Blueberry Almond Tart

Blueberry-Almond Tart
Your favorite flaky pie crust suitable for 10 inch tart pan
1 can Almond Paste (about 3/4 cup)
1/4 cup Vanilla Sugar or Granulated Sugar + 1 t Vanilla Extract
1/4 t Salt
1 stick Unsalted Butter, softened to texture of almond paste (helps them blend nicely)
2 large Eggs
1 t Pure Orange Extract
Grated zest of one half large orange or whole small one
1/3 cup Cake Flour (I use Softasilk)
1 cup fresh Blueberries
1/4 cup sliced raw Almonds

Preheat oven to 375°.  Roll out dough on lightly floured board and lay it into a 10-inch fluted removable bottom tart pan.  Press it into the sides with your thumbs but be careful not to stretch it.  Any stretching now will lead to shrinkage later, and we hate shrinkage.  Cut off any excess dough (roll out to make cinnamon-sugar cookies!) and put in freezer for about 20 minutes.  THIS IS IMPORTANT.

Remove from freezer and prick the bottom of the tart dough with a fork in several places.  You don’t want this baby puffing up in the oven.  Line the tart with a piece of foil or parchment and fill halfway with pie weights.  No pie weights handy?  Just use a pound or so of dried beans… any type will work, just be sure to reserve them for use only in baking.  I’ve had the same jar of dry black beans for years.  Bake the tart shell for about 30 minutes until edges are golden.  Remove pie weights,

Remove and reduce oven temp to 325°  cool on wire rack while you prepare the filling.

In bowl of stand mixer, combine almond paste, sugar, and salt.  Beat together on medium speed until mixture forms small clumps.  Add butter and beat on high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Be sure the butter is near room temperature so it incorporates easily.  Beat in eggs one at a time, then add vanilla  (if using) and orange extracts and orange zest.   Scrape down sides of bowl, then beat in flour until just combined.

Give the mixture a good stir with a rubber scraper just to make sure it’s all combined nicely, then scrape into pre-baked tart shell.  Smooth out top with an offset spatula and scatter blueberries evenly over the top.  Sprinkle sliced almonds over all.  Tent the edges of the pan/crust with strips of foil and bake in 325° oven for about 45 minutes or until top is golden and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Again, be sure to rotate pan about halfway through baking.  No oven is perfect.

Let tart cool completely on a wire rack, then remove outer ring and slide onto a serving platter.  Dust with powdered sugar and serve!



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