“This filling can be made 2 or 3 days ahead of time, so that the Christmas flavours infuse for a delicious result”
To make the pastry, place the flour in a bowl and rub in the butter until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the ground almonds, icing sugar and salt.
Make a well in the centre, add the egg and a little water and gather together to form a soft dough. When the dough is held together, knead very lightly until smooth.
Then wrap in parchment and leave to rest in the fridge for about ½ hour. When the dough is rested, roll out on a clean flouredsurface.
To prepare the filling, place the pears, fresh cranberries, dried cranberries, sugar, orange juice and star anise, ground cinnamon, ginger and allspice in a saucepan over a low heat. Simmer for about 10 to 12 minutes until the pears and cranberries have softened. Leave to cool.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6. To bake the tartlets, you will need 6 x 10cm loose base fluted tartlet tins. Brush these with melted butter and dust Fwith flour.
Roll the pastry out thinly and place in the tartlet tins. Prick the base with a fork but not all the way through. Line with parchment, fill with baking beans, then place the tins on a tray and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes.
Roll out the excess pastry and cut out star shapes with the star cutter. Then place on a lined baking tray and brush with egg wash. Bake for 8-10 minutes, keeping an eye on them so they don’t burn. Leave the stars to cool and then brush with a little edible gold shimmer, if you are using it.
Meanwhile, remove the beans and parchment from the pastry cases. Brush the bases with egg wash and return them to the oven for a further 5 minutes to seal.
To serve, remove the pastry cases from the tartlet tins and place on a pretty platter, warm the filling and spoon into the warm pastries, place the stars on top and serve with Avonmore dessert cream.