Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Almond Frangipane Tart
I've always had a love of almond flavored sweets. It started when I was very little and my father would sometimes come home from work with a little mazipan treat for me. Sometimes on the weekend he would take me to the Elk Candy Company on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. It was an old world, European style confectioner with all kinds of lovely sweets to choose from. But I always chose one of the tiny cakes with layers of marzipan and chocolate. Elk Candy is long gone but I've found bakeries with more adult style almond and mazipan pastries to replace them.
(adapted from Williams Sonoma)
1 Stick unsalted butter, well chilled and cut into 1/2" pieces
3/4 Cup all purpose flour
1/4 Cup ground almonds
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 Teaspoon baking powder
1/2 Teaspoon salt
1/4 Cup ice water
1 Stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
7 oz. Almond paste (not marzipan), cut into 1" pieces
1/4 Cup sugar
1/3 Cup all purpose flour
1/2 Cup jam (your choice of flavor)
To make the filling, combine the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat until smooth with either an electric or hand mixer. Beat in the almond paste. Add the eggs and beat until smooth then stir in the flour.
After the dough has chilled, roll it out on a well-floured surface into about a 10" circle. Drape over a 9" tart pan (preferably one with a removable bottom) and move your rolling pin across the fluted top to cut off the excess dough. Line the dough with aluminum foil or parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dry beans. Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes, remove from the oven (but leave the oven on) and allow to cool.
When cool, remove the pie weights and foil. Spread the jam evenly across the bottom of the partially baked tart shell and pour the almond batter evenly over the jam. Bake for about 40 minutes or until the filling is golden and the middle is firm to the touch. Allow to cool completely before removing from the tart pan. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired. Makes approximately 8 servings.