Raspberry, Cinnamon and Almond Tarts


 Prep Time : 1 Hour | Cook Time : 20 Minutes | Total Time : 2 Hours | Difficulty : A Bit Fiddly

Raspberry, Cinnamon and Almond Tarts

I love raspberry. I love cinnamon. I love almond. What if they all got together? I wondered. And the rest is history – tasty tasty history. These flavours work wonderfully together – warm and mellow. These tarts are a bit fiddly to make but all the steps are fairly easy and kind of zen to do.

First we need to make some pastry. This is a sweet short pastry with ground almonds added for flavour and tenderness. This is a snip to make in a food processor, but it’s very quick to pull together by hand and a bowl is easier to clean than food processor debris!

Sift the dry ingredients for the pastry into a large bowl that you can comfortably get your hands into. The one I use a lot is actually a salad bowl which has lower sides. Dice or grate the cold butter into the bowl. Using your fingertips rub the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles cake crumbs. Whisk the egg yolks and cold water with a fork and add about two thirds to the bowl. Mix with a fork (an old fashioned one with large tines works the best) to combine it. If you need to, add the rest of the egg to get it to come together. It will be a fairly soft and slightly sticky dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 30 seconds until smooth. Press into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least half an hour.

Making Pastry

While the dough is chilling brush a tartlet pan with melted butter and dust with flour. I used this one. I bought it for mini muffins but kept it because it’s perfect for tiny pies – the universe gives us what we need.

Preparing Tins

Roll out the chilled dough to about 3-4mm thick. It’s a bit thinner than for a large pie or tart because we want to have a good ratio of fillings to crust. Using a round cutter slightly larger than the top of the tart wells, cut out circles for 24 tarts. Lay each circle over a tart well and press gently in the centre to fold the dough in slightly, then using the edges gently ease it down into the well. Use the rounded end of a utensil (the best I have is the end of a bone handled butter knife) to gently tamp the dough flush against the base and sides. Put the tray of tart shells back into the fridge while you make the filling (about 15 minutes).

Cutting out Dough

Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). To make the almond filling, cream butter and brown sugar until fluffy then beat in the eggs. Fold in the ground almonds and spices followed by the brandy and you’re done. Now it’s time to start the assembly line. Spoon a little raspberry jam into the bottom of each tart to cover the bottom – about half to three-quarters of a teaspoon. It’s easiest to do this if you beat the jam with a spoon for 10 seconds or so to soften it. Next divide the almond filling between the tarts. Spoon it into the centre of each tart, then using the back of a teaspoon smooth it out towards the edges. Seal the filling to the pastry all the way round – it will stop the jam bubbling out during baking. Sprinkle the tops with flaked or slivered almonds and they’re ready to bake.

Making Pies

Bake for 20 minutes, turning halfway through. The tarts should be a little golden on top, the pastry should be dark gold and the filling firm to the touch. Cool in the tin for a few minutes to set up then transfer to a wire rack to cool further. Dust nonchalantly with icing sugar to serve.

Cooling on a Rack

 

Raspberry, Cinnamon and Almond Tarts


Prep Time : 1 hour | Cook Time : 20 mins | Total Time : 2 hours | Difficulty : A Bit Fiddly | Makes : 24 mini tarts

Raspberry spices things up with cinnamon and almond, two of its favourite bedfellows, in these excellent tarts. 

Ingredients:

  • Pastry
  • 125 gm | 4.4 oz | 1 stick and 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 65 gm | 2.3 oz | 1/3 cup lightly packed icing sugar
  • 30 gm | 1.1 oz | 3 tbsp ground almonds
  • 175 gm | 6.25 oz | 1 cup plain (pastry) flour
  • pinch of salt (omit if using salted butter)
  • 1 tbsp iced water
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Filling
  • 60 gm | 2.1 oz | 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 75 gm | 2.7 oz | 1/3 cup caster (superfine) sugar
  • 100 gm | 3.6 oz | 3/4 cup ground almonds
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp each cinnamon & mixed spice
  • 1 tbsp brandy (optional)
  • 100 gm | 3.6 oz | 1/3 cup raspberry jam
  • sliced or slivered almonds to decorate
  • icing sugar for dusting

Directions:

Pastry: Sift the dry ingredients for the pastry into a large bowl that you can comfortably get your hands into. The one I use a lot is actually a salad bowl which has lower sides. Dice or grate the cold butter into the bowl. Using your fingertips rub the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles cake crumbs. Whisk the egg yolks and cold water with a fork and add about two thirds to the bowl. Mix with a fork (an old fashioned one with large tines works the best) to combine and add the rest of the egg if you need to to get it to come together. It will be a fairly soft and slightly sticky dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for about 30 seconds until smooth. Press into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least half an hour.

Roll out the chilled dough to about 3-4mm thick. It’s a bit thinner than for a large pie or tart because we want to have a good ratio of fillings to crust. Using a round cutter slightly larger than the top of the tart wells, cut out circles for 24 tarts. Lay each circle over a tart well and press gently in the centre to fold the dough in slightly, then using the edges gently ease it down into the well. Use the rounded end of a utensil (the best I have is the end of a bone handled butter knife) to gently tamp the dough flush against the base and sides. Put the tray of tart shells back into the fridge while you make the filling (about 15 minutes).

Filling: To make the almond filling cream butter and brown sugar until fluffy then beat in the eggs. Fold in the ground almonds and spices until just combined. Fold in the brandy if using.

Assembly: Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Spoon a little raspberry jam into the bottom of each tart to cover the bottom – about half to three-quarters of a teaspoon. It’s easiest to do this if you beat the jam with a spoon for 10 seconds or so to soften it. Next divide the almond filling between the tarts. Spoon it into the centre of each tart, then using the back of a teaspoon smooth it out towards the edges. Seal the filling to the pastry all the way round – it will stop the jam bubbling out during baking. Sprinkle the tops with flaked or slivered almonds.

Bake for 20 minutes, turning halfway through. Cool in the tin for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool further. Dust with icing sugar to serve.

Adapted from The Cook’s Companion

© 2014 The Winsome Baker. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

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