I love to entertain and feed people for many reasons. One of my favorite reasons though, is that it gives me an excellent opportunity to make new recipes and try new things that I might now cook for just the two of us. One such recipe was this delicious Italian lemon and almond tart. It is a win/win/win/win. I love Italian foods of all kinds. Check. I love both lemons and almonds. Double check. And I love to make tarts, so check again. This recipe covered them all. This lemon tart has a little more texture and body than it’s French cousin because of the addition of the ground almonds. It was a big hit with our guests.
I made the dough first. I kept it tightly wrapped up for about a week before actually using it for my tart though. I knew I was going to make the tart, but something came up, and I did not make it when I had originally planned. The dough was still perfect and delicious when I did end up making the tart. So now you know, the dough will keep and you can make it ahead. You can also freeze it as well.
The dough is a pate sucre, though a little different than how I normally make it. This one called for regular sugar, yet most of the pate sucres I make call for powdered sugar. Both are good. I didn’t see much difference in either though.
2 sticks of cold butter cubed
2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
I make my dough in my food processor, but you can mix it or do it by hand too. I mix the flour, sugar and cold butter first until it resembles a crumbly, fine sandy texture.
Then add the eggs and mix together until the dough forms into a ball. Your dough will be a firm, stiff dough. This is the consistency you are looking for.
Once your dough forms into a ball. wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1/2 an hour before using, though like I mentioned above, I kept it in the fridge for about 1 week, and it was still fine.
Some people bake the dough first before adding the filling. I don’t usually do that. I prefer cooking the dough and the filling at the same time so the dough doesn’t burn. Usually it is the filling that requires more cooking time, so if the crust is browning to much, I just cover it with aluminum foil and let it cook until the middle sets.
Preheat the oven to 375* F or 190* C.
Roll the dough out and firmly press into a fluted tart pan.
2/3 cup sugar
3 TBSP lemon juice
1 TBSP lemon zest + more for topping, optional
1 stick of melted butter
2/3 cup ground almonds
whip cream for topping
Mix the eggs, sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest together until they become light and fluffy, or for about 5 minutes.
Fold in the ground almonds then pour the batter into the dough and spread evenly.
Bake uncovered for about 30-40 minutes, or until the dough is golden brown and the middle is set and does not jiggle. If the edges of the crust are browning to quickly, cover with aluminum foil and continue to cook until the center is set.
Allow the tart to cool slightly before removing it from the pan, then allow it to cool completely before adding the whipped cream. I added a little lemon zest to my whipped cream as well, but this is optional.
All that’s left to do is is to enjoy it with friends or family. Everyone is going to love it. I promise. !Buon Appetito!
Stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.