Les Amandiers Fleurissent
I’ve been hesitating, making sure it’s true, but yes, I think I can now safely report that spring has arrived. I know this because all of a sudden the almond trees are in bloom everywhere I look, lending a gauzy pink glow to a country side that’s just beginning to come alive after the short winter.
In honor of almond-flowering time, make yourself a beautiful fruit tart. Line a tart pan with your favorite crust or puff pastry. Bake the crust blind for 10-15 minutes, then cover that with some caramelized fruit. This weekend I used reinette apples browned in butter with a little cassonade, which is the local brown sugar, and a good splash of Calvados. But you could easily use pears at this time of year and it would be equally delicious. Over the fruit and pastry pour a custard made by stirring together 1/3 cup crème fraîche, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 cup ground almonds, 1 egg, and a few drops of bitter almond oil or vanilla. Bake until the crust is well browned and the custard puffs goldenly over the fruit.
All hail the beautiful amandiers and their incomparable fruit. Eat almonds every day and some say you’ll weigh less. I can’t vouch for that myself, but I know that eating almonds everyday makes me happier, and I’m pretty sure that if you try this tart recipe you’ll be happier too.
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