Tartellette alla Crema di Mandorle e Caffè

By Lidia’s Kitchen

These mini-tarts are delightful as a finger-food dessert, and although here they are coffee-almond-flavored, you can change the flavoring according to your liking or what you have. A simple egg custard with some jam at the bottom of these tarts can be a great option.

INGREDIENTS

DOUGH:

– 2 cups all purpose flour
– 3 tablespoons sugar
– ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
– 12 tablespoons unsalted cold butter, cut into pieces (1 ½ sticks)
– 3 egg yolks
– 2 tablespoons ice water, plus more as needed

COFFEE CREAM:

– 1½ cups milk
– 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
– 3 large egg yolks
– 6 tablespoons sugar
– pinch kosher salt
– 2 tablespoons cornstarch
– 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
– ½ teaspoon almond extract
– ½ cup heavy cream, whipped to soft
– ¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted, for serving

DIRECTIONS

For the dough: In a food processor, pulse together the flour, sugar, and salt. Drop in the butter, and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Beat together the egg yolks and water, and pour into the processor. Pulse until the dough just comes together, adding a little water if crumbly, or a little flour if it is too wet. On the counter, knead the dough a few times; then flatten it into a disk, wrap in plastic, and chill for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to about ¹⁄8-inch thick. Cut out eight rounds to fit into eight individual 4-½–inch fluted -mini–tart pans. Fit the dough into the pans, and trim so the dough is flush with the rims. Chill for 15 minutes, then place on a sheet pan. Dock the dough with a fork, and place parchment circles filled with pie weights or beans in each tart.

Bake until the dough is set but still blond in color, about 10 minutes. Remove the parchment and the weights, and continue baking until the dough is crisp and golden, about 10 to 15 minutes more. Remove from the oven, and cool on racks.

For the coffee cream: In a saucepan, bring the milk just to a simmer, and whisk in the espresso powder. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, salt, cornstarch, and flour until smooth. Whisk in the hot milk a little at a time, tempering the eggs. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan over low heat until it just begins to simmer and thickens. Strain it into a clean bowl, stir in the almond extract, and chill, covering the surface with plastic wrap to keep it from forming a skin.
When the cream is chilled, fold in the whipped cream. Dollop the coffee cream into cooled tart shells, and garnish with almonds.

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