Less Noise, More Green: Lemon Almond Tart

Friday, March 7, 2014

Lemon Almond Tart

Lemon Almond Tart, dessert

Sometimes wonderful mistakes happen in the kitchen.

The plan was to bake a Bakewell Tart, which is a classic British dessert. This tart, which by the way was also the result of a kitchen misunderstanding, is a beautiful jam and almond meal creation in a pastry crust, sprinkled with almonds and drizzled with icing.  Sometimes you find individual Bakewell Tarts in English bakeries, covered with icing and with a cherry on top.

The classic Bakewell Tart is made with a layer of raspberry jam between pastry and almond filling. I have a cupboard full of homemade jam but none of it is raspberry so here was going to be my first compromise! Having just defrosted some home made meyer lemon curd, the decision was made for me!

Many of the recipes for Bakewell Tarts call for ground almonds, which I took literally. I ground whole almonds using my food processor and then my coffee bean grinder. I ended up with coarsely ground pieces of almond that I was afraid to grind any more because they were starting to extrude oil.  I found out after more research, that these British Bakewell Tart recipes I was referencing, when they list ground almonds are actually referring to almond meal or flour, which is made with blanched almonds and is a completely different product!

This is how the ground almonds looked after I processed them. I then ground them some more in a coffee grinder.

Unawares, I forged ahead. What came out of the oven was not a Bakewell Tart but something else entirely - a lemony almond tart with a wonderfully dense topping. If I had used almond flour I would have ended up with a lighter, more cake like tart.

My father was a chef who was trained in the 50's during national service with the British Armed Forces. I don't know if it was the military training but he tolerated no creativity with recipes. He would tell me "if you mess a recipe about, you can't call it the same thing anymore". There was to be no 'my version' of a dish! So, to keep my Dad happy, I will not call this my version of a Bakewell Tart. It is rather, Lemon Almond Tart.

I will purchase some almond flour and raspberry jam to make a true Bakewell Tart very soon, but until then, this will do quite nicely! I hope you agree.

This recipe is adapted from one I found on the BBC Food website.

Lemon Almond Tart, dessert

 Lemon Almond Tart

Shortcrust pastry for 8 inch round baking pan
4 Tbsp. lemon curd
9 Tbsp. unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup coarsely ground almonds
1 large egg
1/2 tsp. almond extract

Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Grind whole almonds until a coarse texture is reached. Do not over grind.

Use your favorite shortcrust pastry recipe to make enough dough to cover the bottom and sides of an 8 inch round baking pan. Bake blind for fifteen minutes. Remove the parchment paper and beans and bake for a couple more minutes. Let cool.

Spread the lemon curd over the bottom of the tart crust.

Melt the butter and sugar in a pan over medium heat. Remove from the heat and add in the ground almonds, almond extract and the egg. Whisk together. Pour the mixture over the lemon curd.

Return the tart to the oven and cook for thirty five more minutes until the filling is set.

Place on a cooling rack until completely cool. Remove the tart from the pan and place on a plate. Dust with powdered sugar and serve cold with whipped cream.



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1 comment:

  1. When life gives you lemons....... I think the sign of a truly good cook, is that they can take what they have, and make something glorious with it, even if it isn't what they had set out to make. Looks just lovely to me. Catherine