RECIPE: Gluten Free Lemon and Cherry Marbled Tart with Almond Crust
Warmer, longer days are finally here, and that means entertaining outside on warm, breezy evenings. Desserts need to be cooler and lighter to beat the heat, like this lemon and cherry tart I whipped up. I made it gluten free for my sister and daughter by using almond flour and egg. The lemon curd uses eggs and cornstarch to help it come together and I used a splash of vanilla to mellow out the punchy lemon profile. You can marble in other fruit jams to your liking, but I thought cherry would marry well with the almond flavors in the crust.
I brought this to my parent's memorial day picnic, and we enjoyed delicious slices with mom's espresso granita while the sun went down on the patio. It was a sweet ending to a lovely evening. My angsty-13-year-old-moody-daughter actually hung out with us and giggled at Nonno's jokes. Not sure if it was my magical lemon tart or what, but we didn't ask questions-just enjoyed each other's company.
Gluten Free Lemon and Cherry Marbled Tart with Almond Crust
2 cups almond flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
dash of salt
6 Tbsp. chilled butter
2 Tbsp. Almond liquor, like Amaretto (optional)
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 Tbsp. water
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
2/3 cup lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar
6 Tbsp. butter, cubed
1/4-1/2 cup cherry "spreadable fruit" or jam (you can use raspberry or blueberry too)
whipped whipping cream or whipped topping for serving
You will need a double boiler or a makeshift double boiler to make the curd.
Preheat the oven to 350˚. In a food processor, pulse the almond flour with the sugar and salt a couple of times. Add the butter and pule until mixture looks like cornmeal, and butter is the size of small peas. Next pulse in the egg and Amaretto. The crust will be very damp, but worry not. Because this is GF you need that egg to keep things together.
With a spatula, pour into the waiting tart pan, and using that same spatula and damp fingers, pat the crust into the pan evenly along the bottom an up the sides. I found cold wet fingers to really help with this.
Place in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes, or until crust is a golden brown. Let cool on a cooling rack.
While tart is baking, make the filling.
In a small cup dissolve the corn starch with the water until completely dissolved. Set aside.
Heat up your water in the bottom of your double boiler. While that's heating, in the top pan (off the heat) whisk the eggs with the sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice, vanilla and corn starch mixture. Place the top pan onto the simmering pan gently, and continue whisking and cooking over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until thick. Take off the heat, and whisk in the butter until smooth. Let cool down slightly.
Pour warm filling into cooled crust right up to the edge of the crust. The filling will settle in.
In a microwave safe bowl, heat the fruit jam for 30 seconds. With a knife, dollop jam in areas on the lemon curd, then with the edge of knife, swirl the jam gently and slowly in "swishes" to marble it into the lemon curd.
Cool in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight. Serve with whipped cream.