1.25 c flour (AP, cake or Pamela's GF)
1/2 t salt
2 t sugar
1/2 c butter
1/4 c cold water
14 T butter
2/3 c almond paste
1 c sugar
2/3 c sifted flour
yield: 2- 7 inch tarts
Equipment needed: food processor and mixer
Do you love almonds as much as I do? This tart is flaky, not too sweet, not too buttery, and is the perfect accompaniment to a delicious cup of coffee. The best thing about this tart is that it can be made with gluten-free flour for those who are intolerant and still tastes amazing. The best GF flour I have found is Pamela's, you really can't get a better GF all-purpose flour in my opinion. For this tart though I used regular AP flour. I love gluten.
Preheat oven to 350.
Add your dries to the food processor and cube up your butter. Make sure it is cold butter, you don't want it melting while it's being mixed.
Turn the food processor on for a couple of seconds until butter is chopped up, you want the butter chunks to be the size of small pebbles.
I normally add an ice cube to the water to make sure the butter in the dough remains cold.
When the dough has reached a pebble state, slowly drizzle in the water (discard the ice cube). Pulse for a second or two until the dough begins to form. It should retain it's form when you squeeze it.
Empty the dough onto a silpat and form into a disc. Place in your fridge to chill.
While the dough is chilling, make the frangipane.
Place almond paste and sugar in mixer bowl.
On med-high speed, mix until almond paste begins to break down and incorporate into the sugar.
You don't want any large chunks of almond paste.
Cube up the butter and add it to the mixture. You want the butter cold. If it is at room temperature the almond paste will stay chunky. You want to blend it into a smooth paste.
There should be no visible signs of almond paste.
If you are not sure if there are chunks, pick up a small portion of the mixture and rub between your thumb and fingers to see if there are chunks. If it is smooth it is ready for eggs.
Add eggs one at a time, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl between each egg.
Once all the eggs have been added whip up (using paddle that is...) until fluffy.
Sift flour into the mixture and fold in with a spatula.
Remove dough from the fridge and roll out into 2 thin discs. (I thought I took pictures of this, but didn't. Sorry about that.) Place into tart molds or cake pan, whatever you are baking the tart in. Cracks are fine with the pastry, you don't want to work it too much. This is meant to be a delicate pastry, just piece together anything that crumbles.
Cover dough with plastic wrap or cheese cloth and cover with dry beans or rice. If you do not bake with a weight on it the dough will balloon up.
Yes, you bake with the plastic wrap on it. It will not melt into your shell. Bake for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, remove the shells from the oven, lift up plastic (or cheese cloth) and beans, and return the shells to the oven for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, pull from the oven and add the frangipane. You don't have to let the shell cool, since you're going to be returning it to the oven. Smooth frangipane out evenly.
Top with raw sliced almonds.
Return to the oven. Set timer for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, rotate the sheet pan and bake for another 20 minutes.
After 40 minutes the tart is ready to come out of the oven.
Remove from the tart mold and place on cooling rack.
When cool, dust a little powdered sugar over top of the tart. If you want to save one for later, you can wrap it in plastic and freeze, but it doesn't normally last that long in my house. Enjoy.