Friday, August 21, 2009

Not so tarty tarts

I’ve been busy moving (into my parent’s basement like every successful cliché) and unpacking so haven’t had a chance to post this yet. The recipe title for this was a Brandy Tart, but it much more resembled a not crumbly coffee cake to me. Good, just not super dessert tasting. The recipe calls for mextaxa or other good Brandy, and we used Christian Brothers Brandy so whatever you have around (or if you’re under aged like me, can get people to buy for you) should work fine.

I lucked out with my family; my Uncle married a very nice woman who has very nice parents who are amazing Greek cooks. Every Thanksgiving we have normal Thanksgiving and then Greek Thanksgiving. This recipe comes from their wonderful cookbook.

Adapted from Papas' Art of Traditional Greek Cooking
Brandy Tart

5 eggs, separated
½ cup sugar
½ cup brandy
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
½ tsp pure almond extract
1 cup farina
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground cloves
1 cup sliced almonds

Beat the egg whites in an electric mixer until stiff. In a separate bowl beat egg yolks and sugar until fluffy. Add the brandy, vanilla, and almond extract and beat for an additional two minutes. Add farina, baking powder, cinnamon, clove and almonds together, then slowly fold in the egg whites a little at a time with a rubber spatula. Slowly add this to the brandy mixture. Butter a ten inch spring form pan (I used a normal 8 inch pan), and pour in the batter, spread evenly. Cook for 30 minutes at 375 degrees.

One of the suggestions the book gave (that I didn’t follow but sounds pretty damn good) was pouring basic syrup on top as a sort of glaze. I’m including the recipe here so you can try it out. It would also be good with ice cream I think, but then again I think everything would be good with ice cream.

Basic Syrup

4 cups water
8 cups sugar
½ cup fresh lemon juice
2 oranges cut in half
2 lemons cut in half
2 cinnamon sticks
1 cup honey

Add everything but honey, and bring to a rapid boil. Continue to boil until thickened, about 20 minutes. Remove pan from heat and remove cinnamon sticks, orange halves, and lemon halves. Add the honey and stir well. Refrigerate to cool completely for later use.

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