Almond Tart

MAKES: 6 to 8 servings

TIME: 1 hour with a prepared crust

An almond lover’s dessert, this is crunchy and slightly chewy, with just the right amount of sweetness. You can make it without the crust if you like; be sure to liberally grease and flour the pan first. And any nuts can be used in place of the almonds: Hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans, macadamias, peanuts, and cashews are all great.

Other crusts you can use: Sweet Tart Crust.

1 recipe Nut Tart Crust made with almonds, in a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom

21/2 cups almonds

6 eggs

1 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon grated or finely minced lemon zest

Confectioners sugar for dusting

Prebake the crust as directed. Start the filling while the crust is in the oven. When the crust is done, leave the oven at 350В°F and cool the crust slightly on a rack.

Grind 11/2 cups of the almonds to a powder in a food processor or spice mill. Chop the remaining almonds. Beat the eggs and sugar together, preferably in a standing mixer, until thick and light in color (if you are doing this by hand, it will take a good 10 minutes or more). Stir in the cinnamon, lemon zest, and almonds. Pour into the crust.

Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack, then remove the sides of pan. Dust the top with confectioners sugar and serve.

Variations

Rich Nut Tart. With cream and honey to sweeten: Use any nuts you like; pecans or macadamias make a really rich tart. Substitute 1/2 cup cream for 2 of the eggs and 1/2 cup honey for the sugar.

Rosemary-Pine Nut Tart. Almost savory and terrific with an after-dinner cheese course: Substitute 2 cups pine nuts for the almonds and 1 tablespoon minced rosemary for the cinnamon. Reduce the sugar to 2/3 cup and add up to 3/4 cup golden raisins if you like. Skip grinding the pine nuts leave them whole.

Granola Tart. Loaded with toasted oats, nuts, and seeds: Substitute 1 cup toasted rolled oats (see Garnishing with Grains), 1 cup chopped nuts, and 1/2 cup pumpkin, sunflower, or sesame seeds for the almonds. Skip grinding the oats, nuts, and seeds.