Sweet Almond Cookie Tart Crust

Pâte Sucrée

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Makes

    1

Appears in

The Baking Bible

By Rose Levy Beranbaum

Published 2014

  • About

Ingredients

VOLUME WEIGHT
unsalted butter, cold 6 tablespoons (¾ stick) 3 ounces 85 grams
bleached all-purpose flour ¾ cup (lightly spooned into the cup and leveled off) plus 2 tablespoons 3.7 ounces 106 grams
fine sea salt teaspoon . 0.7 gram
sliced almonds, preferably unblanched ½ cup 1.8 ounces 50 grams
superfine sugar 3 tablespoons 1.3 ounces 37 grams
1 large egg yolk 1 tablespoon plus ½ teaspoon (17 ml) 0.7 ounce 19 grams
heavy cream, cold 2 tablespoons (30 ml) 1 ounce 29 grams

Method

Food Processor Method Cut the butter into ½ inch cubes and refrigerate until ready to use.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.

In a food processor, pulse together the almonds and sugar until the almonds are finely ground. Add the cold butter cubes and pulse until the almond mixture coats the butter. Add the flour mixture and pulse until the butter is no larger than small peas.

In a small bowl, stir together the egg yolk and cream. Add it to the mixture and pulse just until incorporated, about 8 times. The dough will be in crumbly pieces.

Empty the dough into a plastic bag and press it from the outside just until it holds together. Remove the dough from the plastic bag and place it on a very large sheet of plastic wrap. Using the plastic wrap, knead the dough only a few times until the dough becomes one smooth piece. There should be no visible pieces of butter. (Visible pieces of butter in the dough will melt and form holes during baking. If there are visible pieces of butter, continue kneading the dough or use the heel of your hand to press them in a forward motion to spread them into the dough.)

Hand Method Use a nut grater to grate the almonds. If necessary, pass them through the grater several times until finely grated. In a medium bowl, stir together the almonds, flour, sugar, and salt. With a pastry cutter or two knives, cut in the cold butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

In a small bowl, stir together the egg yolk and cream. Mix it into the flour mixture until the dough comes together and can be formed into a large ball.

Chill the Dough

Flatten the dough into a 6 inch disc. Wrap it well and refrigerate it for 30 minutes, or until firm enough to roll or pat into the pan. It can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 6 months. If chilled for more than 30 minutes, it can take as long as 40 minutes at room temperature to become malleable enough to roll.

Roll the Dough

Set the dough between two lightly floured large sheets of plastic wrap. Roll it evenly into a ⅛ inch thick disc larger than 12 inches in diameter. While rolling the dough, sprinkle it with a little more flour on each side as needed and if the dough softens significantly, slip it onto a baking sheet and refrigerate it until firm (see Notes). From time to time, flip the dough with the plastic wrap, and lift off and flatten out the plastic wrap as necessary to make sure it does not wrinkle into the dough.

Line the Tart Pan

Remove the top sheet of plastic wrap and use the expandable flan ring, or a pizza wheel or small sharp knife with the cardboard template as a guide, to cut a 12 inch disc. If using a pizza wheel or knife, take care not to cut through the bottom plastic wrap. (Excess dough can be frozen for several months.) If the dough softens after cutting, refrigerate it until firm. It will not drape over the pan unless it is flexible, so if it becomes too rigid in the refrigerator, let it sit and soften for a few minutes.

Invert the 8 inch cake pan onto a work surface. Use the bottom sheet of plastic wrap to lift the dough and set it, plastic side down, over the 8 inch cake pan. Smooth down the sides so they will fit into the tart pan and place the removable bottom of the tart pan on top. Then carefully place the fluted ring, upside down, on top. Place a flat plate, cardboard round, or wire rack over the tart pan to keep it from separating. Invert the pans and remove the cake pan. Carefully peel off the plastic wrap. Gently ease the dough down to reach the bottom and sides of the pan. If the dough breaks when transferring it into the pan, patch and press it into the pan with your fingers.

Fold in the excess dough to halfway down the sides of the tart pan. Press it against the sides so that it extends ⅛ to ¼ inch above the top of the pan. If the dough is thicker in places, press it so that it becomes thinner (it will rise higher). Use small sharp kitchen scissors to trim it to ⅛ to ¼ inch above the top of the pan. If pressing in the dough with your fingers, press it at the juncture where the bottom meets the sides, which often tends to be thicker. For a decorative border, use the back of a knife to make diagonal marks all around, using each flute as a guide.

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Chill the Tart Shell

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate it or freeze it for a minimum of 1 hour.