Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Almond & Jam Tarts

These are quite impressive looking but very easy to make - especially if you buy ground almonds. The really nice part is that you just press the dough into the tart pans. The only rolling is for the cut outs.
Peach Jam
Currant Jam

Almond & Jam Tarts (Adapted from Bon Appetit)
Makes 2 tarts

7 oz (approx 2 cups) Ground Almonds or Hazelnuts*
4 1/2 c flour
2 1/4 t kosher salt
1 1/2 t baking powder
2 t nutmeg
1 1/2 c sugar
3 sticks butter
6 T heavy cream
3 egg yolks
1 t almond extract
1 Earl Grey tea bag
1 1/2 c apricot jam**
1 1/2 c plum jam**
2 t orange zest
1 egg
1/4 c raw sugar

Mix almonds, flour, salt, baking powder and nutmeg in a bowl. Set aside. Cream butter and sugar together. Add egg yolks, cream, and almond extract. Mix well. Gradually add flour/almond mixture and mix until combined. Divide dough into 3 equal parts, flatten 1 into disk and chill for at least 1 hour. Press the remaining two doughs into tart pans cover and chill.

Pour 1/4 boiling water over tea bag and let steep 15 minutes. Stir the apricot jam with tea in a bowl and set aside. Stir plum jam and orange zest in a separate bowl and set aside.

Roll one of the dough disks out to 1/4" thickness. Using a cookie cutter, cut out shapes. You will have extra dough. (You can place these on a cookie sheet and back them for about 15 minutes in the oven with the tarts).
Fill one tart pan with the apricot jam mixture and place cookie cut shapes on top. Fill other pan with the plum jam mixture and place cookie cut shapes on top. Beat egg with a fork and brush pastry with egg. Sprinkle with raw sugar.

Bake at 375 for 45 minutes. Cool on wire rack to allow jam to set.

These get stored at room temperature and can be made up to a day in advance. The dough can be made ahead of time.

*If you use whole almonds or hazelnuts, mix 1 1/2 c nuts with a little flour in the food processor. Pulse to fine ground.

**I've used raspberry, blueberry, peach, and currant jams. They all work well.

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