I love shortbread and was thrilled when I learned this recipe during a cooking class in Cooperstown last winter. The teacher, Vanessa, got the recipe from her mother who used to make it all the time for her as a child. It is incredibly simple to put together and is always a hit. I also like the way it is so pretty with the toasted almonds scattered on top. The jist of the recipe is that a layer of shortbread is patted into the bottom of a tart pan, then a thin layer of almond paste is put down in the middle and topped with one last layer of shortbread. The whole thing is topped with a scattering of sliced almonds and baked to golden shortbread perfection. I like to serve it with a scoop of ice cream or dollop of whipped cream for a warm, winter dessert. Enjoy!
Almond Shortbread Tart
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
8 ounces almond paste
½ cup sliced almonds
2 tablespoons water
1. Preheat oven to 325ºF. Butter a 9³inch round tart pan with a removable bottom.
2. In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Then add the flour and salt and mix until just combined. Divide the dough into two even pieces and wrap each in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for one hour.
3. After dough has cooled, remove it from the fridge and place half the dough into the bottom of the tart pan. Press it down until it covers the bottom of the pan evenly and comes up the sides a little bit.
4. Roll out the almond paste with a rolling pin into a flat disk about 8³ round and place it on top of the bottom half of the dough. Then, place the remaining dough on top of the almond pasta and pat it down until it covers all of the almond paste and crimp the sides together to seal. Brush the egg wash lightly on top and scatter sliced almonds over it.
5.Bake for 35-40 minutes or until top is lightly golden and the edges are crispy and pulled away from the sides a little.
6. Allow to cool to room temperature and remove tart from the pan. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve.