Truth be told, I have a love-hate relationship with tarts.
Tarts are mystical and magical things I think. Done well, they are some of the most amazing desserts, and as my mother’s favorite dessert, I have a little more motivation to make each tart well.
Another truth be told? I’m not a big fan of nuts in desserts that have smooth textures, and neither does the hubby, but keeping the two of us – not to mention Mei and Emily away from freshly roasted almonds? Impossible! The intense flavor that each almond had was better than any almond I have ever eaten. We are certainly going to be roasting our own almonds from now on.
Another thing that I take issue with is caramel sauce. Made as Dorie describes in this recipe is exactly how I have seen it in other recipes and they just don’t work out for me. I feel like you can’t tell that you went through the trouble of making the caramel – making it feel like a cumbersome and unnecessary step, but Dorie’s recipe? WOW. It worked!
Maybe it was just the right day and I had my baking mojo… I just kept repeating the advice that David Lebovitz gave me at a book signing and cooking demo event of his that Mei and I attended a couple years ago, when making caramel, take it to the edge. Pull it off just before you think it might scorch. I did just that, and strive to hit that mark every time because the caramel flavor is so incredibly rich right on that line. It’s an impeccably caramel flavor.
Today, I put about 1/4 tsp of cognac (what is a Dorie recipe without it?) and another 1/4 tsp of vanilla extract in the custard and it did wonders for the custard. I’m not entirely certain that I cooked the custard quite long enough… another five minutes might have set the texture to be more firm, but we were thrilled with the results!
Mei LOVED the tart “cookie,” in her words “I LOVE the cookie mom!” She also ate up most of the nuts and all the custard. This was after she finished off quite a full meal, including about 1/2 C of freshly steamed green beans so this was quite a rich and filling dessert to end her evening with! Although I know without a doubt what she will be asking for tomorrow morning. (Don’t you?)
Emily loved this one just as much, although she only had about three forkfuls. She’s small, what can I say? She didn’t care for the bits of almonds in the custard – she prefers them whole and freshly roasted (can’t blame her there…!) and I’m certain she will mysteriously appear at my side when I sit down for breakfast tomorrow morning with my slice of Caramel-Almond Custard Tart and cuppa.
All in all? We loved this! I could easily see making this on a whim in the spring or summer and trading the almonds for hazelnuts or berries or other fruits and trying all sorts of different combinations. A perfect tart. MMmmmmm!
Lastly, today is the last chance to enter my October Book Giveaway, look for it here! If you love to laugh (or know someone who does), then this is for you!
To join our group, simply get yourself a copy of Dorie Greenspan’s “Around My French Table” and get in the kitchen! To see what the other Doristas did with this tart, click here! Have a lovely and tasty Friday!