I’m going to let you in on a family tragedy – my Mom, sister and myself? We’re all allergic to chocolate. It’s a cruel allergy. Of course, that doesn’t mean we don’t eat it. We just have to be a little more careful when we do.
When I plan out desserts for family functions, I always try to have one non-chocolate option for us. Most of the time, it doesn’t go over as well as whatever chocolate-covered thing I’ve made. This was an exception.
Out of everything I made for Christmas, this was by far my favorite. It reminds me of something my Grandfather would have made.
Almond Raspberry Tart
For the tart dough:
1 egg yolk
2 T. very cold water
1 t. vanilla extract
1 1⁄4 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
1⁄3 c. sugar
1⁄4 t. salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1⁄4-inch cubes
Transfer the dough to a work surface, pat into a ball and flatten into a disk. Use the dough immediately, or wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled, about 30 minutes.
To roll out the dough, on a lightly floured board, flatten the disk with 6 to 8 gentle taps of the 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, then roll out until the dough is about 1/8 inch thick. Use a small, sharp knife to cut out a round or rounds 2 inches greater in diameter than your tart or larger tartlet pans. Use a small, sharp knife or a cookie cutter to cut out rounds 1/2 to 1 inch greater in diameter than your miniature tartlet pans. If using a rectangular tart pan, cut out a rectangle 2 inches larger on all sides than the pan. Makes enough dough for one 9 1/2-inch tart, six 4-inch tartlets, twelve 2-inch miniature tartlets or one 13 3/4-by-4 1/4-inch rectangular tart.
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1⁄2 lb. almond paste, cut into 1-inch cubes
1⁄4 c. sugar
1⁄3 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
1⁄3 c. raspberry jam
1⁄3 c. sliced almonds
Line the pastry shell with aluminum foil or parchment paper and fill with pie weights or raw short-grain rice. Bake for 20 minutes, then lift an edge of the foil. If the dough looks wet, continue to bake, checking every 5 minutes, until the dough is pale gold, for a total baking time of 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack.
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and reduce the heat to 350°F.
In a bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter until smooth. 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.
Spread the jam evenly over the bottom of the partially baked tart shell. Spoon in the almond paste mixture and spread 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, 35 to 45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let the tart cool completely. If using a tart pan with a removable bottom, let the sides fall away, then slide the tart onto a serving plate. Serve at room temperature.