Almond Fruit Tartlet

Something is nagging at me the last few nights since I made those Rustic Almond and Fruit Galettes. I really wanted to feature those beautiful fresh fruits more prominently than having them hidden under the ‘rustic’ crust.

This weekend, I made another batch of flaky tart dough from my favorite Tartine cookbook and set off to give these fresh fruits tarts a new look. I incorporated the almond paste into the usual fruit tart recipes, and I get the best of everything in my Almond Fruit Tartlet. Flaky crust, crunchy almond paste bottom, velvety pastry cream, refreshing fresh fruits.

Yep yep, this is one dessert recipe I will make again and again.


Pastry Cream

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter

Directions

  1. Prepare a sieve over a medium glass bowl to cool the custard. Set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and sugar. Add the eggs and whisk until smooth. Set aside.
  3. Pour milk into a heavy saucepan. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the milk.
  4. Add salt and bring the milk to just under a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.
  5. Ladle one-third of the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly as you add the milk.
  6. Pour the egg-milk mixture back into the hot milk and continue whisking over medium heat until the custard is as thick as lightly whipped cream, about 2 minutes. You should see a few slow bubbles. Do not allow the egg mixture to boil vigorously.
  7. Remove from heat and pour the custard immediately through the sieve into the glass bowl. Let cool for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally to release the heat and prevent a skin from forming.
  8. Cut the butter into tablespoon chunks. When the pastry cream is ready, whisk the butter into the pastry cream 1 tablespoon at a time. Always whisking until butter is completely dissolved before adding the next tablespoon.
  9. To cool the cream, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap directly onto the top of the cream. Do not whisk the cream once it is cold.
  10. Cool completely and store in the refrigerator. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Velvety pastry cream

Almond Paste

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup ground roasted almond
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg yolk

Directions

  1. Mix ground almond, sugar, and egg yolks into a paste.

Flaky Tart Dough

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 3 cups + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup + 5 Tbsp unsalted butter, very cold

Directions

  1. Add salt to the water, stir to dissolve. Keep solution very cold in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  2. Cut butter into 1/2 inch chunks, keep in the refrigerator.
  3. Add flour to the work bowl of a food processor.
  4. Scatter the butter chunks over the flour.
  5. Pulse briefly until the mixture forms large crumbs, and some of the butter is still in pieces the size of peas.
  6. Add the salt water and pulse for several seconds until the dough begins to come together in a ball but is not completely smooth.
  7. On a lightly floured surface, divide the dough into 10 equal portions for tartlets. Divide the dough into 2 equal portions for 10-inch pie.
  8. Roll each portion into a disc about half-inch thick.  Separate the discs with parchment or wax paper. Place the stack of dough discs in a plastic storage bag. Seal tight. Refrigerate the dough overnight. Freeze unused portions of the dough for future baking sessions.
  9. When ready to bake the tart shell, preheat the oven to 375 degree F.
  10. Take each disc out of the refrigerator, one at a time. Roll each disc into a 6″ circle. Lay the disc over the tart mold. Press the dough into the mold and crimp the edges. Keep the tart pan in the refrigerator while working on the next disc. Repeat for the number of tarts desired. Prepare the same number of parchment paper discs to line the bottom of each tart.
  11. Prick the bottom of each tart with a fork to release the heat during baking.
  12. Cover each tart with a piece of the parchment paper circles.
  13. Bake in 375 degree F oven until the bottom of the tart turned light brown, approximately 15 minutes. Check during baking. If the bottom of the tart begins to rise, prick with a tooth pick to release the heat.
  14. Remove the tart pan from the oven. Remove the parchment paper circles.
  15. Fill the bottom of each tartlet with 1/8 cup almond paste. Add more almond paste if desired. Press down with the back of a spoon or measuring cups to pack the almond paste firmly to the bottom of the tartlets.
  16. Bake another 20 minutes in the oven until the tart shell turns golden brown.
My favorite Goldtouuch tart pan from William Sonoma
Fill half-baked shells with desired amount of almond paste and press down with back of spoon or measuring cup. Baked another 20 minutes.
Fully baked tart shells filled with almond paste

Assembly

Ingredients

  • 1 large nectarines, pitted and cut into thin slices
  • 6 Tiger figs, sliced
  • A handful of blue berries
  • A handful of raspberries
  • mint leaves for garnish
  • 2 Tbsp melted apricot jam

Directions

  1. Fill tartlet shells with pastry cream up to just a little below the rim.
  2. Arrange the fruits on he pastry cream.
  3. Glaze the fruits with melted apricot jam.
  4. Garnish with mint leaves.
  5. Chill until ready to serve.
Assembled and glazed
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