Almond Raspberry Dreams

Ambition. Dreams. Aspirations. We’re all full of them whether or not we are aware. They subconsciously burrow into our most sentient beings, waiting for someone to unlock the iron-wrought gates behind which they hide.

Talent. Expertise. Prowess. We all have at least one thing that we do well, even (and especially) in relaxation. Mine… is baking.

Impulse. Motivation. Incentive. We all manifest these within ourselves. And all too often, they appear only when the need is too late or not at all.

Fear. This is the cancer that kills all that we strive to be. Through it, we murder our aspirations, dreams, and ambition. As it grows within us, our impulse dies.
We have no life.

And yet, it isn’t the fear of failure that haunts us. It’s the fear of excellence-that we may be great. One of my favorite quotes is on this fear of excellence.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        -Marianne Williamson

And thus, we claim our ambitions. We claim our areas of expertise. They are ours to seek, to behold, to finesse.

 They are ours to unlock.

Almond Raspberry Tarts
adapted from Baking from the Heart
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
6 T powdered sugar
12 T (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold

Almond Filling:
7~8 oz. almond paste
1/4 c sugar
2 T plus 2 t unsalted butter, softened
3 large eggs, beaten
1 t almond extract
1 t lemon zest
pinch of salt
1/8 t baking powder
1/2 c raspberry preserves
Slivered almonds

1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly mist 6 mini tart pans* with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, combine the ingredients for the crust and pule the machine for 30 seconds, or until the dough comes together.Remove the dough and press it into the prepared pans. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for ~20 minutes, or until light golden brown. Set aside to cool completely.
3. In the food processor, place the almond paste and sugar and blend for 25 seconds, or until the mixture looks like coarse sand. Stop the processor and add the butter, eggs, almond extract, zest, salt, and baking powder and process for 20 seconds, or until the mixture looks smooth.
5. Transfer the filling to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on med-high speed for 2-3 minutes, or until the mixture is pale yellow and very thick.
6. Spread a little bit more than 1 T of raspberry preserves onto each cooled crust, leaving a 1/2 border around the edges. Carefully pour the almond filling over the jam, taking care not to combine the two. Top with slivered almonds.
7. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the almond filling is set and light golden brown. Cool completely before carefully removing from tart pan.
*Can also be made in an 8×8″ baking dish.


One response

  1. Oh my. I love raspberries in pastry. Your tarts look so pretty.

    September 25, 2010 at 1:09 am

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