Almond and Coffee Tart Eaten at the End of the Grape Harvest in France + the Recipe

I mentioned last week that Monique from France (of Mama Lisa’s World en français) came to visit me and my family earlier this month. While she was here, she cooked an Almond and Coffee Tart for us. It was fun to watch her prepare it. The aroma while it cooked, brought me back in time to France.

Below is the recipe, with a little background by Monique…

This pie used to be baked for Christmas and New Year’s parties, and also on the last day of the grape harvest. At the end of the harvest, we used to have a party and the boss would offer the workers a meal or an afternoon snack. They used to have the baker make this pie called “croustade” (from “crust” because of the upper layer of crust). We would eat it with a sweet white wine or Cartagène. Cartagène is a local alcoholic drink made with grape must, sugar and alcohol.

This recipe was my grandmother’s. When she made it, my grandpa used to break the almonds shells and crush the almonds. My grandma used to make her own special-ingredient puff pastry. She used to have the baker bake her pie. At that time, most people only had a fireplace. Some had a gas cooker, but no oven. So they used to take their gratins, tarts and cakes to the baker’s to have them baked.

Here’s the recipe. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did…

Almond and Coffee Tart

12 inch Tart Pan
2 layers of Puff Pastry
1 cup Ground Almonds
1/2 cup granulated sugar (or a little less, depending on your taste) + some more to sprinkle on top
Grated Lemon Zest of ¼ Lemon
About 3/4 cup of VERY STRONG Coffee (stronger than Italian Expresso)
1 Egg Yolk (optional)

First toast the almonds, either in a toaster oven, under the oven broiler, or in a dry frying pan. Once they’re lightly brown, let them cool a little. Then grind them.

Add the 1/2 cup of sugar with the ground almonds in a bowl. Add enough coffee to moisten the mixture. The mixture must not be too thick, but not too thin either. Add some grated lemon zest. You may also add an egg yolk.

Butter the tart pan and cover it with the 1st layer of puff pastry.

Pour the almond mixture on it and spread it out evenly. Wipe a thin layer of water around the rim of the tart. Then cover the mixture with the 2nd layer of puff pastry. Press the ends of the two layers together (near the rim). Cut off excess pastry puff (any that’s hanging over the side of the pan).

Gently draw lines with a knife both lengthwise and width-wise along the top of the tart to make diamond shapes. Pierce some holes in the pastry to allow the steam out. Sprinkle the top with sugar.

Bake in a hot oven (400°F) for 20-30 minutes, just enough time to allow the puff pastry to bake. Let it cool and eat.

Thanks for sharing your grandma’s recipe, Monique!

Bon appétit to all!

-Lisa

UPDATE: Please see the comments below for the metric measurements of this recipe.

This article was posted on Wednesday, September 27th, 2006 at 3:55 pm and is filed under Almond and Coffee Tart, Countries & Cultures, Desserts, France, Mama Lisa, Recipes of the World. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “Almond and Coffee Tart Eaten at the End of the Grape Harvest in France + the Recipe”

  1. Monique Says:

    For those who use metric, you need:
    125 grams of almonds and 100 grams of sugar + some more to sprinkle on top. I say 125g because they’re sold in 125g packs here and they’re the ones I use.
    The tart is better if the almonds are not powdered, but if you do use ground almonds, you’ll want to watch them ALL THE TIME while you’re toasting them, as they get burnt AWFULLY fast.

    The coffee should be very strong, the almond/coffee mixture should be dark brown.

    I’d like to add that I’m very grateful to Lisa to allow me to share this recipe because I was afraid it would get lost.

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