Almond Toffee Tart

This Almond Toffee Tart has been gracing the table at our Easter dinner for years.  I believe my Mom got the recipe from her sister who got it from someone else so I’m not even sure on the origin.  All I know is that it’s one of my most favorite desserts, and it’s often overlooked because it’s one of those things who’s appearance doesn’t adequately showcase it’s amazing-ness.  But it is in fact amazing.

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 It’s in my arsenal of looks-and-tastes-super-gourmet-yet-is-unbelievably-easy recipes. A few years ago I served this as part of a dessert spread at a wedding I catered and everyone was asking me about it. One woman asked if I would email her the recipe and when I obliged and word got out, the list started circulating its way around the reception. At the end of the night I got an entire sheet full of names of people requesting it.

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You’ll notice that although it’s called an “Almond Toffee Tart” there’s no actual toffee in the recipe. That’s because it’s a magical tart. You toss together a simple filling and while it’s in the oven the little tart faries come and turn that filling into a chewy, caramelized, toffee-like substance. Amazing!  You’ll need a tart pan with removable sides for this recipe.  Honestly, if you buy the pan just for this dessert, it will be money well spent!

The pastry dough comes together in minutes, and you can use a food processor.  You just need real butter (no exceptions), flour, and a couple of egg yolks.

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You can use a food processor, or a pastry cutter to cut them together until crumbs form.  Make sure there are pea-sized chunks of butter in there to help you get a flaky crust.

 Pastry Crumbs
Press the dough into the tart pan and up the sides.

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Pop it in the oven and bake for 10 minutes.  While the pastry is baking, you can whip up the filling.  It’s so simple and easy. You just heat up some whipping cream and sugar on the stove top.

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After it simmers for a few minutes, take it off the heat and add almond extract and fresh orange zest.

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Next goes in a bunch of sliced almonds.  The original recipe didn’t call for toasting the almonds, but I started doing that a few years ago and loved the flavor and texture even more.

toasted almonds

That’s all there is to the filling! You might think the soupy consistency is strange, but that’s how it should be.

Filling Crust

Use a spoon to spread out the almonds so they’re in a nice layer and that’s all there is to it.  You’ll bake it for about 45-55 minutes.  All ovens are different so just keep an eye on it at the end.  When it’s in the oven the sugar and cream will caramelize and turn into that soft chewy caramel-toffee-ish goodness.  It should look about like this when it’s done.  The color should be that light caramel color and around the edges should be deeper golden brown.

Baked Almond Tart

Let it cool on a wire rack and you’ll see the color and appearance morph into this, which is exactly how it should look:

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This is one of those rare desserts that really needs to cool completely to be at its best.  I try to make it several hours before I’m going to serve it for the best flavor and texture.  In fact, I think it improves over time, so I make it as early in the day as I can.

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I wish you could all have a bite of this so you could understand the flavor and texture. The crust is buttery and flaky and melts in your mouth. The top of the tart is slightly chewy, yet soft in the middle and the flavor of the caramelized sugar and cream with hints of almond and orange is just out of this world.  I actually don’t think it necessarily needs whipped cream, but it looks pretty and well, everything seems to be better with a little whip on top.

Almond Toffee Tort from ourbestbites.com 

This can also serve a lot of people.  Because it’s sweet and rich, you can get away with thin slices.  Or you can eat like, seven thin slices yourself.  I dare you not to.

Almond Toffee Tart

A chewy caramelized almond filling nestled in a delicate buttery crust.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

Pastry

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup real butter chilled
  • 2 egg yolks from large eggs

Filling

  • 1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange zest
  • 2 cups sliced almonds toasted
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • optional: sweetened whipped cream for serving
  • Equipment: 11 or 12-inch tart pan with removable bottom see link in post

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray tart pan with nonstick spray and set aside.
  • Prepare crust by cutting flour into butter until crumbly and then adding egg yolks. You may use a food processor, processing until pea-sized crumbs form. Dough will be slightly crumbly. Press dough into pan and up sides. Place tart pan on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and increase heat to 375 degrees.
  • While pastry is baking, prepare filling. Combine cream, sugar, salt, and orange zest. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and add almonds and extract.
  • Pour mixture into pastry crust, spread out almonds if necessary into an even layer.
  • Return pan to oven and bake for 45-55 minutes, until the top is bubbly and starting to turn golden brown. **Baking time varies depending on ovens and pan so I highly suggest keeping an eye on it after about 40 minutes.
  • Place pan on cooling rack and cool completely. This dessert is definitely one that is optimal after it's cooled and set (as opposed to warm.)
  • When ready to serve, remove outer ring on tart pan and slice into small slices. If desired, top with sweetened whipped cream.

Notes

  • To toast almonds, lay in a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake at 375 degrees, watching carefully and tossing often until golden brown.
Author: Our Best Bites
Did You Make This Recipe?Snap a picture, and hashtag it #ourbestbites. We love to see your creations on our Instagram @ourbestbites!

 

 

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Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. Oh you're asking the wrong person because I will put orange in just about anything! lol. But to answer your question, yes, the almond is the dominant flavor anyway, so it will be delicious still 🙂

  2. This looks SO good. I am definitely making it soon!
    Do you think it would taste okay without the orange? I really don't like orange flavor, and I wondered if the pure almond taste would be just fine on its own. What do you think?

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. What would you do if the dough was all crumbly/powdery but still wouldn’t stay together? Another egg yolk? More butter?

    I tried making a gluten free version – assuming the dough wasn’t using any of the gluten properties of the flour.

    My tart filling melted into my crust, and my crust mixed into the tart. We ended up with hard toffee all around – which was good, but not what we expected.

  4. I made this for Easter – and lawsie, was it good!! I made it in a ceramic dish (Lolly) and it worked out fine… There were sections that stuck to the edges – but even that wasn’t too bad. The one benefit of a “real” tart pan would be that the burnt sugar on the edges (my fault) wouldn’t be seen as you served… Thanks for a great “keeper” recipe!!

  5. Love your blog and this Almond Tart will be Easter Dinner dessert! Thanks for sharing so many great recipes. I just started a blog–I want to share a few of the recipes I have made from your blog that have been a hit. If I give credit and link to your blog (I will have my own photos) is that ok?? Thanks for the inspiration!

  6. Hi, Sara! This looks fantastic! I’m printing this out and wil be giving it a try ASAP. Now I just need to get some more almonds. Thanks for sharing another great recipe.
    ~ingrid

  7. Oh Man! I wish we didn’t have nut allergies in our family.

    Then again. . .

    Mmmmmmmm – more for me!

    This looks so so good.

  8. The tart looks amazing. I’m clipping this one and plan to make it real soon. Thanks

  9. Great story, amazing looking tart. I have been wanting to make this for a long time now… Maybe that day has come!

  10. I am not in charge of desserts for Easter but I am so totally making and taking this!!

  11. Lolly, you certainly can make it in a ceramic one, but you’ll probably have to destroy a piece to get the rest out of the pan. The crust is really flaky (a good thing!) so it might fall apart on the edges as you try to scoop it out. But it will still taste just as good!

  12. We are going to an easter pot luck with some friends.. so this would be perfect!

    Just one question.. I do not have a real tart pan.. just a ceramic one. Can I make it in that?

  13. From a mom with a baby that will be two weeks old on Easter, thanks for this easy recipe! And now a question: How did you get your tart out of the pan in one piece?

  14. Whaat a great crust – one I don’t have to roll out. And my kids may not give this tart a try b/c of the almonds. More for me! Yea!

  15. YUMMMMMMMMM! I sincerely hope we are making this this weekend… I haven’t had it probably since that reception and now that I am reminded of it, I WANT IT!!!

  16. Andrea-

    I think whipped cream is best fresh. It definitely looses some of its oomph after it sits for a long time, so I wouldn’t make it the day before, but you could definitely make it a few hours ahead of time as long as you keep it refrigerated.

  17. This looks wonderful and I am taking a goody for Easter….maybe this one! How far in advance can you make the Sweetened Whipping Cream?

  18. Leigh Ann-

    I’ve never made this into mini-tarts but I’m sure it would be fabulous (and completely adorable!)

  19. Oh yum – this looks heavenly. I have to do dessert for a women’s church event . Was thinking of doing all mini-desserts – how do you think this would work in a mini tart ?
    Ever tried it?

  20. Oh man, this looks amazing!! I blogged you today. I bought Madagascar vanilla with the gift card yall sent me!! I can’t wait to use it. Thanks again so much!
    Blessings on your week and Happy Easter!!!!!1

  21. Looks great! I was gonna say I bet it flavors more the next day! Yum!

  22. This looks wonderful and I really like the idea of being able to make it the day before. Thanks so much for sharing. =O)