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Green Tomato and Almond Tart

Green Tomato and Almond Tart

Renée Robinson

A Nutty and Buttery Crust is Filled with Green Tomato Jam for a Show Stopping Dessert.

I’ve long wanted to make a green tomato jam tart ever since I first read about it in Rosetta Costantino’s wonderful cookbook, My Calabria. When I ran into a load of green tomatoes last week, I decided now was the time. I changed a couple of things in her recipe for the green tomato jam, and went off on my own for the crust and the ice cream I made to serve with it.

Green Tomatoes

First of all, let’s discuss the jam’s flavor. If you’ve ever eaten green tomatoes you know they are almost astringent in their flavor. I only added sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice to the jam. You commonly see cinnamon in it, but I didn’t want any warm spices in mine. It’s straightforward. Scoop the seeds out of the tomatoes, chop them up and cook them with the other ingredients until they’re nice and thick and gooey. I made it a couple of days before I made the tart.

Green Tomato Filling Mix

I thought long and hard about what kind of crust I wanted and came up with a crust using plenty of ground almonds. I ended up with a crust similar to a linzer torte, but not at all the same. I didn’t use any warm spices in my crust, I went heavier on the butter, and added plenty of lemon zest and vanilla for my flavorings. At the suggestion of my son, I also added a small amount of finely ground black peppercorns to give the crust a slight peppery edge. The dough ended up being almost cookie-like. I pressed it into the bottom of the tart pan and par-baked it.

Tart Dough in Pan

But it was such a soft and delicate dough I knew I’d have a difficult time rolling it out for my lattice strips. After doing a little research, I came upon a technique from Cook’s Illustrated that perfectly solved my problem. 

I ended up rolling out the dough between sheets of heavily floured parchment, letting it chill on the parchment and then cutting it into lattice strips, while cutting all the way though the bottom layer of parchment. After popping it into the freezer for a little while, I ended up with strips I could place upside down on top of the filled tart and then simply peel off the layer of parchment paper. This worked so well! 

After pressing the edges of the lattice onto the rim of the par-baked crust, I then cut little pieces of the remnants of dough and filled in the spaces between the lattice edges. It made for a really nicely finished top crust. After that it was only a matter of baking it and letting it cool enough to see if all this was gonna actually work out.

Slice of Green Tomato and Almond Tart with Crème Fraîche, Orange, and Chocolate Ice Cream

The nutty flavored crust with its hint of black pepper was great with the bright, sweet, and tart filling. Even though there are no ripe tomatoes in the jam, you still end up with a slight savory note that makes it so interesting and complex. I highly doubt anyone would ever guess the main ingredient in this jam. And the crust’s texture was exactly what I was hoping for. The large amount of butter made it so tender, yet crisp. I served each slice with a scoop of my Crème Fraîche, Orange, and Chocolate Ice Cream and all I can say is “Wow”.

Green Tomato and Almond Tart

Recipe by Renée Robinson
Servings

10

servings

Green tomato jam fills this tart made with a buttery crust that is full of ground almonds. Sweet, rich, and oh, so , satisfying.

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Ingredients

  • Green Tomato Jam Fillilng - Adapted from My Calabria by Rosetta Costantino
  • 5 pounds 5 firm green tomatoes, cut in half, seeds scooped out, and chopped

  • 600 grams 600 (3 cups) granulated sugar

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons 1 1/2 grated lemon zest

  • 2/3 cup 2/3 fresh lemon juice

  • Tart Crust
  • 200 grams 200 sliced almonds

  • 125 grams 125 (1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons) granulated sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon 1/4 table salt

  • Finely grated zest from 2 large or 3 small lemons

  • 207 grams 207 (1 1/2 cups) all purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon 1/2 baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon 1/2 finely ground black pepper

  • 2 2 sticks (16 tablespoons)salted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

  • 1 large 1 egg

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons 1 1/2 vanilla extract

  • 1 tablespoon 1 heavy cream

  • Sparkling sugar

Directions

  • Green Tomato Jam Filling
  • In a large Dutch oven, combine the chopped green tomatoes, sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over moderate heat, turn down and let simmer until the jam is thick. It took about 90 minutes for mine to properly set up. I tested it by spooning a little onto a saucer I had previously placed in my freezer to chill. Put the saucer with the jam back into the freezer for a few minutes and allow it to cool. Slide your finger through the jam and if you see that a slight skin has formed on the jam, then it is ready. Remove from the heat and let cool. This makes about 2 pints. You will have some leftover after filling the tart. It’s wonderful on toast, biscuits, etc.
  • Tart Crust
  • Preheat the oven to 350° with a rack in the center. In a food processor, pulverize the almonds until they are semi-finely ground. They will be processed again later, so don’t grind them too finely at this point. Reserve the bowl of the food processor - no need to wash it. Spread them on a parchment lined sheet pan and bake for 8 minutes, until they are lightly golden. Remove to a rack and let cool completely.
  • Combine the flour, baking powder, and black pepper in a small bowl. Set aside. In another small bowl, whisk together the egg and vanilla.
  • Put the sugar, lemon zest and almonds in the bowl of the food processor and briefly pulse. Add the flour mixture and pulse a few times until combined.
  • Scatter the pieces of butter into the food processor and pulse until the pieces of butter are still the size of peas. Don’t over process the dough. With the machine running, pour in the egg and vanilla and process until it just comes together - about 10 seconds.
  • Divide the dough in half. Put one half on a sheet of plastic wrap, shape into a 5 inch square and place in the refrigerator. Using your hands, place small mounds of the remaining dough into an 11 inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Press up the sides and along the bottom. Chill in the freezer for 20 minutes until fully solid.
  • Spray a piece of heavy duty foil with cooking spray. Place oiled side down in the tart shell, covering the edges, and fill with pie weights. Place the tart shell on a parchment lined sheet pan and bake for 30 minutes, until the edges are golden brown. Remove from the oven, carefully remove the foil and weights and let it cool completely to room temperature.
  • In the meantime, heavily flour a piece of parchment paper, place the remaining square of dough on the floured parchment, sprinkle the dough with flour and place another piece of parchment on top of the floured dough. Roll out the dough to a 12 inch square, stopping to add more flour when the dough starts to stick to the parchment. I found it much easier to simply slide the rolling pin over the parchment, rather than trying to actually roll it. Keep sliding the rolling pin over the top layer of parchment until you’ve reached the 12 inch square measurement. I flipped the parchment and dough midway through in order to be sure the bottom wasn’t sticking. After flipping it, I carefully peeled off the top layer of parchment and added more flour to the top of the dough before placing the parchment back down on the dough and continuing to flatten it out.
  • Place the dough, with the parchment onto a sheet pan and refrigerate for about 20 minutes. Remove from the refrigerator, remove the top sheet of parchment and using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 3/4 inch wide strips, cutting all the way through the bottom layer of parchment. Place in the freezer and freeze until firm - about 30 minutes.
  • Fill the cooled tart crust with 2 1/2 cups green tomato jam. Arrange the frozen strips of lattice dough on top of the filling by doing the following: Place the strips upside down on the tart and peel off the parchment. Begin by placing the first 3 strips evenly spaced across the top. Peel off the parchment and turn the tart 90°. Repeat with the next 3 strips. Turn the tart 90° and place 2 strips in between the first 3 strips, turn the tart 90° one more time and position the last 2 strips in the same manner. Press down the edges of the strips onto the underlying crust and trim them so they don’t extend over the edge of the pan. You can now cut small pieces of the leftover dough in order to fill in the places on the edge of the crust between the strips of lattice.
  • Brush the lattice with the heavy cream and sprinkle with sparkling sugar. Place the tart on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 50 - 55 minutes, covering the edges with a strip of foil if they start browning too much. Remove from the oven and place on a wire cooling rack. Let cool completely before removing the rim. Serve on its own or with a scoop of my Crème Fraîche,Orange, and Chocolate Ice Cream. Enjoy!

Equipment

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