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Spanish Almond Custard Tort Recipe

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Spanish Almond Custard Tort (c)

Spanish Almond Custard Tort

Lisa Sierra (c) 2009 Licensed to About.com
Creamy rich almond custard wrapped in flaky puff pastry crust and baked until crisp. This is a variation on a Spanish dessert from northern Spain. Serve it for dessert with espresso coffee for dinner. This pastry is also perfect for breakfast or brunch.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 8 Servings

Ingredients:

  • vegetable shortening to coat pan
  • 2 sheets puff pastry – (1 pkg 17 oz frozen puff pastry)
  • 2 cups (1/2 liter) milk
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup (125 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 1/4 cup unbleached white flour
  • 8 oz almond paste

Preparation:

Remove puff pastry sheets from freezer and allow to thaw 10-15 minutes. Using a paper towel, coat 8-inch cake pan or springform pan with vegetable oil. Line the cake pan with puff pastry, trimming edges to fit pan and pressing pastry where bottom of pan meets sides. Prick bottom with a fork.

To form the top crust, lay the other pastry sheet out on a clean cutting board and place the cake pan on top. Using the cake pan as a guide, cut the sheet about a 1/3” larger than the pan. Set pan and sheet aside for later.

Measure and sift flour and corn starch for custard and set aside. Coarsely grind almonds in a food processor.

Heat oven to 360F (180C)

Pour all but 1/4 cup of the milk into a medium-size, heavy-bottom sauce pan and add the cinnamon stick. Bring milk just to the boiling point, then remove from heat and set aside to cool down.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar until mixture turns light yellow and has a smooth texture. Add flour and corn starch to the egg mixture and beat with a hand mixer on medium-high speed. Add the reserved 1/4 cup milk and continue to mix until smooth and creamy.

Remove cinnamon stick from warm milk. While stirring constantly, pour about a third of the warm milk into the egg mixture. Once milk is mixed in well, continue to stir while pouring in the rest of the milk. Using a hand mixer, add the almond paste and mix well. Transfer the mixture into a large sauce pan and heat on medium, stirring continually. Bring to a boil and allow to boil for just 30 seconds.

Note: Be careful while heating that lumps don't form. If lumps do begin to form in the custard, try using a hand mixer on low to break up the lumps.

Remove from stove and pour into puff pastry crust. Cut the other pastry sheet into strips and lay across top. Beat the egg whites in a small bowl. Brush beaten egg whites over top crust.

Place in pre-heated oven in middle rack. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Remove and allow to cool for 20 minutes before serving. Refrigerate if the tort will not be eaten within an hour.

If using a springform pan, remove the sides and serve. Otherwise, cut and serve the torte from the cake pan.

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