Adapted from David Lebovitz
I have long been a fan of David Lebovitz’ recipes – I’ve never not liked one of his cakes, and I’ve made quite a few of them. It was a while before I tried this one out though, because, although it doesn’t require very many ingredients, the recipe seemed a bit too fussy for my liking (make the pastry, chill the pastry, let the pastry come back to room temperature, put the pastry in tart pan, chill AGAIN, blardeeblardeeblar). It’s well worth giving it a go though, in spite of the slightly fussy pastry-process – it’s one of my favourite tarts! It’s a very sophisticated tart, too, very thin and not over the top sweet, although obviously very caramelly and slightly chewy 🙂
Now, while I know there is often a method to the madness, I have skipped the chilling part of the pastry making plenty of times, and it turned out completely ok. In Danish we would call this pastry ‘skør’, which means crazy, by which we mean it’s very flakey and crumbly, a pastry that breaks easily. Because the pastry shell is so fussy, last time I made this tart I made an extra pastry shell to put in the freezer – so today all I had to do was take the shell out of the freezer, bake it, make the almond-caramel filling, bake that, and voilà! Cake 🙂 🙂 (well, tart.)
I will say that I prefer the shell when it hasn’t been frozen; this time the pastry and the filling sort of merged a little, which I’ve never experienced before when making this. But it was still yummy.
(Also, you may well have noticed from the pictures below that I forgot about my hot-running oven, and accidentally over-baked the pastry a tiny bit; luckily it still tasted good although on the slightly browner side 😉 ).
Alright! For the pastry you will need:
140 g / 1 cup flour
2 tbsp sugar
115 g / 1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
1 tbsp cold water
2 tsp vanilla extract
For the filling:
250 ml / 1 cup heavy cream
200 g / 1 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
80 g / 1 cup sliced almonds
2 tsp Amaretto
Mix the flour and sugar together, and add the butter, blending with your fingers until the mixture sort of resembles breadcrumbs.
Add the water and vanilla extract and press the dough together. Chill the dough thoroughly, wrapped in kitchen film, if you have time, and let it come back to room temperature before pressing it into a tart pan about 26 cm in diameter, preferably one with a removable bottom, before chilling thoroughly again in the freezer (or do as I usually do, and press it directly into the tart pan before chilling it in the freezer – I’ve also once skipped this step and just put it directly in the oven, and it was fine).
Bake at 190 degrees Celsius / 375 degrees Fahrenheit / gas mark 5, for about 20 minutes until slightly golden (a little less than I did!).
To make the filling, mix together cream, sugar and salt in a pot until the mixture begins to boil. When it starts to foam and bubble up, remove it from the heat and add the almonds and Amaretto.
Pour the filling into the pre-baked pastry shell, even it out a little, and bake in the middle of the oven for about 30 mins, until the caramel mixture is golden-brown. Whilst baking, every five to ten minutes or so sort of gently ‘tap’ the filling all over with the side of a silicone spatula, to prevent a crust from forming. Do this about three times, leave it alone for the last ten minutes or so to let the caramel set.
Make sure to check whether the side of the tart has gotten stuck (if so, gently loosen it with a vegetable peeler), before you take it out of the pan.
I’ve found that it keeps well for several days if there’s any left over! 🙂