11.07.2011

Almond Fruit Tart


Don't laugh. It took a lot of guts to post these pictures. But I did. Through my tears and my sniffles, I did. Alright, I didn't really cry but I was totally upset that my supposed to be perfect almond fruit tart got destroyed. And I had nobody to blame but myself. Every baker (if I may call myself that) has their failures; this is definitely one of my finest.

I'm not a total fail at making fruit tarts. I've made them before and to say they turned out amazing would be an understatement. But this time around, I was making one big fruit tart, and I was making it using a pan with a non-removable bottom. Okay,  so maybe I was asking for it by doing something as unintelligent as that. But I really really thought that I could invert the tart and revert it without any difficulties. I was wrong....but I was right about the inverting part! That part was super simple.


However, in reverting the tart, I ended up crushing the sides mid-air. I was devastated. And then I actually blamed it on my mom because the plate she had given me to invert the tart on had raised edges, which inevitably crushed the sides. I told myself that if the plate had been flat, this wouldn't have happened. Until I realized that the plate that my mom had given me didn't have any raised edges at all. It was the plate that I had personally picked out to revert the tart on that did. It was all my own doing.


Now, if the tart had tasted good, it wouldn't have been that big of a deal that the sides were crushed. But, unfortunately, it was lacking in the taste department too. I wouldn't go as far to say that it tasted bad, but it was just too dry. There was barely any contrast between the filling and the crust. I noticed this before I even put it into the oven; the filling was thick and not runny like it had looked like in the step by step photo recipe. The only step I didn't follow to a T was carefully measuring out the cream cheese, so I figured that was the problem. But either way, I had hoped that by some miracle, the filling would sort of just melt in the oven and become runny and become fabulous. Dream big!


All in all, this was definitely a learning experience. I learned that I need to stop being stubborn and just purchase a removable bottom tart pan. I learned that I'm not boss enough to look at an ingredient and decide that it's approximately what I need; it needs to be measured out. And most importantly, I learned that the Algerian in me refused to let this dessert come out properly because it wasn't an Algerian sweet. Because if it had been an Algerian sweet, it would have been bangin' cause everyone knows nobody can handle an almond like an Algerian can. Real talk.

Almond Fruit Tart

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Ingredients:

For the crust:
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup almonds, ground
1/8 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg, beaten

For the filling:
2 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 cup granulated sugar
pinch of vanilla powder
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup almonds, ground
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cream cheese, softened

Assorted berries and kiwi, for decoration

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.  Butter your tart pan.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, ground almonds, and salt. Place the butter in the bowl of your electric mixer and beat until softened. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten egg, beating just until incorporated. Add the flour mixture all at once and mix just until it forms a ball. Flatten the dough into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes or just until firm.

In a bowl, whisk egg yolks, cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of sugar until thick and pale. Set aside. In a small saucepan, stir in milk, vanilla and the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar, and bring to a boil. Add hot milk in a slow, steady stream to the bowl with the yolk mixture, rapidly whisking until combined. When it's combined, return to the pan, and whisk over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. It should take about 2 minutes.

Place thickened milk mixture in a mixing bowl. Beat in ground almonds and flour first. Then add cream cheese and beat until everything is well combined. 

Take the chilled dough and gently press it over the bottom and up the sides of your tart pan using your hands. Try to make it as even as possible. Spread the filling into tart crust. 

Bake for 15-25 minutes, until golden brown and set. Let cool completely in pan on a rack before you unmold. Top with your choice of fresh fruits.

Adapted from The Candid Appetite
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