On the Jewy Scale, I would rate myself prob around 3-4. While I dont keep kosher or attend regular Shabbat services (*gasp* my grandmother is going to kill me), I still try to acknowledge the holidays; usually involving food in some way. So with our family sedar coming up, I have to come up with a Passover-friendly dessert. And because I have a large, picky family, I have to make more than one. This is easier said than done. Off the top of your head and besides a flourless chocolate cake, give me one non-chocolate, non-coconut, flourless dessert... yea, see I told you it isnt easy.
For those unfamiliar with matzo (the cracker looking stuff), the taste is unfulling for any dessert and is CERTAINLY NOT a good substitute for flour. So my idea for covering up the carboard taste? Almond Paste! I used a thin layer over the semi-baked tart crust then topped it all with a decadent pastry cream. Once the tart was cool and cream was set, I artfully arranged some ripe fruit.
Now for a side note to Matzo: *clears throat*
Matzo, you have served me well during Passovers of the past. For breakfast, you are delicious with butter and for lunch pair perfectly with some peanut butter and jelly. However, you and your devious ways try to trick the everyday baker into thinking you can be substituted for flour when, in fact, you taste like crap. But I have overcome your bland taste and terrible consistency! Nice try. Good luck next year~
* When not Passover, substitute an a regular sweet pastry crust and finish the recipe as written, YUM!
Marzipan Cream Tart:
- Sweet Pastry Crust for Passover:
- 2 cups matzo cake meal
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter , cold, and cut into tablespoon-size pieces
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2-4 tablespoons water
- 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 can, almond paste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F, with a shelf in the middle of the oven. Grease the bottom and the fluted sides of a 9-inch metal tart pan with removable bottom
Place the matzo cake meal and the sugar in a processor bowl and process until mixture is well blended.
Place the margarine atop the flour/sugar mix and pulse-processor until the butter is cut into pea size pieces.
Combine the egg yolks, 2 tablespoons water and extract, if using. With the machine running, pour the eggs and process 10 seconds. The dough will not form a ball, but should start to clump together. Feel the dough. It should be neither sticky nor crumbly. If necessary, add 1 teaspoon of water at a time, pulsing 10 seconds and feeling the dough until it is right. Turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Wrap and refrigerate the dough for 15 minutes.
On a clean surface, roll out the dough to 1/8" and press into tart pan. Bake for 15 min and brush the inside of the tart shell with egg white glaze.
Roll out a thin layer of almond paste between plastic wrap. Place over crust and return tart back to oven. Bake for another 5-10 minutes, until the glaze is set and the tart has started to brown.
5 extra-large egg yolks, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 cups scalded milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon Cognac
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon heavy cream
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the egg yolks and sugar on medium-high speed for 4 minutes, or until very thick. Reduce to low speed, and add the cornstarch.
With the mixer still on low, slowly pour the hot milk into the egg mixture. Pour the mixture into a medium saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens, 5 to 7 minutes. Don't be alarmed when the custard comes to a boil and appears to curdle; switch to a whisk and beat vigorously. Cook, whisking constantly, for another 2 minutes; the custard will come together and become very thick, like pudding. Stir in the vanilla, Cognac, butter, and heavy cream. Pour the custard through a sieve into a bowl. Pour into cooled tart shell and place plastic wrap directly on the custard and refrigerate until cold.
When tart cream is set, arrange fruit slices. Refrigerate till ready to serve.
Crust recipe: Global Gourmet
Pastry Cream recipe: Ina Garten