May is coming to a close, but we’ve got room for one more floral recipe! Now that we are heading into a new week (and almost a new month), I have delectably fragrant, almond-rich chamomile tarts to round out our floral sweets.
I made great efforts this month to keep all my flower recipes diverse and interesting. Although flowers like roses are common year round, I wanted to strive for unique desserts with flowers that may not shine as brightly as roses. I began turning to flowers used in teas. I used spearmint to spice things up a few weeks ago and now we’re using chamomile!
I was first inspired to pair almond and chamomile together when I saw this NY Times cake. I was so intrigued by the flavors. The word chamomile is French derived to mean a common daisy-like plant. We’re basically baking with daisies today, which happen to be one my favorites!
Of course I love cake, but when turning to these two flavors, I had another idea. I wanted to recreate an almond croissant. You know the kind! Luscious almond paste filling, glazed almonds and more often than not, a generous cloud of powdered sugar. This is that – in tart version! You’ll get all the sweet buttery flavor in the crust and ample almond-y flavor filling with a touch of something special from the chamomile. With a nice dose of powdered “sugar”, this tart becomes pure almond bliss!
For this recipe, we’ll need almond meal, sliced almonds and almond extract. This is almond goodness to the max! We also need dried chamomile. One common way to use chamomile is to open a bag from your tea collection. If using a tea bag, please ensure the tea is pure chamomile without any other herbs or flavors. If you have dried whole chamomile on hand, please crush the flowers before mixing in.
The flavor and texture of these tarts have my heart. The contrast of the different layers is fantastic! To make the flavors even more complex, serve them with a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream and/or fresh berries. The combination was the perfect after dinner treat! Individual servings makes the dessert feel that much more special.
The almond flavor in this tart is bold, so the chamomile presents itself very subtly. While the chamomile is a secret ingredient to keep you going for another bite, please don’t let a lack of chamomile stop you from making this dessert! It would be okay to omit the chamomile since the almond flavor stands on it’s own. If you can get your hands on some, please do! It’s the sweetest addition!
Almond and Chamomile Tarts
1/2 cup Almond Meal (I used blanched)
1/4 cup Coconut Sugar
3 Tablespoons Powdered Xylitol or Erythritol
2 teaspoons Almond Milk + 3/4 teaspoon Almond Extract
In a bowl, combine the almond meal, coconut sugar and powdered sweetener. Mix in the almond milk and almond extract until well combined and the mixture comes together in a moist, thick paste. Set aside.
1 Organic Egg
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 1/4 cups White Spelt or White Wheat Flour
3 Tablespoons Powdered Honey or Maple Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
1/2 cup Unsalted Butter, cut in 1-inch cubes
In a small bowl, combine the egg and vanilla extract and set aside. In a food processor, combine the flour, sweetener and salt. Add the frozen butter and egg/vanilla mixture and pulse. Transfer the dough to a work space lined with plastic wrap and form into a ball. Chill the dough for 20-30 minutes or overnight.
Grease four ceramic 6-inch tart pans. Set aside. Roll out the dough into 4 equal circles and press into prepared tarts. Place in the fridge to keep cold while preparing the filling.
1/4 cup unsalted Butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup Greek Yogurt
3 Tablespoons Coconut Sugar
2 Tablespoons Raw Honey
1/3 packed cup Almond Paste, recipe above
1 Large Organic Egg
3/4 teaspoon Chamomile Tea or Dried Chamomile, crushed
2 1/2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
Sliced Almonds for arranging on tops, about 1/3-2/3 cup
In a mixing bowl, combine the butter, yogurt, coconut sugar and honey. Whisk until smooth. Add the almond paste and mix until smooth. Add the egg and chamomile. Mix in the cornstarch. Pour the mixture into the 4 tart pans. Arrange almond slices on top of tarts. Bake at 375 for 18-20 minutes, or until the centers are golden and bounce slightly when touched. Remove from oven and allow to cool at least 10 minutes.
Dust with powdered xylitol or eryhritol blended with a bit of flour. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store leftovers in an airtight container.
Yields 4 6-inch tarts or 6 4-inch tarts