Almond and Strawberry Tart
- SERVINGS: 8-10
Juicy ripe strawberries make a refreshing topping for this rich, buttery tart. At The River Café, the dough is chilled and coarsely grated into the tart pan, then patted into the base and sides. It's a useful technique for anyone who hates to roll out pastry, although it takes longer.
- 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 sticks (5 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- Pinch of salt
- 2/3 confectioners' sugar
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/2 pound whole blanched almonds
- 3/4 cup superfine sugar
- 1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 pints fresh strawberries, bottoms trimmed flat and berries quartered lengthwise
- 1 1/2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
- Crème fraîche, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 350°. In a food processor, pulse the flour, butter and salt until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs. Pulse in the confectioners' sugar and then the egg yolks until incorporated and the pastry pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Pat the pastry into a smooth round disk.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to a 12-inch round. transfer to a 9 1/2-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom, fitting it into the sides; trim the overhang. Line the pastry with foil and fill it with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the edges are lightly colored. Remove the foil and weights. Bake the tart shell for about 10 more minutes, or until the pastry is dry and firm to the touch. Let cool on a rack.
- In a food processor, pulse the almonds and 1/4 cup of the superfine sugar until finely ground. In a medium bowl, beat the butter with the remaining 1/2 cup of superfine sugar until light and creamy. Add the butter mixture to the almonds and process until combined. Add the eggs to the almond mixture 1 at a time, processing until smooth before adding the next egg.
- Spread the almond mixture in the pastry shell and bake in the lower third of the oven for about 45 minutes, or until the top is golden. Let cool completely on a rack.
- Remove the tart from the pan and transfer it to a large platter. Arrange the strawberries upright on the tart. Sift the confectioners' sugar over the berries and serve the tart with crème fraîche.
Nonvintage Le Giligare Vin Santo. The Vin Santo has all the perfume and aroma of a classic Vin Santo without being too intense, making it a perfect spring wine. Other drier Vin Santos include the Selvapiana and the Isole e Olena.