Susan Stuart - Italia
Susan Stuart
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La Belle Cuisine - More Pie Recipes

Fine Cuisine with Art Infusion

"To cook is to create. And to create an act of integrity, and faith."


Pastatella (Almond, Chocolate and Orange Tarts)




"Of course you can buy a ready-made pie shell,
but it's a shame not to have the know-how yourself."

~ Julia Child, in "Julia's Kitchen Wisdom

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  Italian - Tuscany Citrus II
Tuscany Citrus II
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Friday, November 10, 2006

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(Almond, Chocolate, and Orange Tarts)

In Nonna's Kitchen: Recipes and Traditions from Italy's Grandmothers
In Nonna's Kitchen:
Recipes and Traditions from Italy's Grandmothers

by Carol Field, 1997, HarperCollins

Makes 14 (4-inch) tarts or 6 (4-inch) tarts and 1 (8-inch) tart

"Marzia Buontempo in Ururi has loved eating pastatella all her life – who could blame her? – but she only succeeded in wresting the recipe from her cousin, who had sole possession for years, when the woman finally announced that she’d given up baking. The recipe for the tart with its orange-flavored chocolate filling has been secretly guarded by generations of her mother’s family.
This is an excellent dessert for holidays because it keeps so well and because it is best made in advance. You must make the filling several hours ahead on the day you re baking, or, preferably, the evening before. You can make the pasta frolla at least 1 hour before you plan to bake, but it keeps 1 day in the refrigerator and a month in the freezer.”

2 scant cups (9 ounces) chopped toasted raw almonds
1 1/4 cups (9 ounces) sugar
1 whole egg plus 1 egg yolk, beaten together in a small bowl
3 1/2 ounces semisweet chocolate, grated or shaved
3/4 cup (3 1/2 ounces) finely chopped candied orange or citron peel
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
About 5 tablespoons tepid water
5 egg whites, room temperature
A pinch of salt

Pasta Frolla
2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (2 1/2 ounces) sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
A pinch of salt
5 tablespoons (2 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Grated zest of 1 lemon

To make the filling: A least 6 hours before you plan to bake, but preferably the night before, grind the almonds and sugar in a nut grinder of a food processor and process until the mixture is a fine powder. Move it to a large mixing bowl and stir in the egg and yolk. Mix in the chocolate, candied peel, and cocoa. Stir in just enough water to make a smooth thick batter. The mixture should be creamy but not liquid. You will not need the egg whites and the salt until the last few minutes of preparations, but be sure the whites are at room temperature.
To make the pasta frolla:
Blend the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Using a pastry cutter or your fingertips, cut or blend in the butter until you have the consistency of coarse meal. Add the eggs, then the vanilla. Sprinkle the lemon zest over the top and bring the dough together. Flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and rest in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Prepare fourteen 4-inch fluted tart shell forms with removable bottoms, or six 4-inch fluted tart shell forms and on2 8-inch tart form, by brushing them with butter or oil.
Divide the dough in half and cover the half you are not using. Roll the dough on a lightly floured work surface to an 11-inch square that is about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Cut the dough with a 1-inch cookie cutter and put each dough circle into one of the fluted 4-inch forms. Repeat with the second piece of dough or use some for the 8-inch tart form. Reroll the scraps and use all
the dough.
Just before you are ready to put the filling into the forms, beat the 5 egg whites with the pinch of salt until they are stiff and add to the filling mixture. Fill the prepared forms two-thirds full with the filling.
Bake for about 25 minutes until the pastry and the filling are brown and a toothpick inserted into the filling comes out smooth.

Featured Archive Recipes:
Chocolate-Grand Marnier Tart
Chocolate-Glazed Caramel Macadamia Tart

Index - Pie Recipe Archives
Basic Pie Crust Recipes

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