Italian Almond Raspberry Birthday Tart

Baking

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I made this classic Almond Raspberry Tart for my Mom’s birthday!

My Mom is not big on birthdays at all. She is all for celebrating other people’s special days, just not her own! Probably because she doesn’t like cake or chocolate. Each year she tries something different in lieu of cake, much to the chagrin of our entire family. A couple year’s ago, she just wanted Angel Food Cake with fresh strawberries and whipped cream. There were no other desserts! I am pretty sure I cried into my Angel Food cake. Come on, no birthday is complete without chocolate!

So this year, the Sue Birthday situation was rectified with three entirely different desserts! I decided to make her a Almond Raspberry Tart. I knew she would like it because she is all about that almond, and it is classic Italian dessert.

I found the recipe from Williams-Sonoma’s blog, but actually ended up using this recipe (which was adapted from the Williams-Sonoma one) solely because it included the recipe for the tart crust dough. The recipe is super simple, easy to follow, and only requires a few ingredients! It also was not very time consuming, which was great because it gave me plenty of time to make a red velvet cake and brownies! Mind you, this was for six people.

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The crucial ingredient to this recipe is the almond paste. It’s a bit pricey at the grocery store but if you are ambitious and determined, you can make it yourself (I found recipes when I was searching online). It consists of equal parts ground almonds and sugar with some sort of binder, like an egg. I just used almond paste that we had from a couple of years ago when we were big into making French Macaroons (which I’m not certain if they even need almond paste…). Unfortunately, since this almond paste was never opened, the expiration date said 5/14….Being as I had never made this tart before and had no expectations, I decided to use it anyway! The almond paste was dry and hard, even after I cut it into small pieces. Mixing it into the cake batter with the beaters was just not working. Instead, I crumbled the pieces into a food processor to make finer crumbles. This worked out perfectly! It was also a 7 ounce tube which was 1 ounce short of what was needed for this recipe, but I don’t think we were shorted any almond flavor because of it! I would be curious to try this recipe again with fresher almond paste and see how that goes!

Oh, I also didn’t have pie weights or dried beans, so in a pinch I had to use rice!

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And as you well know, I am not a fan of seeds in raspberry jam. My mom, however, is! So I mixed probably 1/3 seeded jam with 2/3 parts seedless jam to make the 1/3 cup needed to be spread on the tart crust.

This recipe was an absolute success! It was fairly simple to make, just required a few steps, not to mention my almond paste hurdle. And it was sooo beautiful! The presentation alone of this tart is so gorgeous! It also had great flavor. I could have eaten the tart crust dough raw! Well, there was also a stick of butter in it, so no surprise there. The flavors worked so well together too! And the texture! The rich buttery crust was practically a shortbread cookie then the sweet raspberry jam with the almond cake on top. Mmmm the flavors were so well-balanced with the almond and the raspberry.

This might be a new Birthday tradition!

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