This is a dessert with simple ingredients that produces great results. The almond paste gives an amazing nutty taste that matches perfectly with cherries.
1 egg yolk
2 Tbs. cold water
1 1⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
1⁄3 cup sugar
1⁄4 tsp. salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes (about ¼ inch)
2 cups blanched, whole almonds
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 egg white
1 Tbs. almond essence
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup dried cherries
1⁄3 cup cherry jam
1⁄3 cup sliced almonds
In a small bowl, stir together the egg yolk and cold water with a fork. Set the mixture aside. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar and salt. Using a pastry cutter cut the butter into the flour mixture until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal. Add the egg mixture and mix with a fork just until the dough pulls together.
Transfer the dough to a work surface, shape dough into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 30 minutes. To roll out the dough, on a lightly floured board, flatten the disk with a rolling pin. Lift the dough and give it a quarter turn. Lightly dust the top of the dough or the rolling pin with flour as needed. Roll until the dough is about 12 inches round and 1/8 inch thick.
Fold the dough round in half and carefully transfer to a 9 1/2-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Unfold and ease the round into the pan, without stretching it, and pat it firmly into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Trim off any excess dough by gently running a rolling pin across the top of the pan. Press the dough into the sides to extend it slightly above the rim to offset any shrinkage during baking.
Refrigerate tart shell until firm, about 30-45 minutes. Meanwhile, position a rack in the middle of an oven and preheat to 350°F.
Line the pastry shell with aluminum foil or parchment paper and fill with uncooked beans or rice. Bake for 20 minutes. If the dough looks wet, continue to bake until the dough is pale gold. This may take about 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
For the almond paste, place the ground almonds in the food processor and grind until coarse. Add confectioner’s sugar, egg white and almond essence to the coarse almonds. Blend the mixture until it turns to a smooth paste. Depending on the strength of the food processor, this may take 2-3 minutes or more.
In a bowl, beat the butter until smooth (using an electric mixer or a whisk). Add the almond paste, one piece at a time, beating until smooth after each addition. While continuing to beat, sprinkle in the sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the flour and dried cherries.
Spread the jam evenly over the bottom of the partially baked tart shell. Spread the almond paste mixture evenly over the jam. Sprinkle the surface evenly with the sliced almonds.
Bake the tart until the filling is golden and the middle is firm to the touch. This may take about 40-50 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let the tart cool completely, at least 1 hour.
This tart can easily serve 8 people.
Note: The recipes on this site are my original creations or have been adapted from existing recipes with the original sources attributed. All recipes on this site have been tested at least once in my kitchen. Any and all errors are entirely mine.
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