Thursday, February 16, 2012

Almond Slices

I have been waiting on the arrival of a rectangle tart pan in order to make this.  Luckily it did arrive in time for this post, otherwise I would have gone to plan B.  Now plan B is for another time.

This tart has a buttery pastry base that is spread with raspberry jam and then filled with a almond egg white mixture and topped with sliced almonds.  The picture in the book looks quite different and I think it is because they used skinned almonds.  Skinned almonds does give the filling more of a honey color and there is distinction between the almond and the jam in appearance.  However, I just had regular almonds on hand, but I will be making the change next go around on this recipe.

Once you get the pastry dough in place, the rest of the recipe comes together quite quickly.  I do like the flavor of the almonds and this was an unusual treat.  The touch of raspberry amidst all that almondy goodness is a perfect match.  The almond filling, which the author calls cake, does not have the texture of cake, considering the ingredients but it is hard to explain.  However unexplainable the texture is, there is no issue explaining that I think it tastes delicious!

If you have a weakness for almonds, then I am sure you will enjoy this recipe.

Tomorrow I am out of town for some appointments and shopping at the specialty grocers to find some inspiration-so wish me luck!

Almond Slices
adapted from Perfect Afternoon Tea Recipe Book

8 oz of sweet shortcrust pastry
4 egg whites
a few drops of almond extract, I used 1/8 tsp
1 1/2 cups ground almonds
1 cup sugar
flour for dusting
powdered sugar for dusting (optional)
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup raspberry jam

Grease an 11 X 7 inch shallow or tart pan.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly dust a flat surface with flour and roll out the pastry into a rectangle, about 14 x 10.  Lower the pastry into the pan.  Then press into the sides and bottom of the pan.  Cut off the excess pastry hanging over the top of the pan so all sides are even. 

Spread the jam over the bottom of the pastry.  I warmed the jam in the microwave for about 15 seconds to make it easier to spread.

In a small bowl, beat the egg whites until they reach a stiff peak stage.  Then fold in the almond extract, ground almonds and sugar.  Pour mixture into pan and smooth the top, making sure that filling is even.  Then sprinkle with the flaked almonds.

Place pan in oven and bake until top is firm and crisp and pastry is golden.  This should take about 30-35 minutes.  Let cool completely in pan.  Once cool, prior to slicing, you can dust with powdered sugar.
                      **LAST YEAR: PBC Doodle Cookies**