Friday, July 13, 2012

Strawberry Almond Tart

So I don't want to sound like a broken record or anything...but have I mentioned how uncomfortably hot I've been lately? 33 weeks preggo in 25+ degree weather isn't as lovely as it may sound. 

I think I've been doing a pretty good job at not complaining too much but there are points in the day when a frown creeps onto my face and I just can't comprehend the fact that I need to stay out of the sun. Add to that picture my undying desire to cook and bake new fun things for almost every meal and my utter disregard for the fact that baking will in fact make my house hotter. 

Thankfully I've stumbled upon this little gem of a summer tart. Not only is it super fast to make but the end result is so light and refreshing that it almost makes me forget I had to turn the oven on at all. 

Adapted from Martha Stewart

3 egg whites
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 1/2 cups ground almonds

about a pint of strawberries
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon Kirsch
1 tablespoon sugar

3 tablespoons strawberry jam

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and grease a 9" springform pan (or line bottom with parchment paper. I did this and it was a lot easier to get the base onto a cake stand).

In a stand mixer beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Add lemon zest, and then gradually add in confectioners sugar. Beat until whites are glossy about 6 or 7 minutes. Fold in almonds.
Spoon batter into pan (I found it helped to tilt pan around to help batter reach all edges) and let stand for 10 minutes. 
Place cake in the oven but prop the door open about 1/2" with a wooden spoon. Bake for 10 minutes then reduce heat to 300, close oven door and continue to bake for 25 minutes or until pale golden.
Let cool a bit in pan, take off the outer ring and once completely cool transfer tart base to a cake stand if desired.
Meanwhile halve about 8-10 strawberries and set aside. Slice the remaining berries and toss in a bowl with lemon juice, sugar and Kirsch. Let stand at least 30 minutes. 

Once ready to serve gently heat up jam (I used the microwave for 30 seconds) and brush onto tart base. Arrange strawberry halves around exterior and then fill in the rest of the tart with sliced berries in any pattern you please. Drizzle remaining syrup from berries over top. Serve immediately.
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