Karen Dudley’s recipe for Almond Tarts
Karen Dudley’s new recipe book A Week in The Kitchen features a delightful spread of all her favourite and popular recipes, served at her Woodstock eatery The Kitchen.
Here is one of her personal favourites for Almond Tarts.
When my mom collected me from school, she would often have a treat that she had picked up from a bakery, some treasure that she had discovered. In my young experience, nothing was ordinary. And the shared delight of something pure and good remains with me. This crisp almond tart recalls that simple pleasure.
Short crust pastry
300g plain flour
3 tbsp icing sugar
200g cold butter, chopped
1 egg yolk (from a large egg)
1 tbsp chilled water
Frangipane (almond paste)
½ cup castor sugar
1 tsp almond essence
1½ cups ground almonds
2 tbsp plain flour
baking paper cut into 1½ x 10cm strips,
you’ll need about 48 of these
jar of good raspberry jam
200g flaked almonds
1. To make the pastry, place the flour, sugar and butter in a food processor and process until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs.
2. With the processor’s motor running, add the egg yolk and water and process until the mixture comes together and forms a ball. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, flatten the pastry into a disc shape, wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, make the Frangipane. In a standing mixer, beat the butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Beat in the egg and the almond essence. Stir in the almonds (leave some to sprinkle on top at the
finish and the flour. Preheat the oven to 180º C.
4. To assemble, line the muffin tins with crosses of baking paper strips.
5.This cunning ploy will allow you to remove the tartlets painlessly.
6. Using your fingers, make little tart bases in the muffin tins by lining each one with about 1½ tablespoon of the pastry. You do not want your base to be too thick. The pastry should come to about halfway up the cup. The cases should have the free-form appearance of a homemade pastry case!
7. Prick the pastry in each case with a fork, and blind bake the shells for 10 minutes or until golden. Once the shells have cooled slightly, spread about 1½ teaspoons of jam into each tart shell. Then spread 2 teaspoons of almond paste on top of the jam. Finish with a generous sprinkling of the flaked almonds.
8.Bake at 180º C for 20–25 minutes and slightly browned on the top.
9. Leave to cool before dusting with icing sugar.
Makes 24 tartlets
To read more about Karen’s colourful and inspiring eatery in Woodstock as well as the experience of serving Michelle Obama lunch, click through to this post.