Raspberry Almond Tartlets
Welcome our newest modern baker, Mel! Here’s her first post:
I was snooping around on the Modern Baker Challenge site a couple weeks ago, and I noticed that it looked like one of the tartlets from the Sweet Tarts and Pies section didn’t get taken by anybody to make. I thought it would be a shame if nobody made those wonderful sounding tartlets. Actually I didn’t have the book at the time (I later got it from the library), so I couldn’t even look at the recipe, but how could something called raspberry almond tartlets not be scrumptious. I timidly typed a message saying I would bake them if no one else had claimed them. Yea!, Phyl responded and said he had assigned them to me. I was so excited to be baking & posting about something other than bread.
It was the perfect tartlet recipe, as it called for almond paste, raspberries and sugar, several of my favorite ingredients. As luck would have it, I had exactly 4 ounces of almond paste in the freezer in a glass jar that was left over from a previous baking project. I used Smucker’s Simply Fruit (Raspberry) for the seedless raspberry preserves called for in the recipe.
The crust for these tartlets was made from the Sweet Tart Dough recipe found on page 160 of Malgieri’s book The Modern Baker. I made the dough the day before the tarts, although I wondered how long the dough was required to be refrigerated before you could use it. This was only the second time I had used my old Hamilton Beach food processor to make a dough. I’m amazed at how easy it is to put dough together with a food processor. It’s not so fun to wash all the nooks and crannies of the processor bowl later, but I think it’s worth it to save the time. It only took maybe 10 mintues to put the dough together using the food processor.
Into the fridge the disk of dough went until the next day….
Before working with the dough, I read very carefully page 162 in his book re: rolling tartlet crusts, because I knew this dough could be hard to work with if I didn’t do it correctly.
They should mention in this section, I think, that when you go to knead the cold dough that it will break and crumble a bit at first, before you’re actually able to knead it. But it did soften in my warmish hands, and after it did, I flattened it and used my pastry scraper to divide it into 3 pieces.
Rolling out the dough and cutting the 24 circles was the most time-consuming part of the whole recipe, taking me maybe 45 minutes to do. I put the tartlet pan full of dough circles back into the fridge for 45 minutes to chill before finishing.
The almond filling for the tartlets was very simple to mix up, using the food processor again. I bought a package of Driscoll organic raspberries that contained HUGE berries. The berries were so large that I laid them on their sides inside the little crustlets and squished them down slightly. Just for fun, to see if they would be any different, I put a frozen raspberry into four of the tartlet crusts. However, when I took all of the tartlets out of the pan to arrange on a rack to cool, I forgot which ones had the frozen berries. Ooops, oh well, they’ve all tasted wonderful so far so I don’t see why you couldn’t use frozen berries in the winter.
There was plenty of the almond filling so I put more than 1 scant teaspoon into each crust. It was probably closer to 2 teaspoons into each tartlet. I was running low on sliced almonds, and that’s why each tartlet isn’t completely covered in almond slices, but I think they were just so delicious it didn’t matter.
I’m glad it was nearing the end of the day, because I could have kept eating and eating these little things. So very good with tea or coffee! I think these would be a great hit at any family gathering, or baby shower or bridal shower. They do take a bit of time, but are worth it for the raspberry & almond lovers out there.