March 1, 2011 § 2 Comments
Do you guys ever go through phases where you want to make everything you can using this one ingredient that you’re obsessed with? That’s what I’m currently going through with almonds. In the last week, I’ve been making and eating amaretti cookies (which I promise I’ll share soon), almond butter, and finally this bakewell tart that is, like, 80% almond and 100% delicious. Plus, look at the thing. It’s freakin’ gorgeous! I can almost be satisfied just looking at a slice of it, what with its golden almond filling, creamy beige crust, and the thinnest sliver of jam lying between the two. Almost.
What makes this a weird occurrence is that I usually hate nuts. Okay, maybe not hate, but something about cans of roasted peanuts and salted cashews just makes me cringe and I rarely partake in snacking from them. But like blue moons, the Loch Ness monster, and Sasquatch, things do happen and happen they did.
I don’t even know what I could say about this tart that would do it justice because I honestly think it might be perfect. The crust is perfect and flaky, the jam gives it a nice bit of sweetness, and the almond filling, oh god. The almond filling was so delicious I practically ate all of it straight out of the food processor. Honestly it’s so simple that I think ‘How can it be this good?’ and then I throw that thought aside and cut myself another slice. In fact, I may have to go make another one tomorrow as it has been polished off in a tart-eating record, in my house, of 2 days.
So do yourself a favor, like I’m going to in a bit. Make this tart! I don’t know why I waited so long but don’t make the same mistake as I did. You can try and put it off like I did, but trust me, you’ll cave eventually. And when you do, you’ll want to kick yourself for it. (Also like I did.)
slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen
1 tart shell, pre-baked. (You can use your favorite recipe, if you have one. If not, this one‘s nice.)
1 cup coarsely chopped almonds, blanched if you can find them
1 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
9 tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 teaspoons orange zest (not traditional, but just lovely in there)
1/3 cup strawberry jam
Slivered or sliced almonds, for garnish (optional)
Finely grind almonds and flour in processor. Mix in sugar, then butter, extract and orange zest. Blend until smooth. Mix in egg and egg white. Transfer filling to medium bowl. Cover and chill at least 3 hours.
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Spread jam over base of tart shell. You may want to microwave it to make it more spreadable. Dollop the almond filling all over, then spread it carefully with an offset spatula. If using slivered or sliced almonds as garnish, sprinkle them over the top now. Bake tart until golden and tester inserted into center of filling comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool tart in pan on rack.
To serve, push pan bottom up, releasing tart from pan. Cut tart into wedges and enjoy yourself immensely.