This tender bite Almond Tart Shell crust recipe is baker-friendly. It’s versatile and super easy to make. I use it to prepare classic tart crusts (large or mini tart shells), ice box cookies, linzer cookies and other cut out cookies.
HOW TO MAKE ALMOND TART SHELL CRUST
I love this cookie/crust recipe for several reasons. First, it tastes amazing. Second, there is no need to work with chilled butter. In this recipe I use room temperature butter.
This cookie dough is very easy to work with and is also easily adaptable for cut out cookies and ice box cookies, too. Baked cookie has a tender crumb with a melt-in-your mouth feel. And added bonus is that baked cookies keep for several weeks in the fridge and can be also frozen for later. Let’s see what we need to make the cookie dough.
- Flour – all purpose or pastry flour
- Powdered Sugar
- Ground Nuts – toasted almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts
- Unsalted butter at room temperature
- Egg yolks or 1 whole egg
- Vanilla Extract
- Almond Extract
Even though I prefer to use pastry flour you can use all purpose flour, too.
STEP 1 – TOAST ALMONDS
Today I’m using sliced almonds but you can use walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, too. And If you prefer a nut-free version of this recipe use my recipe for Mini Tart Shells.
How do you toast nuts for baking?
To toast sliced almonds or other nuts you can use an oven or a stove top.I used a stove top.
Heat a large skillet on medium high heat, about 2 minutes. DON’T add any oil. It’s not necessary, nuts have plenty of natural oils. Once the pan is hot add the nuts in a single layer. Stir nuts frequently to avoid burning. Slowly you’ll notice nuts are turning lightly golden brown and they will be fragrant. This can take anywhere from 5-10 minutes. Once fragrant and lightly golden brown remove pot from the heat, (step 1). Let toasted nuts cool completely, (step 2).
Once cool process nuts in a small food chopper or a food processor until fine, (steps 3-4). Then add little bit of powdered sugar. I find this breaks up nuts a bit further so they are even finer, (steps 5-8). Now you can set ground nuts aside.
TIP : Ground nuts keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
STEP 2 – CREAM BUTTER
Cream room temperature unsalted butter for 30 seconds until smooth. Then beat in remaining powdered sugar. And after, add egg yolks or 1 whole egg. Beat well until combined and well blended together. Scrape down the bowl, (steps 1-5).
To flavor cookie dough I use Vanilla Extract and Almond Extract. Beat well, for 20 seconds or so, (steps 6-7).
STEP 3 – MIX ALMOND TART SHELL CRUST COOKIE DOUGH
Now we can add dry ingredients. Into a large bowl pour pastry flour or all purpose flour, stir in salt, (steps 1-2). On low speed, into a butter mixture beat in ground nuts and ½ of the flour mixture. Then beat in remaining flour, (steps 3-6).
STEP 4 – SHAPE COOKIE DOUGH INTO A DISK
Scrape down the bowl to release any cookie dough sticking to the bottom of the bowl. Then gather dough into a ball. I like to knead it for 10 seconds until I have a uniformed ball. And then I flatten it into a disk, (steps 1-6).
At this point you have 2 options, you can either roll it out immediately between 2 pieces of parchment paper or wrap it into a clear plastic wrap and store it in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze it for up to 3 months.
TIP : Allow chilled or frozen cookie dough soften before rolling it out.
STEP 5 – ROLL OUT COOKIE DOUGH
Preheat oven to 350F.
I decided to make tart shell right away and so I immediately rolled out almond cookie dough. Roll it out between 2 pieces of parchment. Sparingly dust your work surface with flour. Roll it out between 2 rolling guides to about 1/8 inch(3mm) thick, (steps 1-6). Place a tart pan on top of a rolled out dough to see if rolled out piece if large enough, (step 7).
Slide a large flat cookie sheet or a flat tray under the rolled out cookie dough. Chill rolled out cookie dough for 30 to 60 minutes. You don’t want the cookie dough to be too firm when shaping the tart nor you want it to be too soft, (step 8).
TIP : I like to roll it out larger than the pan I’m using. Then I use leftover rolled out dough to cut up strips and I use them line the sides of the pan.
STEP 6 – PREPARE TART SHELL PAN
I used a tart pan (9 inch pan) with a removable bottom. Spray pan with a non-stick spray or use a residue butter on a butter wrapper to grease the pan. Set it aside, (steps 1-3).
STEP 7 – SHAPE TART SHELL CRUST
Peel off parchment paper and trim the excess rolled out dough. Slide a cutting board underneath of rolled out dough. Place a tart pan upside down onto a rolled out dough, (steps 1-8).
Now, place another cutting board on top of the tart pan and flip it, (step 1-2). Peel off parchment and carefully trim the excess dough on the side, (steps 3-6).
TIP : If you see any cracks in the dough gently press the dough to seal the crack.
Cut out long strips of dough, (step 1). Gently press strips of cookie dough onto the sides, Make sure strips are slightly overlapping bottom layer, (steps 2-6). To shape the dough you can use back of the measuring cup, gently press the sides to smooth them, (steps 7-8).
STEP 8 – CLEAN UP EDGES AND PRICK ALMOND TART SHELL WITH A FORK
Clean up the edges, use back of the measuring spoon, (steps 1-2).
Or use a rolling pin and roll it across the top. Lastly, prick the bottom well with a fork.
TIP : To “dock” a pastry means to prick it with a fork or knife. Small holes made in the dough allow steam to escape during baking, preventing it from puffing up too much.
STEP 9 – BLIND BAKE TART SHELL
My Almond Tart Shell is baked in 2 steps:
- Blind Baking with dry beans or pie weights -15 minutes
- Second Bake – additional baking time without dry beans/pie weights, for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown around the edges
First, line the bottom of unbaked almond shell crust with a parchment round, (step1). Then fill the unbaked tart with dry uncooked beans or rice, (steps 2-3). I prefer dry beans or rice over pie weights when blind-baking.
Place unbaked almond tart shell lined with parchment and filled with dry beans into the oven at 350F and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, and carefully lift up parchment round and remove dry beans. CAREFUL, beans are hot! (steps 4-5)
Return tart to the oven and bake for additional 12-15 minutes, until golden brown around the edges, (steps 6-8).
TIP : Check on the tart during baking, if you see center of the tart is puffing up poke it with a fork to release the steam.
STEP 10 – RELEASE BAKED TART SHELL FROM THE PAN
Before removing almond tart shell from the pan allow it cool for 20-30 minutes. During this time you’ll notice tart edges are retracting from the pan. Carefully remove almond tart shell from the pan.
TIP : How to store baked tart shell? When making large 8-12 inch tart I prefer storing it in the pan to avoid breakage or use a flat tray or a plate to hold the tart shell.
STEP 11 – MAKE MINI TART SHELLS
What to do with leftover almond cookie dough. Make cut out cookie or mini tart shells.
To make mini tart shells I use mini tin tart pans but you can also use mini muffin pan instead. Spray pans with a non-stick spray.
Roll out leftover almond cookie dough to 1/8 inch (3mm) thick.
STEP 12 – SHAPE MINI TART SHELLS
Cut out 3.5 rounds of cookie dough. Gently fold it and insert into the tart pan. Press it gently onto the sides, (steps 1-8).
TIP : I used 3 inch tart pans and 3.5 inch round cutter to cut out rounds.
Now take a piece of food wrap and a spare tart tin. Place food wrap over the filled pan. Then gently push bottom of the spare pan into the bottom pan. Don’t push too much. You are only making a subtle indentation in the cookie dough. Remove the pan and clean up the top edge. Use a rolling pin or a knife, (steps 1-8).
STEP 13 – BAKE MINI TART SHELLS
Poke the bottom of unbaked tarts with a fork. These tiny holes allow steam to escape during baking. No need to blind bake the tarts. Place tins onto a baking sheet and bake at 350F for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown around the edges, (steps 1-3).
STEP 14 – REMOVE MINI TART SHELLS FROM THE PANS
Once tarts are golden brown remove them from the oven and allow to cool for 15-20 minutes. Then remove baked mini tart shells from the tins. Turn tin upside down and tap the edge onto the baking sheet to release tart from the tin.
HOW TO STORE BAKED ALMOND TART SHELL?
Store baked and cooled tart shell in an airtight container. From my experience baked tarts last 2-4 weeks in the fridge and they can be frozen for up to 3 months.
TIP : Vacuum sealed and frozen they can last a lot longer, up 9-12 months.
WHAT FILLINGS CAN YOU USE WITH ALMOND TART SHELL?
Fill baked almond tart shells with a variety of fillings. From creamy custards, berries, chocolate mousse, cream cheese, fresh whipped cream, German Buttercream and fruit, lemon curd, peanut butter, puddings, raspberry curd, and so much more.
MORE DELICIOUS DESSERT RECIPES
- Dreamcatcher Raspberry Mousse Tart
- Raspberry Curd Flamingo Mini Tarts
- Chocolate Brownie Raspberry Tart
- Lemon Meringue Cheesecake
- Blueberry and Peach Galette
- No Bake Chocolate Tart
Almond Tart Crust Recipe
Almond Tart Shell Recipe
- 2 1/2 cup all purpose flour or pastry flour
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 cup sliced, toasted almonds
- 1 cup powdered sugar, divided
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 sticks room temperature unsalted butter (230 grams)
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 tsp Almond Extract
ALMOND TART SHELL COOKIE RECIPE
Toast Nuts for Baking
- Into a skillet pour sliced almonds (1 cup) and cook on medium high heat, stirring frequently until golden brown and fragrant, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely.
- Process toasted sliced almonds into a food processor or a food chopper until fine. Pour in powdered sugar (1/3 cup) and pulse until finely ground. Set aside.
Almond Cookie Dough
- Into a large bowl pour flour ( 2 and 1 /2 cup), add salt (1/8 tsp). Stir well and set aside.
- Into a bowl add room temperature unsalted butter (2 sticks, 230 grams), beat butter until creamy. Then add powdered sugar (2/3 cup) and cream until smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes.
- Then gradually beat in egg yolks (3). Cream until well combined and smooth about a minute or 2. Beat in Vanilla Extract (1 tsp) and Almond Extract (1 tsp). Scrape down the bowl as needed to ensure all is mixed well.TIP : Don't have egg yolks? Use 1 whole egg.
- Into butter mixture pour ground nuts mixture and half of the flour mixture. Beat on low speed until combined, then beat in remaining flour mixture.
- Gather dough into a ball and flatten it into a disk. Wrap it well into a food wrap.TIP : You can roll out dough right away between 2 pieces of parchment or store well wrapped cookie dough in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw before using.
Shape Almond Tart Shell
- Spray a tart pan with removable bottom or grease it with butter.Roll out cookie dough between 2 parchment sheets to 1/8 inch (3mm) thick. Slide a cutting board underneath, peel off top parchment. Place a tart pan upside down onto a rolled out dough. Place another cutting board on top of the tart pan and flip it. Peel off parchment and carefully trim the excess dough on the side.
- Cut out long strips of dough. Gently press strips of cookie dough onto the sides, Make sure strips are slightly overlapping bottom layer. Clean up the edge, roll a rolling pin across then gather trimmed cookie dough.
- Prick the bottom of unbaked tart well with a fork.
Bake Tart Shell
- BLIND BAKE : line bottom of unbaked tart with a parchment round and fill the lined tart with dry beans, raw rice or pie weights. Bake in the preheated oven at 350F (180C) for 15 minutes. Then remove from the oven. Carefully lift up parchment round and remove dry beans, (CAREFUL, beans are hot!) SECOND BAKE : return tart to the oven and bake for additional 15 minutes, until golden brown around the edges.TIP : Check on the tart during baking, if you notice center is puffing up use a fork to poke it This will allow steam to escape and it will flatten puffy center.
- Allow baked tart to cool for 20-30 minutes. Then carefully remove tart from the pan.
- Allow tart to cool completely before filling.
I DON’T HAVE 3 EGG YOLKS CAN I USE A WHOLE EGG INSTEAD?If you don’t have 3 egg yolks you can use 1 whole egg. I like using egg yolks because they contribute to really tender delicious cookie dough.
WHAT KIND OF FILLING CAN I USE WITH ALMOND TART SHELL?Fill baked almond tart shells with a variety of fillings. From creamy custards, berries, chocolate mousse, cream cheese, fresh whipped cream, German Buttercream and fruit, lemon curd, peanut butter, puddings, raspberry curd, and so much more.
HOW LONG DOES ALMOND TART SHELL LAST?Baked and cooled tart shells well stored in an airtight container stored in the fridge keep for 2-4 weeks. They can also be frozen for up to 3 months and when vacuum sealed they keep well in the freezer for up to 9-12 months.
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