Its the same problem every year ... what to do with the sloes after they have flavoured the gin. So much better than throwing them away and wasting all that wonderful taste (not to mention the left-over gin).
For the pastry bases place the flour, soft spread and salt in the food processor fitted with the plastic blade. On low speed whizz it until the 'breadcrumb' stage is reached.
Add the egg. Again on slow speed blend all together. Be patient, suddenly a ball of pastry will form. Remove from the blender, wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
For the sloe gin filling, strain the sloes through a muslin square. Allow to drain well. Obviously save the gin and bottle it ready for Christmas.
De-stone the sloes. This is tedious work but has to be done. Weigh the sloes and then an equal amount of jam sugar. Slowly bring to the boil in a saucepan. Using a jam thermometer bring the temperature up to 105 C.
You may have surplus of jam; fill it in clean jars with intact lids and enjoy as a jam. Allow the rest to cool.
Pre-heat the oven to 160 C / Gas 2-3.
Remove the pastry from the fridge, divide in two and roll out each half large enough to cover two 23cm (9-10 in) well-greased tart tins.
Cut squares of greaseproof paper and lay in the tart bases and fill. Fill with baking beads or dry rice.
Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
For the frangipane topping, blend together the soft spread and the sugar until creamy.
Beat the eggs together and add a little at a time to the mix.
When it has all blended together slowly fold in the ground almonds and the lemon zest.
Spread a good layer of the sloe jam across the tart base and then cover with the frangipane mix. Level it off and ensure the whole base is covered.
Bake in the oven until golden brown on top, 30 to 35 minutes.
Is there a name for the soft butter substitute that we're not allowed to call margarine? If so can someone tell me what it is or if not can someone please invent one.