Monday, January 17, 2011

Caramelized Almond Tart

My best pal, Jen, took a vacation from work last fall to take a pastry class – so cool, right? She lives in Oakland, CA, and I was frankly too jealous to remember where she took the class, but she has been posting photo after photo of drool-worthy tarts on her Facebook page ever since. This is one of the recipes from her class, and it is dead easy. You mix sugar, cream, liquor, and nuts, and it goes from a liquidy-state to a caramel in the oven – no worrying about burning yourself making caramel on the stove top. This tart is made with almonds and flavored with amaretto and grand marnier, but it would be neat to mix up the nuts and flavors. Hazelnut and frangelico, anyone? Pecan with spiced rum, perhaps? Be sure to follow the direction to line your baking pan with foil: it WILL boil over and make a messy-mess, and foil makes for easy clean-up.

Caramelized Nut Tart
From Jen

Pate Sable (tart dough):

2 cups flour
2 Tbsp sugar
8 oz (2 sticks) room temperature butter
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. water (add more if needed but I've never needed to)

For the filling:

3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. Grand Marnier
1 Tbsp. Amaretto
1 cup sliced almonds (Trader Joe's has really cheap ones)

Place all the pate sable ingredients into the food processor. Pulse just until dough comes together in a ball. It should be smooth, but don't overmix. Press into 9" tart pan and chill until firm. You will have extra dough to make mini tarts as well. Bake in a 375 degree oven until slightly browned, about 10 minutes. Remove, and patch any cracks. Raise oven temp to 450.

Then make the filling. In a saucepan add the heavy cream and sugar and liqueurs. Warm the mixture until the sugar melts, remove from heat. Then add the almonds. Pour the filling into the par-baked shell. Place on a foil-lined (IMPORTANT, it will spill onto pan and burn without it!) baking pan and bake for 20 minutes. Turn oven down to 400 degrees and bake for another 15. Make sure to rotate every so often so sugar caramelizes evenly to a deep brown.

1 comment:

Heidi said...

Hi, I just came across your blog and I love it. All those wonderful recipes and the pics are gorgeous. I am looking forward to your future postings. Greetings from cold and snowy Indiana. Have a great weekend...Heidi