Raise your hand if you’re in charge of dessert for Easter dinner! I’m posting this today because it makes regular appearances in my house at just about every holiday. And it’s a good thing too because desserts like this often get overlooked because people think dessert and go for something chocolaty or pie-ish or anything covered in frosting. If you ask me, something like this is extra perfect for a holiday meal because holiday meals tend to be big and lavish and a heavy dessert is just overkill. You’ll stuff in a piece (okay it’s a holiday, 2 pieces) and soon you’ll be laying on the floor with your top button undone. Er…is that just me who does that? Pretend I never said anything.

This is one of my most favorite desserts. It’s in my arsenal of looks-and-tastes-super-gourmet-yet-is-unbelievably-easy recipes. A few years ago I served this as part of a dessert spread at a wedding I catered and everyone was asking me about it. One woman asked if I would email her the recipe and when I obliged and word got out, the list started circulating its way around the reception. At the end of the night I got a whole sheet full of names of people wanting it! I guess it’s no longer a secret, and especially now that I’m sharing it with all of you- but now it can be OUR secret, okay?!

You’ll notice that although it’s called an “Almond Toffee Tart” there’s no actual toffee in the recipe. That’s because it’s a magical tart. You toss together a simple filling and while it’s in the oven the little tart faries come and turn that filling into a chewy, caramelized, toffee-like substance. Amazing!


Almond Toffee Tart
print recipe text only

Pastry
2 C flour
3/4 C real butter, chilled
2 egg yolks

Filling
1 1/2 C heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 C sugar
1/4 t salt
2T fresh orange zest (zest from 1 large orange)
2 C sliced almonds
1/4 t pure almond extract (I do more than 1/4 t, but less than 1/2 t. I just let the 1/4 t overflow a bit!)

11″ or 12″ tart pan with removable bottom (like this, sometimes called a quiche pan)

To make Pastry:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray tart pan with cooking spray and set aside.

If you have a food processor, use it! (Directions by hand to follow). Place flour in a food processor. Cut butter into chunks and add to flour. Pulse until mixture resembles crumbs. Add in 2 egg yolks and pulse to combine. If you’re doing it by hand. Use a fork, 2 knives, a pastry blender or your fingers to incorporate the butter chunks into the flour. Mix in egg yolks and use your hands to combine the mixture.

The mixture won’t be doughy, it will look more crumbly, but you’ll see as you grab it with your hands it will be able to smash into a ball. Just toss it all in your pan.


Then use your fingers to press pastry dough into the tart pan and up the sides.


Pop it in the oven and bake for 10 minutes and then remove from oven. When pastry is removed, increase oven heat to 375.

Now while the pastry is baking, you can whip up the filling. Wait till you see how easy this is! In a pot on the stove top set to med-high heat, combining whipping cream, sugar, salt, and orange zest. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and add the almonds and the extract.

mmm…I love orange zest.


Ta-da! How easy is that? Your filling is done.

Pour the mixture into the pastry crust. At this point you might be thinking you messed up because it’s all liquidy, but fear not, it’s supposed to look like that. See?



Use a spoon to spread out the almonds so they’re in a nice layer. Look, it’s pretty already. How gourmet are you?!


Cook at 375. Now I don’t know why, but it can take anywhere from 40-60 minutes to cook. In my old kitchen it took 35-45 and in my current kitchen it takes 45-55. One of those ovens is off- just not sure which one! So keep an eye on it and take it out after the top is all caramelized.

When it’s in the oven is when the magic happens and all of the sugar and cream starts to caramelize and turn into golden brown goodness.

When it’s done, remove from oven and let cool on a rack. When it is cool enough to handle, remove the rim of the pan to make sure nothing sticks to it. You can then store the tart in the pan with the rim on. Cool completely before serving.

*You can make this a day in advance as well, just cool completely and wrap in plastic wrap to store. I have to say that the flavor just gets BETTER the longer it sits, so make it early in the day if you want to serve it at night.


Look at that buttery crust, and don’t you just want to pick those almonds out of there? My tart usually has holes in it by the time I serve it because I just can’t contain myself…


Look at it close up and see how chewy the top gets. Mmmm…


I wish you could all have a bite of this so you could understand the flavor and texture. The crust is buttery and flaky and melts in your mouth. The top of the tart is slightly chewy, yet soft in the middle and the flavor of the caramelized sugar and cream with hints of almond and orange is just out of this world.


We like to serve it with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream on top. If you’re an almond lover like me, put a little almond extract in there too!

Hope you all have a Happy Easter!

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38comments

  1. 1
    Christine says:

    This looks wonderful and I really like the idea of being able to make it the day before. Thanks so much for sharing. =O)

  2. 2
    Rachelle @ "Mommy? I'm Hungry!" says:

    Looks great! I was gonna say I bet it flavors more the next day! Yum!

  3. 3
    gigi says:

    Oh man, this looks amazing!! I blogged you today. I bought Madagascar vanilla with the gift card yall sent me!! I can’t wait to use it. Thanks again so much!
    Blessings on your week and Happy Easter!!!!!1

  4. 4
    Ciao Chow Linda says:

    It looks so unusual and delicious. A real winner.

  5. 5
    Kara says:

    Oh my goodness. This looks heavenly! I love almonds. And toffee. You are killing me!

  6. 6
    Leigh Anne Wilkes says:

    Oh yum – this looks heavenly. I have to do dessert for a women’s church event . Was thinking of doing all mini-desserts – how do you think this would work in a mini tart ?
    Ever tried it?

  7. 7
    Sara @ Our Best Bites says:

    Leigh Ann-

    I’ve never made this into mini-tarts but I’m sure it would be fabulous (and completely adorable!)

  8. 8
    AndreaW123 says:

    This looks wonderful and I am taking a goody for Easter….maybe this one! How far in advance can you make the Sweetened Whipping Cream?

  9. 9
    Sara @ Our Best Bites says:

    Andrea-

    I think whipped cream is best fresh. It definitely looses some of its oomph after it sits for a long time, so I wouldn’t make it the day before, but you could definitely make it a few hours ahead of time as long as you keep it refrigerated.

  10. 10
    becca says:

    YUMMMMMMMMM! I sincerely hope we are making this this weekend… I haven’t had it probably since that reception and now that I am reminded of it, I WANT IT!!!

  11. 11
    EAT! says:

    Whaat a great crust – one I don’t have to roll out. And my kids may not give this tart a try b/c of the almonds. More for me! Yea!

  12. 12
    imajacobs says:

    From a mom with a baby that will be two weeks old on Easter, thanks for this easy recipe! And now a question: How did you get your tart out of the pan in one piece?

  13. 13
    imajacobs says:

    Nevermind. I must have skipped over the part about removing the rim of the pan!

  14. 14
    LollyChops says:

    We are going to an easter pot luck with some friends.. so this would be perfect!

    Just one question.. I do not have a real tart pan.. just a ceramic one. Can I make it in that?

  15. 15
    Sara @ Our Best Bites says:

    Lolly, you certainly can make it in a ceramic one, but you’ll probably have to destroy a piece to get the rest out of the pan. The crust is really flaky (a good thing!) so it might fall apart on the edges as you try to scoop it out. But it will still taste just as good!

  16. 16
    Tricia says:

    I have made this before, not only does it look fancy, it tastes wonderful!!

  17. 17
    Princess of Everything (and then some) says:

    I am not in charge of desserts for Easter but I am so totally making and taking this!!

  18. 18
    elesa says:

    You make me excited to cook. Which is pretty darn amazing. So thanks!

  19. 19
    Bunny says:

    Oh how much do I love this recipe!!! Your pictures are great!

  20. 20
    drewy88 says:

    Great story, amazing looking tart. I have been wanting to make this for a long time now… Maybe that day has come!

  21. 21
    The Food Hunter says:

    The tart looks amazing. I’m clipping this one and plan to make it real soon. Thanks

  22. 22
    Emily says:

    Oh Man! I wish we didn’t have nut allergies in our family.

    Then again. . .

    Mmmmmmmm – more for me!

    This looks so so good.

  23. 23
    Kevin says:

    That tart looks so good! I like the way that you used the almonds in it.

  24. 24
    Ingrid says:

    Hi, Sara! This looks fantastic! I’m printing this out and wil be giving it a try ASAP. Now I just need to get some more almonds. Thanks for sharing another great recipe.
    ~ingrid

  25. 25
    cindy says:

    Love your blog and this Almond Tart will be Easter Dinner dessert! Thanks for sharing so many great recipes. I just started a blog–I want to share a few of the recipes I have made from your blog that have been a hit. If I give credit and link to your blog (I will have my own photos) is that ok?? Thanks for the inspiration!

  26. 26
    Leigh says:

    I made this for Easter – and lawsie, was it good!! I made it in a ceramic dish (Lolly) and it worked out fine… There were sections that stuck to the edges – but even that wasn’t too bad. The one benefit of a “real” tart pan would be that the burnt sugar on the edges (my fault) wouldn’t be seen as you served… Thanks for a great “keeper” recipe!!

  27. 27
    Diamond says:

    What would you do if the dough was all crumbly/powdery but still wouldn’t stay together? Another egg yolk? More butter?

    I tried making a gluten free version – assuming the dough wasn’t using any of the gluten properties of the flour.

    My tart filling melted into my crust, and my crust mixed into the tart. We ended up with hard toffee all around – which was good, but not what we expected.

  28. 28
    J.Danger says:

    oh my god. I am in heaven just looking at this!

  29. 29
    rosemarykitchen says:

    This looks SO good. I am definitely making it soon!
    Do you think it would taste okay without the orange? I really don't like orange flavor, and I wondered if the pure almond taste would be just fine on its own. What do you think?

    Thanks for sharing!

  30. 30
    Sara @ Our Best Bites says:

    Oh you're asking the wrong person because I will put orange in just about anything! lol. But to answer your question, yes, the almond is the dominant flavor anyway, so it will be delicious still :)

  31. 31
    rosemarykitchen says:

    Finally made this last night for a luncheon today, and it was fantastic. I actually had to buy a tart pan — well worth it! It got rave reviews from all our office staff. Thanks a million!

  32. 32
    Ashley says:

    I am going to make this for Thanksgiving. Thanks so much for sharing!

  33. 33
    Michelle says:

    Made this for Thanksgiving and it was a HIT–thanks for the great recipe!

  34. 34
    Kacie says:

    OK – I just made this. . .it just came out of the oven. I was worried because I used a 10 inch ceramic pan, so I wasn't sure on cooking times. I started at 40 and think I ended up leaving it in for 70 or 75 (maybe 80 – I lost cost of how many time I added 5 minutes)! Apparently I'm not really sure what "caramelized" looks like. It has brown places but was mostly white so I kept leaving it in. Finally even though there are still some white places I took it out knowing that I'm surely overbaking it. . .looking at the pictures now, the done ones look kind of creamy vs. brown (should have studied earlier!). Also I don't see the almonds yet- just bubbles. Will see how it tastes and let you know! For future reference – what do you think caramelized looks like? Thanks!

  35. 35
    Suzy says:

    I just took the first slice of this, and it was ultra tasty! I left out the orange rind, it was still fantastic. I checked it at 32 minutes and the crust was starting to burn, so I pulled it out quick and everything else was just right! Thanks for the recipe!

  36. 36
    Heidi says:

    Well, I have it in the oven (and I messed up – I think my pan is not the correct size, because I couldn’t fit all the filling… so I’m eating it with a spoon right now and it is fantastic!!) for our Easter dinner tomorrow… and it’s overflowing. I’m hoping it will still turn out okay. At least it’s on a foil-lined pan, because I realized too late that my pan was too small. Based on the taste of the filling, I’ll be making this again – in the right pan!! Thanks for a great recipe :)

  37. 37
    Holly says:

    I had been wanting to make this for awhile now and finally did yesterday. It was sooooo delicious! I’m sad I didn’t make it sooner! Haha Thanks for another great recipe! I will definitely be making this again!

  38. 38
    Michelle H. says:

    Wow! Home Run is right. You have three of my favourite ingredients in here…toffee, almonds, oranges. Wow! If you could fit coconut in there, it would truly be nirvana for me. However, even without the coconut, it still sounds fabulous, and I will try it for Easter. Guaranteed.

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