I really salute the food bloggers who can update each day recipes that they try from books or other bloggers. I salute all of you. I must admit I am trying real hard to get it up and running and I am getting the hang of it, I should and have no excuse (besides my baking orders) as I have no children to bother me, just my cats! I want to share this recipe which is adapted from Skye Gyngell who started off with an interest in cooking when she worked at a store-cum-deli, she realised her passsion for food was there. Later on after various “kitchen years” she was asked to open an establishment in a garden nursery which is next to the Petersham properties, called Petersham Nurseries. They were awarded one Michelin star a little humble place that sat 15 now sits 120 people now and a staff of 20 running it. I want to write about chefs which some people may not know of, but have lovely recipes and I for one love this particular dessert which is a favourite of hubby’s and mine. I love the texture of the almond filling, when made fresh it’s totally different than those store bought ones. The French would call it Tarte Frangipane of course in simple terms its just almond tart! This recipe means alot to me because I had done a recipe book project for a religious school where this dessert was a favourite of some (it was on a stand for peeps to try) and I added pears to it. It tasted fabulicious. This is a moreish dessert served with cream or warm jam and ice-cream very old fashioned style lovely with a cup of tea in the afternoon.
Recipe for Almond Tart ala Skye Gyngell
Ingredients for short crust pastry :
12/3 250g flour
1 tbsp caster sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
125g chilled unsalted butter cubed
2 tbsp cold water as needed
For the pastry and almond filling:
1. Place the flour, sugar, vanilla extract, egg and butter in a food processor, blitz until you have a consistency of wet sand. (you may also do by hand or in a mixer with a hook attachment.
2. Add 2 tbsp of cold water and continue to process, the dough will come together into a smooth ball. Remove from machine and enlcose with a cling wrap and chill for about 30 minutes.
3. Meanwhile heat oven at 200C. Lay almonds on a bake tray and place on middle shelf of oven for about 3-4 minutes to warm them to tickle the flavour. Remove and cool.
4. Grind almonds in a food processor until they are coarsely chopped. Add butter and sugar, continue processing. With the motor running still, add the egg yolks one at a time through the feed tube.
5. You should have a smooth paste by now. It can be used right away, or chilled for later use. Stir in the lemon zest.
6. Take out the chilled dough from refrigerator, and between 2 cling wraps roll out your pastry dough to a thickness of 3-4mm and use it to line a 25-26cm tart tin. Remove one side of cling wrap and placed the uncovered pastry dough face down and remove the top half and voila, no mess. Tidy the edges.
7. Preheat oven at 190C. Line the pastry dough with greaseproof or parchment paper and place some uncooked beans, rice or pastry weights, bake blind about 15-20 minutes.
8. Remove the beans, rice or weights and paper, spoon in the almond filling and smooth over. Return to middle of shelf and cook for a further 30-45 minutes, until surface is golden brown and firm to touch. Cover the tart loosely with a foil if its browning too quickly. When done, remove and cool serve with jam or cream. I like it as it is!
FoodNote: If adding pears, I used canned ones before, slice and arrange pears all around the tart before baking. You may use apricot glaze for the finishing touch when its out from oven. No food processor, no problem, buy ready made ground almonds and toast it slightly before following instructions as above in a standing mixer.