February 25, 2011

Bitter almond tarts with sugar plums and honey ricotta

I simply cannot start my day without a proper breakfast. Often I have seasonal fruit or berries with organic yoghurt sprinkled with cinnamon and drizzled with maple syrup or raw honey. I love my morning exercise but sometimes, when I have the time, it is nice to have long, unrushed breakfasts reading the morning paper.


I came across these gorgeous tiny sugar plums at my local green grocer the other day and started thinking of ways to use them in a recipe. They are lovely and sweet, so they don't need much help, but quickly softened with a little cinnamon and raw honey really lifted them to a whole new level.

The bitter almond and hazelnut tart is a great alternative for your regular piece of toast or croissant. They are wholesome and gluten-free and the notes of bitter almond is just perfect pared with the sweet plums. If you can't find bitter almond extract, however, you can substitute with almond extract.


Topped with guilt-free smooth honey ricotta this is a luxurious breakfast, perfect to celebrate the beginning of the weekend!

Bitter almond tarts with sugar plums and honey ricotta
(Serves 2)

Bitter almond tarts

1 cup almond meal
1 cup hazelnut meal
1 large free-range egg
75 ml unsweetened apple sauce
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp bitter almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract

Cinnamon and honey sugar plums

10 sugar plums, cut in half and stones removed
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp raw honey
1 tbsp water

Honey ricotta

200g light smooth ricotta
1 tbsp raw honey

flaked almonds, toasted, to serve

For the bitter almond tarts, preheat oven to 170C. Combine the almond meal, hazelnut meal and baking soda in a bowl and stir well. In a separate bowl, lightly whisk the egg with the apple sauce, then add bitter almond extract and vanilla. Pour the egg mixture into the dry ingredients and stir well to combine. Pour the batter into a square tin (19cm) lined with baking paper. Bake for 15 minutes or until the tart feels firm to touch. Cool on a wire rack then cut into 4 squares.

Place the sugar plums in a small saucepan and add cinnamon and honey along with one tablespoon of water. Bring to boil and turn off the heat. Stir gently to cover the plums with the sauce then leave to cool completely.

Mix the honey and the ricotta and set aside.

To serve, scoop some sugar plums on the almond tart, top with honey ricotta and sprinkle with toasted almonds.

Have a lovely weekend!