Raspberry Almond Cream Tart


Makes 8 servings

Raspberry Almond Cream Tart

    for the crust

  • 4 oz unsalted butter
  • 2 heaping Tablespoons sugar
  • pinch salt
  • two shakes ground cardamon (half of an ⅛ teaspoon)
  • ⅛ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 large egg
  • just about 8 oz flour (approx 1¾ cup unsifted)
  • for the filling

  • 1¼ cups heavy cream
  • 3 medium egg yolks
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 4 Tablespoons warmed raspberry jam
  • 10 oz fresh, unwashed raspberries
  • for the topping

  • confectionary sugar to dust (optional)
  • ½ oz bittersweet chocolate
  • ½ oz butter

Special equipment

11 inch tart pan with removable bottom
baking tin large enough to hold the tart pan
two sheets parchment paper
pie weights (or dried beans in lieu of ceramic weights)
a large (4 quart) mixing bowl for the filling, lest you splatter the kitchen walls


Start with the crust: cream butter, sugar, salt, cardamon, and vanilla. Beat in the egg until smooth. Mix in the flour until you have a firm dough. Wrap in wax paper and chill in the fridge for half an hour. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 400°.

Cut a disk of parchment and line the bottom of your tart pan. Roll the dough out large enough to cover the bottom and sides of the pan. Lay it in, tapping the sides to fit the crimped edges. Trim away excess and discard. Prick the bottom of the shell multiples times with a fork to prevent bubbles. Line with another disk of parchment, and fill the shell with your pie weights. Place the pan in a baking pan to catch any filling that may drip out; a pizza pan will work well here. Blind bake for 10 minutes. Remove the pie weights and upper layer of parchment, and bake another 5 minutes to dry out.

Remove tart shell from oven and turn the oven down to 375°. Coat the bottom of the tart shell with the raspberry jam. This will give every bite a taste of raspberry whether or not it has piece of berry.

And now the filling: beat together the cream, egg yolks, sugar, and almond extract until it begins to thicken (about 2-3 minutes). Pour into the tart shell. Settle the berries in the almond cream, cap-side down, in concentric circles starting from the outside. Bake until just about firm, 20-25 minutes.

When the tart has cooled, dust with confectioners sugar. Melt the chocolate and butter together in the microwave (about 15 seconds) and drizzle across the top.


After several false starts, we gave up and turned to a never-fail source: Jane Grigson. Not only is her Creamed Pâte Sucrée a marvelous simple shortbread crust perfect for tarts, her Pear Tart is elegant, relatively simple, and flexible enough that it can be used as the base for all sorts of fruit tarts.

While we’ve embellished her tart with jam, chocolate, and a touch of cardamon in the crust to make it more Danish (see below), we cannot disagree with her appraisal of the source recipe:

A beautiful recipe. Rich enough for an elegant dinner, simple enough to please the youngest child at Sunday lunch. To me, this is perfect food, with each good ingredient making its point in a pleasant harmony.

The inspiration for a raspberry almond cream tart comes from a passage in Peter Høeg’s Smilla’s Sense of Snow:

The raspberry tart has a bottom layer of almond custard. It tastes of fruit, burnt almonds, and heavy cream. Combined with the surroundings, it is for me the quintessence of the middle and upper classes in Western civilization. The union of exquisitely sophisticated crowning achievements and a nervous, senselessly extravagant consumption.

We should have called this recipe Smilla’s Raspberry Tart for the extravagent inclusion of a dusting of sugar and the chocolate drizzle, but then we’d have to burn the crust to match her description. Loose the cardamon, the sugar dusting, the chocolate drizzle, and we’ve moved away from Smilla’s senseless consumption and back to Grigson's elegant simplicity.