Sunday, August 14, 2016

Almond Tart with Stone Fruit and Lime Meringue

This Bon Appétit recipe is perfect for late summer. I’m using the same title they did, though I disagree with the terminology: a meringue is baked, whereas these egg whites are not. You could replace it with an aquafaba meringue, or omit the garnish entirely if raw eggs are a concern. You could also replace the topping with sliced almonds and nothing else. I served this with cherries, though peaches and plums would have been good, too. Stone fruit is obviously a great choice because of the almonds, but I see no reason why something like raspberries wouldn’t work. This was a really great dessert, though! I’ll definitely make it again.

For the crust
1⅔ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup powdered sugar
1 pinch of kosher salt
½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise
6 Tbsp. chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 large egg, beaten to blend

For the filling
1 cup lactose-free milk
⅓ cup lactose-free cream
½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise
4 large egg yolks
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 pinch of kosher salt
1 cup sliced almonds
¾ cup powdered sugar
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter or margarine, melted, slightly cooled
3 large egg whites
¼ cup chopped white chocolate

For the almonds and assembly
¾ cup skin-on almonds, chopped
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter or margarine, melted, slightly cooled
1 Tbsp. plus ¼ cup granulated sugar
2 large egg whites
½ tsp. finely grated lime zest, plus more for serving
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 lb. mixed stone fruit (such as peaches, plums, and cherries), pitted and sliced

For the crust
Preheat oven to 350 °F. Whisk flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; save pod for another use. Add butter and toss to coat. Work in butter with your fingers until mixture resembles coarse meal with some pea-size pieces of butter remaining. (I did the whole thing in a food processor.)

Using a fork, gently mix in egg, then turn out onto a clean surface and gently knead just until dough comes together (do not overwork). Press dough into bottom and up sides of a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom (I used a sprinform pan) with your fingers, then flatten with the bottom of a large measuring cup. Cover and chill until very firm, at least 1 hour. 

Line dough with parchment or foil, leaving an overhang. Fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake crust until edges are dry, 20–25 minutes. Remove parchment and weights and bake crust again until dry but not quite browned, 10–15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool.(The crust can be made a day ahead and kept tightly wrapped at room temperature.)

For the filling
Combine milk and cream in a medium saucepan, then scrape in vanilla seeds; add pod. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat; discard vanilla pod.

Whisk egg yolks, granulated sugar, all-purpose flour, cornstarch, and salt in a medium bowl until very pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Whisking constantly, gradually add hot milk mixture to egg mixture. Transfer back to saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture is thick and holds whisk marks, about 2 minutes.

Press pastry cream through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing directly onto surface; chill until cold, at least 2 hours. 

Pulse almonds in a food processor until very finely chopped. Add powdered sugar and butter and process until smooth. Add egg whites; process just to combine. Fold into chilled pastry cream, then fold in white chocolate. (The filling can be made 2 days ahead; cover and chill.) 

For the almonds and assembly
Preheat oven to 350 °F. Combine almonds, butter, and 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar in a small bowl. Scrape filling into cooled crust and top with almonds. Bake tart until filling is puffed and set and edges are golden brown, 45–50 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool. (Tart can be baked up to 2 days ahead; store tightly wrapped at room temperature.)

Just before serving, make the meringue. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat egg whites until frothy, about 1 minute. With motor running, gradually add remaining ¼ cup granulated sugar; beat until stiff peaks form, 5–7 minutes. Mix in ½ tsp. lime zest and lime juice. 

Serve tart topped with lime meringue, fruit, and more lime zest.

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