Almond tart


I learned several things this weekend. First, there isn’t much of a reason to add roasted winter squash to fresh pasta dough. The pasta turns a barely perceptible darker shade of yellow, not the brilliant orange a person might imagine.

Second, a 10 x 15 lasagna feeds ten people just fine, as long as you have five pounds of roasted brussels sprouts on the table too.

Third, whole wheat pastry flour makes a perfect crust for an almond tart.

Fourth, said almond tart makes a very tasty breakfast.

Almond Tart

Yikes but this is an easy, crowd-pleasing dessert. I’ve changed it over the years and am thrilled (thrilled!) with the magic of this crust with the almonds. I’ve served it with store-bought vanilla ice cream, homemade ginger ice cream, fresh berries, and spiced pear compote.

1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

8 Tablespoons butter

2 Tablespoons ice cold water

1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 1/2 cups sliced almonds

1 cup cream

3/4 cup sugar

1 Tablespoon whiskey [totally and completely optional]

1/8 teaspoon almond extract

Mix the flour and salt in a medium bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces and work the butter into the flour mixture with a fork, pastry cutter, or – my favorite- your fingers until the mixture looks like cornmeal with some small chunks of butter still visible and some bits of cornmeal-like flour starting to cling together into large pieces.

Drizzle water and vinegar over the dough. Stir until dough starts to hold together. It will still look shaggy, but if you gently squeeze it into a ball most of it should hold together. Pat dough into a six-inch disk, wrap in plastic, and chill at least half an hour (and up to three days).

Preheat oven to 400. On a well floured surface, roll out dough to fit a ten-inch tart pan. Line the pan with the dough, trim edges, and lay a large piece of buttered tin foil, butter side down, on the tart crust.  Chill the covered crust about 15 minutes. Weigh down the foil with beans or pie weights, put the tart pan on a baking sheet, and bake until crust is set and starting to turn golden, about 20 minutes.

While crust par-bakes, combine almonds, cream, sugar, whiskey, and almond extract in a medium bowl. Let sit, stirring once in a while, until sugar dissolves and the whole mixtures thickens a bit, about 15 minutes.

Remove foil from crust, pour almond mixture into the crust and bake until crust is browned, filling is bubbling, and the surface is starting to caramelize [about 40 minutes]. Let tart sit at room temperature to cool for at least an hour before serving.