When I saw this cake on the February schedule I was not at all excited. I am not a huge almond paste-almond cream fan. That is M’s department. He loves anything with almonds; an almond croissant, coconut ice cream with toasted almonds, an almond torte. Me on the other hand, give me the chocolate, the caramel, a really great cookie, or a box of Sees candy.
I couldn’t not taste it. Right? One bite of this cake and I was in love. In love with a whlole new flavor, with almond cream, and mostly in love with the most amazing Sweet Tart Dough I have ever tasted. As I was eating my first bite, I was thinking of all pies, tarts and tartlettes that I could make with this crust. This is hands down the best crust I have ever tasted; at home or in a restaurant, in New York, San Francisco, Toronto or Chicago. I can envision a tart filled with homemade caramel topped with a chocolate ganache, a rich and creamy lime curd with a vanilla bean meringue, or a fresh berry mixture with a streusel topping. Yet, for the moment, I will simply enjoy this classic tart filled with almond cream, topped with sliced oranges. It is the perfect marriage. It’s the perfect tart.
4 naval oranges
for the almond cream
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup almond flour
2 tsp. flour
1 tsp. arrowroot
1 large egg
2 tsp. vanilla extract
for the tart dough:
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
9 Tbsp. unsalted butter, very cold
1 large egg yolk
for the almond cream:
• in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, cream the butter and sugar.
• add the almond flour and process. add the flour and arrowroot and mix well. add the egg.
• add the vanilla and stir with a rubber spatula.
• transfer to a glass bowl and refrigerate while you make the other ingredients.
for the sweet pastry dough:
• put the flour, confectioners’ sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. pulse 10 times.
• scatter the butter and pulse until all is coarsely mixed.
• stir in the egg yolk just until lumps start to form.
• knead the dough a few times on a slightly floured work surface.
• press the dough into your tart pan.
• set in the fridge while you dry out your oranges.
to peel the oranges:
• peel the oranges as close to the pulp as possible. cut sections of the orange between the membranes. place the orange sections on top of several paper towels. let them dry out for at least an hour.
• pull the tart shell from the fridge. spread the almond cream all over the bottom. be careful here as the tart shell has not been cooked and does and will pull away from the pan. simply re-work the tart shell back into the pan and add additional almond cream.
• make a pretty pattern with the oranges on top of the almond cream. don’t cover all the almond cream as it will puff up a bit when baking.
• place tart in 350* preheated oven. bake for 50-60 minutes or until the cream has turned a golden brown.
• let cool to room temperature and then dust with confectioners’ sugar.
The Urban Baker / SusanSalzman.com