The recipe is from one of my mother's treasured recipe boxes, I'm not sure where it originally came from, but it's been a favorite for many years. It is quite simple to prepare and if you try it, I hope you like it as much as I do.
The buttery-nutty shortbread crust is pressed into the pan (no rolling), creamy vanilla flavored filling with a raspberry-jam glaze makes this one a standout.
I use almonds in the crust, but you can change this around to suit yourself, almost any kind of nut in the crust, and your choice of fruit jam or spread for the topping.
For the custard filling you can use low-fat, whole or half & half (half cream & half milk), and any kind of jam or fruit spread topping makes this recipe quite versatile.
Vanilla Custard Tart with Raspberry Glaze
½ stick (4 tablespoons) butter
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup finely chopped almonds, toasted (pecans, walnuts or hazelnuts can be substituted)
1/4 teaspoon almond extract, if using almonds, OR vanilla extract if using other nuts)
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2-1/4 cups milk, (your choice non-fat, 1 or 2%, whole milk, or Half & Half )
1 egg yolk, beaten
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (OR skip the almond extract & use ½ teaspoon vanilla only)
1 jar (12 ounces) raspberry jam (or spreadable fruit) Strawberry, Apricot, Cherry or Peach jam will work here, too.
Note: I use only about 8 ounces of jam, it is plenty sweet, but let your palate be your guide.
You may heat the jam & stir to liquify to make it easier to spread, and strain seeds from the berry jams if you like. Cool before spreading on the tart filling.
Optional serving garnishes:
1-1/2 cups fresh raspberries, or additional toasted nuts
Sweetened & softly whipped cream, flavored with a little vanilla extract
Whirl the nuts along with the flour in the food processor fitted with the metal blade until the nuts are finely ground. You can skip this step if you finely chop the nuts with a knife.
In a small mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until crumbly. Beat in flour and nuts.
Coat a 9-inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom with cooking spray.
Press crumb mixture onto the bottom and up the sides of pan. Place on a shallow rimmed baking pan.
Bake at 400° for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned, watch carefully; it can burn quickly.
Cool on a wire rack.
In a small bowl, beat egg yolk with a fork. Set aside.
In a medium size saucepan, combine sugar and flour. Stir in milk until well blended.
Over medium-high heat, cook and stir until thickened and bubbly, reduce heat to medium-low; cook and stir 2 minutes longer.
Remove pan from the heat. Stir a small amount of hot filling into the bowl containing the beaten egg yolk. Mix well then return this mixture to the pan, stirring constantly.
Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat; gently stir in extracts. Pour over crust. Cool slightly, then refrigerate until filling is set.
In a small bowl, whisk jam until smooth; spread over filling. Garnish with raspberries, whipped cream, or additional nuts if desired
6 to 12 servings, depending upon how generous the portions.