Almond Tart Shells are made of three simple ingredients within just an hour. They contain absolutely no flour and are a great gluten-free alternative to regular tart crusts. These versatile Almond Tart Shells can be used to make desserts with baked fillings (like jam tarts or mini pies). They are also ideal for being filled with chilled no-cook fillings like our Instant Amrakhand or Rose Flavoured Shrikhand. We’ve also served our Kesar & Elaichi Shrikhand in these dainty little Almond Tart Shells as an exotic dessert that’s easy to make!
Almond Tart Shells Recipe
(Makes three 4-inch mini tart shells/ 6 standard cupcake-sized tart crusts)
- 1 1/2 cups Almond Flour
- 2-3 tablespoons Sugar
- 3 tablespoons cold Butter
- A pinch of Salt
- 8-10 squares (75g) White Chocolate (optional)
Pre-heat the oven to 325*F/ 170*C/ Gas Mark 3.
Preparing your tart mould:
Lightly grease your mini tart tins with a few drops of vegetable oil. We’ve used mini tart tins with a removable base. We also baked some of the tarts in a standard metal cupcake tray (muffin tin). Simply grease the cupcake holes with a few drops of vegetable oil and place a small circle of baking paper at the bottom. This will make it easier to tap the baked tart shells out of the cupcake tray.
Making the tart dough:
In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, sugar and salt. Add in small pieces of the cold butter and use your fingertips to rub the butter into the dry ingredients. Once the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs, gently bring the dough together into a ball. Do not knead the dough as it is very delicate and we don’t want the almond to ooze out its natural oil. Divide the dough into equal portions- 3 parts if you’re using tart tins or 6 parts for a standard cupcake tray.
Gently press a portion of the almond dough into the tart tin or cupcake hole. Press down in the middle of the dough and slowly push the dough up the sides of the tin or tray. Use your fingers to smoothen out the dough at the top of the tins or trays. If any part of the crust looks too thin or breaks, simply pinch off some more almond dough from the bowl and press it in place with your fingers. This dough is very forgiving and easy to patch up!
Baking the Tart Shells:
Once all the tins or tray have been lined with the dough, bake the tart shells in the oven for 30 minutes or until the shells turn golden -brown and fragrant. You could use pie weights/ grains/ rice to prevent the tart shells from rising as they bake. Or use a fork to gently prick small holes into the bottom and sides of the lined pastry dough to prevent it from puffing up.
Take the tins or tray out of the oven and leave on the kitchen counter to cool for 5 minutes. If you’ve used tart tins, gently push the tart out of the tin with the help of the removable base. If you’ve used a cupcake tray, place a wire rack directly on top of the baked tart shells. Hold the wire rack firmly against the cupcake tray. Turn the cupcake tray upside down and gently bang it on the kitchen counter. The tart shells will pop out of the tray after a few bangs. Place the warm Almond Tart Shells on the wire rack and allow to cool completely.
Coating the Baked Tart Shells:
Place the white chocolate in a small bowl and microwave it in bursts of 30 seconds. Keep stirring after each burst of 30 seconds to make sure the chocolate does not burn. Once the baked tart shells have cooled, brush the inside of the Almond Tart Shells with a thin layer of melted white chocolate (this prevents the tart shells from becoming soggy when filled). Refrigerate the tart shells for half an hour to allow the white chocolate layer to harden and then fill as desired!
It is better to shape the tart shells with your fingers. The almond dough can be easily pressed into place in case of any tears. It’s better NOT to try rolling out the dough because the almond flour might ooze out its natural oil. This would affect the delicate flavour of the tart crust.
The recipe can be also be used to make tart shells with a baked filling (like jam). Place the tart tins or cupcake tray in the oven and bake the tart shells for 20 minutes. Then take the tart shells out of the oven and pour in your filling of choice. Return the tart shells to the oven and cook for a further 15 minutes, or until the filling has set.
The Almond Tart Shells can be baked in advance and are ideal for parties! Once the baked tart shells have cooled completely, place them in an airtight container. They can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. When you’re ready to fill the tarts, pop them back in the oven (heated to 325*C/ 170*C/ Gas Mark 3) for five minutes, cool and fill as you wish. The filled tarts will be crisp for about 3 – 4 hours and then begin to get soft depending on the filling. If you’d like to serve them at a party, plan to serve the filled tarts within 2-3 hours.
Baked Almond Tart Shells can be frozen for up to a month. Wrap each shell in cling film, place in a re-sealable bag and freeze. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and use as above.