start coming out of the almonds). Tip into a bowl, beat the egg yolk with 1 tsp water and add it to the dough. Mix gently and quickly with a cutlery knife until everything comes together – add a little more water if needed. Pat the pastry into a disc, wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for at least 30 mins until firm.
Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface (making sure you have enough flour so that the pastry doesn’t stick) and use it to line a 25cm tart tin with a removable base (it should be 3cm deep). It isn’t easy pastry with which to work; if it falls apart, just press it into the tin and patch it up. Prick the base with a fork. Put in the freezer or the coldest part of the fridge for 30 mins. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
Meanwhile, make the lavender sugar by blitzing the ingredients in the small bowl of a food processor for 1 min until combined. Set aside until ready to use.
Line the chilled pastry case with baking parchment and baking beans, and blind-bake in the oven for 15 mins until the sides are holding their shape. Remove the paper and beans, and bake for a further 5-7 mins until the pastry is golden. Let it completely cool in the tin, then gently remove it.
For the filling, beat the mascarpone with a wooden spoon until it’s quite smooth, then add the cream and beat with an electric whisk until it’s holding its shape. Add the lavender sugar and honey, orange zest, and orange and lemon juice. Whisk to combine and check for sweetness.
Fill the pastry case with the cream, piped in blobs or just spread over the base, and arrange the strawberries on top. If they’re nice and small, just lay them in, pointedside up. If large, slice them about the thickness of a £1 coin, then layer them in overlapping slices, using the bigger slices for the middle of the tart and the smaller ones towards the edge. Sift some more of the lavender sugar on top and serve.