Senior year of high school…is rough. Since school began, I have been inundated by homework, after-school activities, and the infamous college essays. That’s not to say it hasn’t been fun, but I’m looking forward to getting a chance to de-stress later in the year. Today we had a meeting with the whole senior class and it really hit me. I’m going to be graduating this year. It’s a scary thought; I’ll be separated from friends I’ve spent the last decade and a half with, and I may never see some of them again.
Because I have had so much work, I have been excruciatingly behind on posting recipes for you guys. And, well, I’m going to throw another curve ball. It’s entirely past the season for this fruit tart, but I meant to post it this summer and it’s just so delicious. Plus, we could always use a nice reminder of summer. Here, I have it pictured as a fruit and almond tart, however the fruit could easily be taken off of it to make it simply an almond tart, or you could even use a chocolate filling instead (that would still be in season!).
I originally made the tart last year, when my family went on vacation to France. We took a cooking class with Paule Caillat, of Promenades Gourmandes, in her quaint, Parisian home kitchen. Let me tell you, there is a reason I have been making it ever since. The crust is deliciously buttery, and the almond topping is even more scrumptious. Better yet, it’s one of the easiest recipes I have ever made!
Don’t worry guys, I have not forgotten about you. I have a delicious posting from September (apple month) prepared that I will post next week, and a few gourd related recipes up my sleeve for October :) In the mean time, I guess we can all look back to summer.
French Almond Tart
Yields one 9-inch tart
- 90 g (3 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (I used canola)
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 150 g (5oz, or 1 slightly-rounded cup) flour
- 2 oz (60g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 oz (60g) granulated sugar
- 2 oz (60g) ground blanched almonds (almond meal, flour, etc.)
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 whole egg
- 1 tbs Kirsch (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 410º F. In a medium-sized ovenproof bowl, such as a Pyrex bowl, combine the butter, oil, water, sugar, and salt.
- Place the bowl in the oven for 15 minutes, until the butter is bubbling and starts to brown just around the edges.
- When done, remove the bowl from oven (and be careful, since the bowl will be hot and the mixture might sputter a bit), dump in the flour and stir it in quickly, until it comes together and forms a ball which pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
- Transfer the dough to a 9-inch (23 cm) tart mold with a removable bottom and spread it a bit with a spatula.
- Once the dough is cool enough to handle, pat it into the shell with the heel of your hand, and use your fingers to press it up the sides of the tart mold. Reserve a small piece of dough, about the size of a raspberry, for patching any cracks. (Paule takes a fork and reinforces the dough to the sides, which I didn’t find necessary.)
- Prick the dough all over with the tines of a fork about ten times, then bake the tart shell in the oven for 15 minutes, or until the dough is golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and if there are any sizable cracks, use the bits of reserved dough to fill in and patch them. I find it best to pinch off a small amount of the reserved dough, roll it gently between your fingers to soften it, then wedge it into the cracks, smoothing it gently with your pinky.
- Let the shell cool before filling.
- In a bowl, mix the sugar with the powdered almonds.
- Add the butter, blend thoroughly then add the whole egg and the kirsch (if using).
- Fill the crust with this almond mixture.
- Lower the oven to 350º F.
- Bake the filled crust for 20 minutes and remove.
- Wash the strawberries, drain and remove the stems.
- Place over the baked tarte, and sprinkle with confectioners sugar before serving.