Monday, September 24, 2012

Torta de Amêndoa- Portuguese Almond Tart

 A few months ago, on a whim, I stopped by a local bakery after dropping the kids off at school.  I had been here once before, right after moving here a few years ago, but the lady was a little gruff with me, and I never went back because of that.  I know that's kinda weird, but I was in a new country and was offended about it back then.  Well, I gave it another chance, and that lady had been replaced by a jovial, kind man who answered all of my questions about the pastries. Plus, I spotted slices of this delicious-looking almond tart there.  It was funny- I asked "What is that?" about this tart, and he said "That is a peanut tart."  "Oh", I said, "They look like almonds!"  "No," he said, "This is a peanut tart!"  I said Ok and asked for a slice to go.  Sure enough, upon further inspection (meaning, I ate it), I knew this was definitely an almond, not a peanut tart.  :) 

I loved it!!  It was so good.  I was going to save it for later but I ended up eating the whole thing as soon as I got home.  Right away, I started looking for recipe online to duplicate it.  I found a few and then narrowed it down to the one that looked perfect.  I bookmarked it, and last Saturday, made it to take to a friend's street bullfight. I'm so glad I finally made it- it was SO good and just like the one from the bakery.  A cookie-like crust is covered with a sweet, buttery, almond mixture and then baked just until the top starts to brown. 

I used my homemade vanilla sugar for all of the sugar in this recipe.  I also used my food processor for the dough, but you can mix in a mixer.  My dough all melted into one level in the oven, (after the 1st bake) but I just kinda squished the still-hot dough up the sides of the tart pan with a spoon as soon as it came out of the oven. 

Torta de Amêndoa- Portuguese Almond Tart
adapted from Eating Portuguese

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, cold and diced
1/2 cup super fine sugar or regular sugar
1 egg beaten
1 cup all purpose flour
pinch of baking soda

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 -4 tbsp milk (I used almond milk)
1 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup sugar (I used vanilla sugar)
1/2 cup almond flour

1.  Crust:  Preheat oven to 375F and pre-butter a tart pan with a removable bottom.  (Or another tart pan.)  Cream the butter with the sugar; then gradually beat in the egg.  (I used my food processor for this.)  Sift flour and baking soda over the mixture and lightly fold the flour by hand into the butter mixture.  Place the dough on the tart pan and spread it out, and up the sides of the pan.  Make sure dough is level.  Put it in the oven and bake it for 8-15 minutes.  When it is springy or spongy to the touch in the center and lightly golden brown, it is done; watch it carefully.  Pull it out if the oven and put it aside.

2.  Topping:  While dough is baking, melt the butter on low flame in a medium sauce pan.  Stir in sugar, almond, almond extract, vanilla, milk and almond flour.  Keep cooking over low heat, stirring constantly.  Once the mixture comes together, stir for 5 - 8 minutes or until it bubbles and thickens slightly.

3.  Spread the topping over the crust and put it back in the oven for another 8 - 12 minutes, until golden brown.  Do not let it brown too much. 

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Linda said...

I am so impressed with your cloning something you liked at the bakery! :)

LadyJayPee said...

Oh man, that sounds & looks so good, Dishy. I had a caramel-macadamia mini-tart in Hawaii recently that reminds me of this. SO good!