3.18.2010

Dutch Almond Tart at Barbara's


What's Going on Today: Morning at the library to return books, romp in the park to enjoy good weather, grocery store for almond tart ingredients.
Naptime Goals: Make Dutch Almond Tart for lunch at Barbara's tomorrow, laundry, weed out winter clothes that don't fit any longer, buy new shoes online for daughter - she's outgrown them all from winter!
Tonight's Menu: Leftover Eggplant Lasagna, fresh jasmine rice, Double-Chocolate Espresso Cookies for dessert.
Parenting Lesson of the Day: Chocolate milk after 5pm is a bad idea.

Every so often my friends and I do a mass catch-up lunch. This usually involves finding babysitters for the kids and us all hauling off to a predetermined locale from 12-2pm for intense discussions about the business at hand. Unfortunately, these catch ups are less frequent then we would all like, but that's the way it is when we all have kids and crazy schedules.

When my friend Barbara invited us all over to her house for lunch this week I jumped at the chance to bring dessert. Ever since I've learned to make this tart it's become my absolute go-to item to bring to just about any kind of celebration. It's an ideal winter treat, a lemony shortbread crust with a thin layer of almond in the middle, topped with crunchy sliced almonds and a dusting of confectioners sugar. It is simple to make and it's warm, bright flavor is the perfect accompaniment to almost any meal.

My friend Vanessa from The Black Cat Cafe in Sharon Springs NY taught me out to make this tart during one of her infamous cooking classes in Cooperstown. For these particular events my mother and her cronies bring a bottle of wine - each - to their friend Veronica's house and Vanessa comes over to demonstrate recipes. At the end of the night everyone has learned a little, eaten a lot and drunk even more. It's a fun and often hilarious learning experience that I was lucky enough to crash one night in January when I was home visiting for the week.


I could see the brilliance in this recipe from the start. The ingredients are simple and of good quality, and it's very easy for me to make during naptime. In fact, it is best served after it's cooled off and rested because it gives the lemon flavor a chance to bloom a little bit. I'll make this for Barbara's today then keep it, covered, at room temperature until tomorrow.

The next time you are called on to take a treat to a friends, new parent, bake sale, or if you just want something delicious for yourself I highly recommend this as your next item. And, if you ever drive through Sharon Springs be sure to swing by the Black Cat Bakery and tell Vanessa I said Hi, and thanks for the great recipe.

Dutch Almond Tart
adapted from Vanessa of the Black Cat Bakery
2 sticks (16 T.) unsalted butter, softened
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. sugar
1 egg
1 t. lemon zest (use Meyer lemon if possible)
1 t. Kosher Salt
8 oz. Almond Paste
1/2 c. sliced almonds
Confectioners' Sugar for dusting

Egg Wash: 1 egg, 2 T. water mixed together.

1. Preheat oven to 325ºF. Butter a 9"inch round tart pan with a removable bottom.
2. In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream butter, sugar and lemon zest until fluffy. Then add the flour and salt and mix until just combined. Divide the dough into two even pieces and wrap each in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for one hour.
3. After dough has cooled, remove it from the fridge and place half the dough into the bottom of the tart pan. Press it down until it covers the bottom of the pan evenly and comes up the sides a little bit.
4. Roll out the almond paste with a rolling pin into a flat disk about 8" round and place it on top of the bottom half of the dough. Then, place the remaining dough on top of the almond pasta and pat it down until it covers all of the almond paste and crimp the sides together to seal. Brush the egg wash lightly on top and scatter sliced almonds over it.
5.Bake for 35-40 minutes or until top is lightly golden and the edges are crispy and pulled away from the sides a little.
6. Allow to cool to room temperature and remove tart from the pan. Dust with confectioners' sugar and serve.

Naptime Notes:
Naptime Serving Tips: The great thing about a round tart is that it can be cut into wedges as wide or slim as you'd like. This makes is ideal for setting on a dessert buffet for many, or just serving to a few friends. It also stays fresh for a few days so you don't have to worry about it going stale if you make it ahead of time!
Naptime Stopwatch: 15 minutes for the batter, 1 hour for waiting (time to catch up TV!) 45 minutes for baking.
Naptime Reviews: The only person who wouldn't like this is someone who doesn't like almond, and I don't have any such person in my house.

7 comments:

  1. This looks so tender and meltingly good. Plus, I am a huge almond fan, too. I'm definitely going to have to bake one of these beauties.

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  2. This tart looks awesome! I can imagine how good it is!

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  3. Definitely will be making this one.

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  4. I was sold by "buttery-lemon-almond taste"! This would be great to serve with a pot of tea. Oh, ideas . . . !

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  5. Aww, I wrote a whole reply and then accidentaly closed the tab...

    I'm from the Netherlands and your recipe really is bang-on Dutch "filled butter-tart". Very popular here, with or without the filling (try baking just the the dough sometime, gives a lovely buttery tart, or add some candied ginger cut in very small pieces!).

    Dutch almond paste is slightly different from american paste, it's a bit thinner and coarser, and we usually add a raw egg through it before baking. what goes in the pie is really rather sticky and not rollable at all. But I think the tase will be similar.

    This recipe looks a lot like the one on the back of the pre-mixed box of "butter-tart" mix, for lazy people like me (just add butter, egg and in my case lemon, becuase my mother taught me to do so)...

    http://www.dutchfoodshop.nl/images/Koopmans%20mix%20voor%20boterkoek.jpg this is the mix, the lines drawn on top with a fork give a nice crust, and really belong on butter-tart (if you're using bigger halved almonds instead of shavings on top you can lay a pattern with them, like this: http://www.voedingswaardetabel.nl/_lib/img/product/boterkoek.jpg )


    Great aiuthentic recipe people, please try it out!

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  6. The tart looks just beautiful, simple and it sounds delicious.

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  7. I have made this twice now and everyone loves it! Coworkers and family alike. I served it for Easter dessert with sweet creme fraiche and fresh strawberries. Mmmm. The paste is difficult to roll out, but aside from that, the recipe is very easy! Thanks for this one!

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