Honestly, I don’t know why I don’t make this tart or, as I called it growing up it Italy, crostata, more often. It’s just one of those comfort foods for me, probably because – despite my ripe old age – it puts me in my mom’s kitchen as a 8-year old…practically jumping around the oven from the excitement of knowing the crostata would soon finish baking and make its way into my mouth.
The crumbly, light texture of the crust coupled with the chewy sweetness of baked marmalade…it just never got old. It still doesn’t.
Best of all, as long as you have some good-quality marmalade in the house, it doesn’t require much to put together. At times I almost feel guilty that half of the dessert is made from something already conveniently pre-made, but then I remember that I grew up Roman Catholic and that the guilt thing was practically bred into me (and remember, I’m Italian to boot), which is when I take a bi sigh of relief. Plus, I do end up giving my rolling pin a good work out to flatten the dough and think…well, store bought marmalade is all right with me.
Maybe one of these years I’ll get around to canning and making my own jams and things.(Code language for: never goona happen.) But until then I’ll continue to enjoy my tarts with good marmalade out of a jar.
So without further ado, let’s get started.
making apricot marmalade tart with almond crust
Heat a skillet on medium heat and add 1/2 cup of slivered almonds.
Toast for a few minutes, stirring frequently, until they begin to turn a golden color and release a wonderful toasted almond aroma, about 4 minutes.
Here’s the difference in color between toasted and untoasted:
Immediately transfer to a plate or bowl and allow to cool completely. Process the almonds, along with 2 tablespoons of sugar, in a coffee grinder until they resemble sand.
Be sure to add the sugar into the grinder before adding the toasted almonds. It will help prevent the almonds from caking to the blades and to the bottom of the grinder as it grinds. It doesn’t stop it from happening altogether, but it does minimize it. When it looks like this, you’re done.
In the bowl of an upright mixer, combine ground almonds, 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, a pinch or two of ground cinnamon, and ½ teaspoon salt. Using the paddle attachment (the one that looks like a skewed peace sign), begin adding ½ cup (1 stick) of cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces.
Continue mixing on medium-high speed until the mixture begins to resemble sand.
As the mixer works on the flour mixture, create an egg wash by whisking together 1/3 cup of cold water and 1 egg yolk in a small bowl.
Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the egg mixture over the flour mixture and continue mixing.
Repeat at least once, or until the dough begins to stick together more.
You are done mixing the dough when it begins to stick together around the paddle.
Make a ball out of the dough,
wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Remove dough from the refrigerator and roll it out into a 13-inch circle on a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper, trimming the edges. (Press the remaining pastry dough together into a small ball and set aside. Once you’ve added the marmalade to the crust, you can then roll it out and make decorative shapes with it.) For further pictorial instructions about how to roll out the dough, visit this page. Gently flip the pastry and parchment paper over onto a baking sheet. Tuck any remaining pastry dough hanging over the side of the baking dish in on itself, with the cut end curving towards the baking pan. Press the crust with your fingers or with a fork to create a decorative touch.
Puncture the pastry dough with a fork several times.
Spoon out and spread a 13 oz. jar of apricot marmalade throughout.
Add the hearts and clovers made from the leftover crust dough.
Brush the egg wash over the edges of the pastry. Cover the border of the pastry with a pie crust shield.
I use to create a similar effect using aluminum foil and it worked, though the pieces of foil I would attach together to create the ring would eventually always come undone and create problems. Needless to say, this pie crust shield feels heaven sent.
Place baking dish in the oven, on middle rack, and lower temp to 375°F. Bake for 15 minutes with the shield, and then quickly open the oven door and just as quickly remove the shield. Continue baking for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the marmalade is bubbly and the crust is golden brown. (Overall, the tart will bake for a total of 30 to 35 minutes.) Take out of the oven and cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving. Makes 8 servings.