An easy, make-ahead almond tart with fresh berries and toasted meringues.
We don't do a lot of baking on the blog simply because we don't do a ton of baking at home. Partially because we don't want a ton of sweets in the house if we aren't craving them but also because I just wouldn't call myself a baker. But this almond tart with summer berries is one we are going to keep making and if you invite us to a party, this is probably what we're bringing.
Baking is precise. It's very scientific. There is a purpose to the ratio of sugar to egg to flour to butter and the choice between baking powder or baking soda. And if you change things to create a new recipe there's a pretty big chance you're going to screw up the scientific formula and make what you're baking gross. Or maybe just not pretty. So when I say I'm not a baker it's because when I cook, be it with salads or dressings or whatever, it's because I can easily adjust mistakes. It's easy to edit a recipe mid-process with cooking. With baking sometimes there's no going back and part of me hates how inefficient it would be to restart (time, waste of ingredients) but also I like having the control to make sure something works out (I'm a lower case "type A", alright? I know that.).
But over the past few weeks I've been doing a lot of reading, thinking and planning. I've looked at analytics, trend reports and the types of recipes and message we share. By far, the most popular recipe we've shared has been this lemon curd poppy seed tart using this very same pan. So it was time to bake again and just make a recipe knowing I might have to scrap it and start over.
It worked. And it's delicious. And easy. And worth it. And STUNNING. It's beautiful. And did I mention you can easily swap out blueberries or blackberries for peaches? Or strawberries? HELL. YES. Baking became efficient and seasonal.
From a nutrition perspective, I like that the base has more fiber than most desserts (whole wheat flour, not too sweet) and is topped with a ton of fresh fruit. Most importantly: you don't feel cheated with the whole wheat and almond flour as a sacrifice for a healthier option.
Now the tart base is 50% whole wheat flour and 50% almond flour. Yes, the almond flour is important. It adds a delicious flavor and tooth to the dough. The base is sturdy enough to stand on it's own once you remove the pan, but not too tough that it's a flaky, dry mess like some pie shells.
While you could easily make this recipe in a round tart pan, I like the ratio and ease of cutting the rectangle. I'm also very much team "use what you have and use it often", so if you have a favorite tart pan that's similar in size, use it! I will say analytically, part of why this recipe works is the visual: it's beautiful and the pan has a removable bottom to make getting the fluted edges out a breeze. But again, use what you have. Just know you may have to adjust the ratio measurements for the cream and berries. Go with what looks right.
WHOLE WHEAT ALMOND TART WITH BLUEBERRY MERINGUE
Dessert : Serves 10
Almond Tart Base
3/4 cup granulated sugar
7 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons white whole wheat flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 large egg whites
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Ricotta base layer
1/2 cup full fat ricotta
1/2 T honey
- 1 1/2 cup blueberries
- 1/2 cup blackberries
- 1 T honey
- 1 Tablespoon slivered almonds
Tart base: Mix butter and sugar in a standing mixer with a paddle attachment. Once light and creamy, add vanilla and egg. Add dry ingredients to a separate bowl and stir to combine. Add into standing mixer and mix in two parts. Scrape down sides of bowl as necessary.
Wrap dough in plastic wrap and freeze for 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray inside of rectangular fluted tart pan. Roll/press dough to fit base and edges. Freeze in pan 25 minute. Prick with fork. Bake at 350 for 20-23 minutes. Cool. When baked, side walls and base dough will become a singular layer.
Toasted meringues: To make meringue stars, add egg whites to the bowl of a standing mixer with a whisk attachment. Whisk on medium high until egg whites become frothy. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat. As the egg whites increase in volume, add the sugar spoonful by spoonful.
The egg white mixture will be ready once it looks like thick whipped frosting with stiff peaks. From my experience, it’s a few minutes beyond the very glossy stage.
Preheat the oven to 250 F. Add meringue to a piping bag with a large start tip. Pipe meringues onto a silicon baking mat and bake for 25 minutes. Broil or torch to finish and lightly brown.
Building the tart: Once the cookie base is cool, layer ricotta mixed with honey in an even layer on top of the base. Top with berries tossed with honey. Sprinkle almonds on top. Place meringue stars on top. Slice and refrigerate.
note: if you are not serving immediately, store meringues in an air tight container and add before serving.
Dietitian Nutritionist. My husband Chris and I create food and beverage photos, videos, stopmotions and recipes. And they're really cool.