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Portuguese Almond Tart

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Portuguese Almond Tart

GG Mora | Mar 21, 2003 04:17 PM

As penance for posting a query about something dietary and undeliciousness (to me, anyway), I promised to post my closely guarded recipe for Portuguese Almond Tart.

The recipe came from the cook, Angela, at the Quinta da Bacalhoa in Azeitao, Portugal, where I had the privelege of staying for a week with a group of friends -- all of us as unaccustomed to being waited on hand and foot as the staff were to being fraternized with. We joyously turned the place on its head for a week, and spent a good deal of time in the kitchen watching Angela do her thing. Everything she made was delicious, but this tart was outstanding. She spoke no English, so her husband Jose Pedro (who spoke minimal English) translated. I had to interpret some, because the recipe as given was a list of ingredients for each of the two stages with the instructions "put together and take to the fire" with "medium hot" the temperature for Part 1 and "very hot" the temperature for Part 2. After a few years of experimentation and tweaking, it comes out like this:

Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Grease a 12-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Grease the hollows of the fluted edge especially well, as the topping part of the tart will stick.

For the "Cake":
125 g unsalted butter, softened
200 g sugar
2 eggs
splash vanilla extract
pinch salt
200 g flour (AP)

Cream together butter and sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Blend in salt and flour. Spread evenly over bottom of tart pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool out of the oven for about 15 minutes.

For the "Topping":
125 g unsalted butter, softened
60 g heavy cream
150 g sugar
200 g sliced almonds

Cream together butter and sugar. Beat in cream. Blend in almonds. Spread over top of cooled baked cake. Bake for 20 minutes or until topping is bubbling and browned. Cool completely before serving, but serve at room temperature.

My apologies for metric measurements; I bake by weight, so I never bothered to convert the recipe.

This lovely, simple tart has a rich, buttery base, somewhere between shortbread and a very dense pound cake. The topping is caramelized, crunchy and nutty. It's an excellent dessert for those who like their sweets rich but not cloying.

Okay, now back to the seaweed.

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