Out of all the hybrid food trends we’ve seen this year, the classic combination of booze and decadent desserts undoubtedly reigns supreme. With all due respect to the Cronut and the piecaken, there's something irresistible about a confection that combines two after-dinner vices into one mouthwatering morsel.
And since “indulgent” is our middle name, we snagged this intoxicating recipe for spiked fruit tarts from award-winning food blogger Sarah Kieffer’s debut cookbook, The Vanilla Bean Baking Book ($16; amazon.com). The standout ingredient in this divine 21-and-over treat is amaretto, an ambrosial, almond-flavored liqueur, which Kieffer pairs with a sweet shortbread crust and raspberry jam. Read on for the full breakdown and whip up a batch of these beauties, stat.
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and sliced into about 14 slices
1 large egg
1 large yolk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the Amaretto filling
16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons Amaretto liqueur
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup raspberry (or other berry-flavored) jam
How to Make It
For the shortbread crust
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, mix together the flour, sugar, and salt on low until combined. Add the butter and mix on low until the butter is incorporated and resembles coarse sand. Add the egg, yolk, and vanilla and mix on low until the dough comes together in a ball.
Divide the dough equally between six 4-inch tartlet pans with removable bottoms. Using your hands, press about two-thirds of the dough into the bottom of each pan, and then press the remaining dough into the fluted sides of the pan. Press and smooth dough with your hands to an even thickness. Place the tart pan in the freezer and chill the dough until firm, 20 to 30 minutes.
Adjust an oven rack to the lower middle position. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove the tartlet pans from the freezer and place them on a baking sheet. Line each pan with parchment paper, covering the edges to prevent burning. Fill the center with pie weights.
Bake 18 to 22 minutes, until light golden brown and the dough is no longer wet. Remove the tart pan from the oven and carefully remove the pie weights and parchment. Brush the center of each tart with egg wash. Return the pan to the oven and bake 3 to 6 minutes, until deep golden brown. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely. Finish the tart as directed in the recipe.
For the filling
In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat cream cheese on medium until smooth. Add the sugar and beat on medium until smooth. Add the amaretto, vanilla, almond, and salt and mix on low until combined. Increase to medium and beat again until light and creamy, 1 minute.
Divide the mixture evenly among the cooled tartlets. Top each tartlet with 1 tbsp jam and use a butter knife to swirl it into the filling. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes.
* To make an egg wash, use a fork to whisk 1 large egg, a pinch of salt, and 1 tbsp of water together in a small bowl.
The Vanilla Bean Baking Book
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