Almonds tarts or tartlets are one of the most loved pastries which span many cultures. From the Italian crostata di mandole, the French tarte aux amandes or the Portuguese tarte de amendoa, all hero one of my favourite nuts, almonds. These almond tarts are a sweet Swedish tradition as is the beautiful custom of Fika.
Fika is more than a coffee break. Fika is a wonderful tradition of setting aside quality time for family, friends, colleagues or someone you are getting to know. It can take place a home, in a cafe or even at work. Travelers to Sweden will learn this word very quickly as it is part of the very essence of being Swedish. I love this idea of putting everything aside and really making time for the people around you. Plus, the sweet treats are a crucial part of Fika! I don’t think I’d have any trouble getting used to this!
This great recipe has been adapted from my go to baking book A Baker’s Odyssey by Greg Patent. Don’t be frightened by this pastry. It comes together very fast and can be prepared the day before. The filling is simply whizzed together in the food processor and poured into the unbaked tartlets. No blind baking, which makes this even easier. Once cooled, icing guilds the lily and you can top them off with a cherry or not. You could even add a spoonful of raspberry conserve into the tartlet before filling for something extra. Start your own tradition of a special coffee break even if it’s just on weekends. You could include these tartlets and maybe a Nutella Puff Pastry flower. And spend quality time with those you love.
Swedish Almond Tartlets (Mazariner)
- ½ cups sugar
- 7 oz (1 ¾ sticks/200 grams) cold salted butter
- 1 large egg
- 2 ¼ cup plain flour
- 1 cup (3½ oz/100 grams) blanched almonds
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon pure almond extract
- 1 cup powdered (icing) sugar
- 1½ tablespoons water
- ½ teaspoon lemon juice
- glace cherries, optional
To make pastry
- Using a stand mixer or a bowl and wooden spoon ( and a bit of muscle), beat sugar, butter and egg until smooth and creamy. Add the flour and mix until just combined. Scrape the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and press together to form a rectangle. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight.
To make filling
- Process almonds and sugar in a food processor until nuts are finely ground, about 1 minute. add remaining ingredients and process for 10 seconds. Scrape the bowl then process for 5 seconds more. Pour the filling into a jug.
- Preheat oven to 400ºF/200ºC.
- Divide the dough into 24 equal pieces and roll into balls. Allow to soften at room temperature if too firm. Then press into ungreased molds.
- Pour the filling into each mold.
- Bake tarts for about 15 minutes until the filling is slightly risen and browned. Cool on wire rack.
To make glaze.
- Stir all the ingredients together and divide evenly among the tartlets spreading with the back of a teaspoon. Top with a cherry, if desired. The icing will set lightly in 30 minutes.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freeze uniced for up to two weeks.