Maids of Honor Tarts
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Hands On Time: 45 minutes
Yield: About 42 tarts
For the Crust:
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, plus more for pan
- 6 to 8 tablespoons ice water
Instructions:In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the butter to the bowl and use a pastry cutter or a fork to break it down into small pieces.
Next, use your fingers to work the butter into the flour (rub your thumb against your fingertips, smearing the butter as you do). Stop when the mixture looks like cornmeal with some pea-sized bits of butter remaining.
Sprinkle six tablespoons ice water over the mixture and stir with a fork until the dough begins to come together. If needed, add 1 or 2 more tablespoons of water.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and knead three times, or just enough to make a cohesive dough. Gather the dough into a ball, then divide into two pieces, one slightly larger than the other. Press each piece into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.
For the Filling and Topping:
- 1 cup jam
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup almond flour (see Note)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons milk
- 1/4 teaspoon table salt
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Instructions:Using a mixer, beat together the egg and sugar for 1 minute. Add the almond flour, milk, almond extract, and salt and whisk until combined. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and set an oven rack to the bottom position. Grease the cups of 2 mini-muffin pans an set aside (or line with paper liners).
Remove the first disk of dough from the refrigerator, dust the counter with more flour, and roll the dough out to a 1/4-inch thickness, turning it often to prevent sticking. Cut the dough into rounds using a 2 1/2- to 3-inch-wide biscuit cutter or drinking glass. Gather and re-roll the dough as needed to use up scraps.
Tuck a round of pastry into each of the muffin tin cups, folding the dough as needed to make it fit. Spoon a scant teaspoonful of jam into each of the tarts and top with a spoonful of the almond topping.
Transfer to the oven and bake until nicely browned on top, 18 to 22 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough, jam, and topping. Garnish with a dusting of confectioner’s sugar.
NOTE: Almond flour is available at many supermarkets these days---look for it in the gluten-free or natural foods aisle (Bob's Red Mill is a popular brand around New England). You can also find it at natural foods stores, Whole Foods markets, or gourmet shops. You can replace it with hazelnut flour or pistachio flour, if you prefer.