Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Apple berry almond tart, baking failures and "Munich"

Apple berry almond tart / Torta de amêndoa, frutas vermelhas e maçã

I’ve trashed Steven Spielberg once or twice already (despite loving “Jaws” and the Indiana Jones trilogy), but last week I saw an excellent movie directed by him: “Munich”. It’s a very long movie (almost 3 hours long), but it keeps you hooked every step of the way – it’s like those books you feel like taking to the shower with you because you can’t put them down. The cast is packed with favorites of mine (Bana, Craig, and the glorious Hinds and Rush), and I was surprised by a wonderful Mathieu Kassovitz , whom I’d always associated to the beautiful “Amélie” – because of his powerful performance in “Munich” I’ve added “La Haine” to my “to watch” list.
I might find some of Spielberg’s movies quite cheesy – “Hook”, anyone? – but I must admit that very few directors know how to perfectly place the camera and move it around like he does; he should stick to adult movies (and stop ruining them at the end, like he did with “Schindler’s List”).


Dan Lepard’s recipes have become my go-to strategy when I want to avoid baking failures – after making one of Lisa Yockelson’s cakes and throwing it in the garbage (her cake recipes are always so great, I do not know what happened there), I felt like making something different; I decided for a tart and went straight for one of Lepard’s recipes – better safe than sorry, right? ;)
The tart turned out delicious and the combination of apples, almonds and berry preserves was a match made in heaven.

Apple berry almond tart
from Lepard’s column at the Guardian, and also from his absolutely great cookbook (one of my all time favorites)

¾ cup (105g) all purpose flour
2 ½ tablespoons (25g) corn starch, packed
pinch of salt
½ cup + 1 tablespoon (127g) unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon (78g) granulated sugar
1 egg, separated
½ cup (50g) ground almonds
1 tablespoon Amaretto (or brandy)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large Granny Smith apple
125g any dark berry preserves – I used blackcurrant
3 tablespoons flaked almonds

Combine the flour, corn starch and salt into a large bowl with 75g of the butter and 2 tablespoons of the sugar. Rub together just until the lumps of butter disappear, add the egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of ice water, and work to a smooth, soft dough. Wrap, chill for 1 hour, then roll out and line a lightly buttered 20cm fluted tart pan with a removable bottom*. Prick the dough all over with a fork and freeze for 40 minutes. – in the meantime, preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
Line the pastry with baking paper and cover with dried beans/baking weights. Bake for 20 minutes. Carefully remove the paper and beans/weights and bake for 10 minutes longer. Keep the oven on.

Beat the remaining 50g of butter, the ground almonds and remaining sugar with the egg white and the Amaretto and vanilla until smooth. Peel, core and finely dice the apple, and stir it through the almond cream. Spread the jam over the base of the tart case, cover with almond cream and sprinkle with the flaked almonds. Bake for 40 minutes or until the filling is nicely puffed and golden.

* I made the exact recipe above using a 30x10cm (12x4in) tart pan

Serves 6-8


Laura (Tutti Dolci) said...

Your tart looks scrumptious! Love the flavors.

Migle said...

"Munich" to me was very shocking, especially knowing that is (sadly) based on a true story. Probably that's why watching it I couldn't concentrate my attention to the plot or perfectly moving camera. Anyways, it was good. And the crew was even better ;)
And your tart looks amazing!

Deb said...

Adore the pairing of almonds and apples! A irresistible fall dessert!

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