Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
A beautiful nut crust is the perfect palette for berries or sliced stone fruits. Whole raspberries or blackberries, or sliced strawberries, can be used in place of the blueberries, and nectarines can stand in for the peaches.
For the crust:
- 1 heaping cup almonds
- 2 Tbs. sugar
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 12 Tbs. (1 1/2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 2 to 3 Tbs. almond liqueur or corn syrup
- 1/4 lb. almond paste
- 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 egg white
- 1 pint blueberries, or 4 or 5 small peaches, pitted and sliced
- 1 Tbs. water
- 1 Tbs. (1 envelope) unflavored gelatin
- 3/4 cup red currant or apple jelly
Directions:Preheat an oven to 350°F.
To make the crust, in a food processor, combine the almonds and sugar and process until fairly finely ground. Add the flour and pulse to mix. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add 2 Tbs. of the almond liqueur and pulse to bring the dough together in a rough mass, adding the remaining 1 Tbs. liqueur if the mixture is too dry.
Transfer the mixture to a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Using your fingers, pat it evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Bake until light brown and set, about 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the almond paste and butter and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Beat in the egg white.
When the crust is ready, remove from the oven and let cool for about 5 minutes. Spread the almond paste mixture evenly over the bottom of the warm crust. Let cool completely, then arrange the berries or peaches decoratively over the top.
Place the water in a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the top, stir and let stand for several minutes to soften. In a small saucepan over low heat, warm the jelly until it melts, about 5 minutes. Stir in the dissolved gelatin until melted, about 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Brush the jelly glaze evenly over the fruit. Let cool completely and serve at room temperature.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Lifestyles Series, Chicken for Dinner, by Heidi Haughy Cusick (Time-Life Books, 1998).