I have to say, this is one of the best desserts I've recently eaten and I probably have Whole Foods Market to thank. On my last grocery shop, Whole Foods was selling half pints of fresh raspberries for one dollar... $1.00! Of course, I grabbed a couple. Then yesterday, I decided to make an almond tart described as, "a caramelized and delicately crunchy dessert" -- how could I resist that? I thought I'd finish off each slice with a little whipped cream and a scattering of raspberries.
Had I used a 9-inch tart pan for my crust, I probably would have left the filling as only almonds. But I went a little bit larger with my tart pan, by 1 1/2-inches. The filling is nothing more than equal amounts of heavy cream and sugar, flavorings, and a cup of sliced almonds. I was afraid that the large crust would leave me with a rather shallow almond tart, so after heating the cream and sugar and adding the remaining ingredients, I emptied both containers of raspberries into the mix. Now, I cannot imagine making it any other way. Very good the day it is baked; as good (if not better?) when enjoying leftovers the following day.
• • • • • • • • • • adapted recipe from Rebecca Franklin at about.com • • • • • • • • •
• 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 7 tablespoons cold butter, cubed
• 3 tablespoons cold water
• 1 cup heavy cream
• 1 cup less 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
• 1 tablespoon Amaretto liqueur
• 1 cup sliced almonds
• 1 pint fresh raspberries
1. In the bowl of food processor, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Pulse once or twice. Add the chilled, cubed butter and pulse until a few pea-size pieces remain. Slowly add the cold water and pulse until the mixture just starts to come together. Transfer the dough to a large sheet of plastic wrap; flatten into a disk, wrap, and chill for at least an hour.
2. I always roll my dough between a sheet of lightly-floured waxed paper and plastic wrap. Roll the dough to fit into a 10 1/2-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Gently press the dough into the pan without stretching and trim excess dough from the top edge. Place the tart pan in the refrigerator or freezer while the oven preheats. PREHEAT OVEN to 400˚F. Remove tart pan from freezer and line with a sheet of foil. Fill with dried beans or rice. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet with 1-inch sides and bake the tart shell on the middle rack of the oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and gently remove the aluminum foil and dried beans or rice from the shell. If there are any cracks in the shell, patch with small pieces of leftover dough trimmings. Return the tart crust to the oven and bake until golden. Remove and lower oven heat to 375˚F.
3. In a medium saucepan set over medium-low heat, stir together the heavy cream and sugar and stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar has completely dissolved. Remove pan from heat and stir in the salt, vanilla extract, almond extract, and Amaretto liqueur. Stir in the sliced almonds until combined. Gently fold in the raspberries.
4. Pour the warm raspberry-almond filling into the prebaked crust. Transfer crust, on the baking sheet, to the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until it is golden brown and the filling is set.
5. Cool the tart on a wire rack for about 20 minutes. It it helpful to poke the tip of a sharp paring knife between the edge of the pastry and the rim of the tart pan before unmolding. When ready to serve, sprinkle tart with Confectioners' sugar and top with whipped heavy cream.
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