Julia and I found some mouth-watering raspberries at the market this morning. Usually we just eat berries straight out of the colander, freshly washed, but these were so pretty that I thought of the wonderful raspberry tart recipe which I clipped out of a cookbook catalog last summer. It's a perfect combination of flavors and textures, from the buttery crust (I usually use Pat Willard's Short Crust Pastry or All-Butter Crust from "Pie Every Day") and the sweet, golden almond cream to the tart lemon curd and the tangy-sweet berries -- so perfect that eating it all on the day it's made, as recommended in the recipe, is never a problem.
Raspberry and Lemon Tart
1/3 cup almond paste
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 large beaten egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tart shell or pie crust, unbaked
3/4 cup lemon curd, bought or homemade
2 cups fresh raspberries
Rinse and pat dry the raspberries. Set aside.
For the almond cream, combine the almond paste and the butter in a bowl and cream with an electric mixer. Add the egg and the vanilla, and beat on high speed until it is light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes. (If you are not making the tart immediately, cover and refrigerate the almond cream until needed.)
Preheat the oven to 350° F.
Roll out the tart dough on a lightly-floured surface to form a 12-inch round, about 1/8-inch thick. Fit the dough into a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, and trim the overhanging dough to fit.
Spread the almond cream over the bottom of the crust. Bake the tart until it is very lightly browned, about 30 minutes. Let it cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.
When the tart is cool, carefully remove the ring. Spread the lemon curd over the tart. Cover the surface with a single layer of raspberries, all standing on their stem ends. Serve immediately.
Makes about 8 servings. Active work time, about 50 minutes. This tart is best on the day it is made.