4/19/2011

Italian Almond Raspberry Tart

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When planning a menu, I usually don't have a problem coming up with the appetizer, main dishes, sides, or salads.  My dilemma is the dessert.  Not that I can't think of one, but there are just so many that I want to try.  This dessert has been on my radar for quite some time now and it finally worked its way into my kitchen.  My only regret was waiting this long.

Like the Raspberry Crumb Bars, this is a dessert with simple ingredients that produces spectacular results.  One would think that with the almond paste there would be an essence of maraschino cherry or heavy almond extract (both of which I do not care for), but the results yield the contrary.  The almond paste lends a sweet, nutty taste that matches perfectly with the raspberry preserves.  I added of a bit of lemon zest in the filling which makes the tart just sing.  The crisp crust, the jammy preserves, and the cake-like filling all add up to one incredibly delicious package.  You can certainly serve the tart as is, but whipping up a batch of lightly sweetened chantilly cream really adds another texture and flavor. 

I have to be honest, this tart was so good that I even said out loud that if I couldn't have chocolate anymore (scary thought), then I would be o.k. as long as I had this tart.  It would be perfect to serve at any time of year, but I think it would be well received if this tart was on your menu this coming weekend for those spring celebrations.




Printable Recipe


Italian Almond Raspberry Tart
makes one 9 1/2-inch tart

For the Tart Dough
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
9 tablespoons (4 1/2 oz) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small cubes
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 extra large egg

For the Filling
8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter at room temperature
1-8 ounce can almond paste, broken into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 extra large eggs at room temperature
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
pinch of kosher salt
1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup raspberry preserves
1/3 cup sliced almonds










For the Tart Dough





In the bowl of a food processor, add the flour, sugar, and salt.  Pulse until combined.  Scatter the butter pieces over the flour.   Process in short bursts until the butter is the size of peas.  Add the egg and process in long pulses, about 5-7 seconds until the dough has started to clump.  Place a piece of plastic wrap on the counter and dump the dough onto the surface.  Using the plastic wrap and the back of your hands, gently press the dough into a disk.  Wrap tightly with the plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.

Preheat the oven to 375º F.  Remove the dough from the refrigerator.  If refrigerated overnight, let it rest at room temperature for 10 minutes.  On a  lightly floured work surface, roll the dough out into a 12-inch circle, flouring the dough and surface as necessary to keep the dough from sticking.  Roll up the dough around the rolling pin and gently unroll it over an 9 1/2-inch tart pan with a removable bottom.  Fit the dough into the edge of the pan.  Roll the rolling pin over the top of the pan to remove the excess dough (let the kids practice their baking skills with the scraps).  Place the tart onto a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or place in the freezer for 15 minutes. 


Line the tart pan with aluminum foil and fill with dried beans or pie weights.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Remove the weights and foil and bake for another 3-5 minutes.  Place on a rack to cool.  Reduce the oven temperature to 350º F.



For the Filling

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until smooth.  Add the almond paste, one piece at a time, beating well after each addition.  While mixing, gradually add the sugar.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Mix in the lemon zest and salt.  Stir in the flour until completely combined.

Using an off-set spatula, spread the preserves evenly over the bottom of the tart shell.  Place spoonful dollops of the filling over the preserves and gently spread to completely cover the preserves.  Sprinkle the top of the tart with the sliced almonds.  Bake until the filling is golden brown and firm to the touch, about 35-45 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  Carefully remove the side of the tart pan and slide the tart onto a serving platter.  Enjoy!

Source: Adapted from Williams-Sonoma 

15 comments:

  1. That looks like right down my taste bud's alley, delicious. I will definitively take it to try. Thanks. Kirsten

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  2. Normally i'm not big on tarts because I prefer cake. I agree with Kirsten....this is right up my alley:) Can't wait to try!

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  3. Hello! I have to say this looks delicious but I'm not sure where the Italian comes into it- isn't this a Bakewell tart? A very traditional English tart!

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  4. Amy-
    Yes, it is very much like the traditional English Bakewell tart, but I was giving name credit to the original source. My only guess is that the "Italian" comes from the use of the almond paste instead of almond and sugar. Whatever you call it, it is good.

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  5. Is there anything to substitute the almond paste? This looks so amazing but we are not fans of almond.... What do you suggest?

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  6. Anon-
    My first suggestion would be to try another recipe because the almond paste really makes this tart. However, you could try making your own "almond paste", using a different nut instead. Here is an ingredient susbstitution, http://www.joyofbaking.com/IngredientSubstitution.html. Follow the directions for the almond paste using the nut of your choice and omitting the almond extract. Also, when using a nut like walnut, you may want to use orange zest in lieu of the lemon zest in my recipe.

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  7. Anon-
    One more thing-- if you do try making your own paste using another nut, just make sure you use 8 ounces for the recipe. The link I gave you yields slightly more than needed.

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  8. I also usually shy away from almond extract, but your picture combined with the addition of the lemon extract have overcome any hesitation. The ingredients for this tart are already on my grocery list for next week! This is a winner. Thanks.

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  9. This looks delicious. Love the almond raspberry combo.

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  10. Wow! I made the Italian tart for Easter dinner tonight and after it cooled I couldn't even wait til dinner to try it so I had a sliver......yum!!!! It's so light and fluffy and I love the almond taste. It may become a holiday staple in my house!

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  11. We had dinner with friends Saturday night and I made this for dessert. Everyone LOVED it!

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  12. I made this for one of our desserts for our Easter dinner...it was very delicious (not too almondy) and very easy to make. And looked gorgeous!
    Thanks.

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  13. Erin, Gail, and Liz,
    I am so pleased that you made the tart and enjoyed it. Thank you for taking the time to let me know.

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  14. It looks gorgeous and similar to a British Strawberry/Raspberry tart popularly known as the 'Bakewell tart'. Delicioso

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  15. AnonymousJuly 21, 2013

    This is a very Italian dessert that is at my Italian family reunion every year. It is bought at Victoria's bakery in north beach in San Francisco. The torte I know does not use almond paste and I am on the hunt for a recipe to make the real Italian dessert. This recipe does sound good

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