Being the first of the month, I should be posting an exciting new kitchen challenge tackled this month. Sadly, the requisite steamed buns (aka bao) didn’t happen, with moving and reorganizing and realizing I needed special equipment.
But these sweet little almond tarts more than make up for it! I debated for awhile on what to call these. Growing up I always knew them as Almond Tarts, and never thought much about their yellow colour. Then my 5-year-old tried them and declared she LOVED the Lemon Tarts. Wait, what? There’s lemon in there?
Well, her palate is clearly much more refined than mine, since it turns out there IS lemon involved, in the form of lemon juice and lemon cake mix. Shows what I know. Also, that explains the yellow colour. So, since she thought it was so obvious, I figured it deserved a mention in the title, but really, the dominant flavour (in my opinion) in these tarts is very much almond. These tarts are made up of a creamy, dense almond filling which bakes up with a crisp-crackly little domed top, in a convenient store bought tart shell.
My mom has been making these for years after a lady in her congregation passed the recipe on to her, and I’ve enjoyed them many times – I don’t know why I don’t think to make them more often. Truth is, I didn’t even make these ones – I just photographed a few of the ones I was devouring at Mom’s house :) I call it contracting out the work, since I’m such a big business and all ;)
These are crazy simple and crazy delicious – don’t worry about not using much of the lemon cake mix, as that stuff lasts forever (seriously) and you’ll want to make another batch of these soon enough. The mixture needs to be made a few hours in advance, so you’ll want to factor that in, but it comes together in minutes, and the final product comes together in minutes too.
These are a perfect addition to baking platters and stay fresh for a whole week at room temperature, and they freeze really well for future use. If you make them in mini tart shells you get lots for now and some for the freezer! Wins.
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup ground almonds
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 Tbsp lemon cake mix
- Unbaked tart shells (12 large or 24 mini shells)
- Mix together sugar, almonds, almond extract, lemon juice, and eggs. Let stand in fridge for at least 6 hours, and up to 3 days.
- When ready to make tarts, add the lemon cake mix and stir mixture well with a fork.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Spoon almond filling into unbaked (still frozen is fine) tart shells that have been placed on a cookie sheet. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until tops are lightly browned.
- Cool on racks and store in airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge for 1 week, or freeze for longer storage.
*Recipe by Mrs. Knol, via my Mom.