My spelt almond tart shell is a light and a melt in your mouth tart base. I was inspired by Natalie Paull's; Beatrix bakes book. I created an almond spelt flour version for my sweet-tarts like a chocolate tart. You could also use this for a savoury recipe if you omit the sugar.

You will need to set aside a few hours as this takes time to prepare and bake, it is worth the effort. Or make it the day before you need it. The nut crust is baked a little longer to enhance the nut flavour, I love the almonds and dark chocolate combination, I hope you love it too.

Time = nuts prep. 20 minutes (or use ready-made). Dough 20 minutes.
Chill time in the freezer = 60 minutes
Baking = 30-45 mins.
Total time = 2 hours to 2.5 hours
Makes = 470g of dough for 1 x 23cm (9inch) tart
Serves = 8-10
Store = pastry 3 days in fridge or 3 months frozen.

Ingredients

  • Almonds (roasted) or almond flour/ground almonds – 75g (about 3/4 cup)
  • White Spelt flour (or regular flour) – 190g (about 1 cup + 1/4 cup)
  • Caster Sugar –30g (1/4 cup)
  • Sea salt – 2g (1/4 tsp)
  • Unsalted chilled cubed butter –150g (1/2 cup + 2 tbsp)
  • Chilled Water – 25g/ 25ml

Method

  1. NUT PREP. – toast the nuts for 30 mins at 150˚C. Cool for 30 minutes then chop finely. You can use a blender or food processor. Alternatively you almond flour/almond meal.
  2. MAKING THE PASTRY – Combine the chopped nuts, flour, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl. Gently rub the chilled cubed butter and flour mix with your fingertips until the butter is the size of small peas. The butter lumps will melt during the baking to create a flake in the pastry. Next, add the chilled water to the butter/flour mix (I don't often have ice cubes so I use very chilled water from the fridge, but you could add ice cubes to your water). Continue to mix with your hands to form the dough. The mix will look crumbly when you first start then it will start to come together. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap to form a disc, then press around the edges to smooth out any cracks. If the dough is not too warm, try rolling out immediately otherwise chill in the fridge for about 15 minutes.
  3. ROLLING - place the dough on a pastry mat or a lightly floured surface, and press the dough gently with your hand to warm the dough before you start rolling. Using the rolling pin press the rolling pin gently twice to ease the dough out, then roll out the dough to about 30cm, and 4mm thick. Dusting with flour underneath to prevent the dough sticking as you go. This dough can be a little tricky, as the nuts can create cracks. Don't worry, you can easily patch them after lining the tin.
  4. PREPARE your 23cm (9 inch) removable base tart tin with a light greasing of butter. Gently lift the rolled dough and flop into your tin and patch any cracks. Trim off any excess with your rolling pin. The video has very clear instructions if you get stuck.
  5. CHILL the pastry shell in the freezer for 30-60 minutes (I am impatient so I only leave it for 30 minutes and it is still okay).
  6. BLIND BAKE THE SHELL – preheat the oven to 180˚C. Cover the frozen dough with a piece of foil, making sure the sides of the dough are covered. Fill the lined tin with baking beans, rice, beans or sugar and bake for 35-45 minutes until the biscuit base is a deep golden brown colour. You will smell when the shell is cooked.

Sue Maree P Baking Tips

  • NUTS – you could use other nuts like, walnuts, hazelnuts or peanuts.
  • Vegan – use non-dairy butter