Well, it’s been a little slow this past week, but I did get the chance to try a fabulous tart! The tart is called the Easy Jam Tart and it is addictively good. I only made one change to the recipe: I substituted 1/8 tsp. of vanilla extract for the almond extract. I’ve come to believe that there are only two camps concerning almond extract: love it or hate it. The French and Italians are generally on the “love it” side (if you can judge by the amount of it seeping its way into their cookbooks); I am on the “strongly dislike (i.e. hate) it” side. I love real almonds, but, to me, the flavor of almond extract is totally different from an actual almond and not something I enjoy. Of course, if you are on the “love it” side, I completely understand if you leave it in (beside which, I’ll never know unless you tell me). By the way, in case you were wondering, I used about 3/4 c. of huckleberry jam and 1 c. of blackberry, and they were both delicious. Let me know what kind of jam you’d like to use and how it turns out.
Easy Jam Tart (lightly tweaked from Smitten Kitchen)
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. stone-ground cornmeal (I’ve used plain old cornmeal with no complaints.)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
9 tbsp. softened butter
1/2 c. + 2 tbsp. sugar
1/8 tsp. almond extract (Vanilla for me!)
1 3/4 c. jam of your choice
1. In a small bow, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, mix together the butter and 1/2 c. sugar til smooth. Add 1 whole egg, 1 egg yolk (save the white for later), and the almond extract and beat til combined. Gradually add the flour mix and mix just til the dough comes together.
2. Transfer 1/3 of the dough to a lightly floured surface and shape it into a 2 in. diameter log. Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate til needed.
3. Transfer the remaining dough to a buttered 9 in. springform pan. Press the dough evenly on the bottom and up 3/4 in. up the sides of the pan. Refrigerate it in the pan til firm, at least 1 hour.
4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spread thee jam evenly on the dough in the pan. (If your jam is too thick to spread evenly, you could warm it just until it loosens up.) Cut the log of dough into disks and arrange them evenly over the top of the jam. (As you’ll see, I can’t seem to be able to reserve enough dough or cut it thin enough to cover the whole top of the tart. Still, you can see that it’s probably going to be pretty no matter what.) Whisk the reserved egg white with 1 tsp. of water til frothy and brush it evenly over the top crust; sprinkle the crust with the 2 tbsp. sugar. Bake til the crust is golden brown, about 25 min.