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February 2009

Tart Recipes

Apple Almond Tart
Serves 10-12

For the crust:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 Tbsp Calvados
  • 1 1/4 c all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 stick plus 1 Tbsp unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/4 inch pieces

For the filling:

  • 1 1/4 c slivered almonds, blanched
  • 3/4 c plus 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 eggs, large
  • 3 Tbsp Calvados
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 tart green apples, peeled, quartered, cored and cut into 1/8" wedges
  • 1/4 cup of apricot preserves

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Prepare crust
Combine flour, sugar and salt in food processor. Add butter a few pieces at a time, pulsing until dough is the size of small peas. With machine running, add eggs and 1 Tbsp Calvados. Process until a large clump has formed.

Stop machine, remove dough and flatten into a round, thin disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour. The dough can be made a day in advance. Remove from refrigerator and soften slightly before rolling. The cooler the dough, the better it will behave.

Lightly flour rolling surface and rolling pin. Roll dough out to a 14-inch circle. Transfer to an 11-inch tart pan. Fold dough over to make a double-thick edge. Chill until filling is ready.

Prepare filling
Combine almonds, 3/4 cup sugar, eggs, 1 Tbsp Calvados, vanilla and almond extracts and salt in a food processor. Blend into a soft paste. Add 4 Tbsp butter, blend well. Spread into crust. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes

Stir apples, 1 Tbsp Calvados plus 1 Tbsp sugar in a large bowl. Rest for about 30 minutes. Drain apples and then overlap in a concentric circle on top of the filling. Melt 2 Tbsp butter and brush it over the apples. Sprinkle on 2 Tbsp sugar.

Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce oven to 350 degrees and bake until the apples are tender, about 45 minutes. Transfer to a rack.

Mix 1 Tbsp Calvados and preserves in a small saucepan and stir over low heat until preserves melt. Strain and brush glaze over the apples. Cool and serve at room temperature.

Chocolate Hazelnut Tart
Yield: 12

  • 12 pre-baked tart shells
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 c hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1 c heavy cream
  • 10 1/2 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/2 c Nutella or similar chocolate-hazelnut spread

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Toast hazelnuts 5 minutes, stir and roast another 3 minutes.

Put chocolate into a heat-proof bowl.

Bring cream to a boil in a 2-quart sauce pan and pour over the chocolate, stirring until the chocolate is completely melted. Add Nutella and stir to combine. Add nuts and salt and thoroughly combine.

Pour filling into each shell and freeze to set the filling, about 20 minutes.

Do not serve tarts frozen. Tarts can be made two days in advance.

Hilary's Fruit-filled Muffins
Yield: 8-12 muffins

  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 3/4 c all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 c unsalted butter, plus 1 Tbsp for greasing muffin tins
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1/4 c whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c jam of choice

Heat oven to 350 degrees; grease muffin tins.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and sugar until smooth and well- blended, about 4 to 5 minutes. Beat in cream cheese until completely combined. Add eggs and combine.

Add dry ingredients in 2 parts, alternating with the milk. Add vanilla.

Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with the batter. Softly mix 1 teaspoon of chosen jam (or use a few flavors) into the batter.

Bake approximately 25-30 minutes.