Maid of Honor TartsPhoto Credit : Amy Traverso
Maid of Honor Tarts are a delicious jam-filled tart, topped with a sweet almond crust. According to British cooking maven Delia Smith, Maid of Honor Tarts (or Maid of Honour Tarts, if you’re across the pond) are rumored to have originated at Richmond Palace in the 16th century. The fillings have changed over the years, but the appeal of these bite-size treats hasn’t changed at all. They make a lovely spring or Easter treat.
Curious about their history? Learn more about Maid of Honor Tarts.
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon table salt
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, plus more for pan
6 to 8 tablespoons ice water
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the butter to the bowl and use a pastry cutter or a fork to break it down into small pieces.
Next, use your fingers to work the butter into the flour (rub your thumb against your fingertips, smearing the butter as you do). Stop when the mixture looks like cornmeal with some pea-sized bits of butter remaining.
Sprinkle six tablespoons ice water over the mixture and stir with a fork until the dough begins to come together. If needed, add 1 or 2 more tablespoons of water.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and knead three times, or just enough to make a cohesive dough. Gather the dough into a ball, then divide into two pieces, one slightly larger than the other. Press each piece into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.
1 cup jam
1 large egg
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup almond flour (see Note)
1 1/2 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Using a mixer, beat together the egg and sugar for 1 minute. Add the almond flour, milk, almond extract, and salt and whisk until combined. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and set an oven rack to the bottom position. Grease the cups of 2 mini-muffin pans an set aside (or line with paper liners).
Remove the first disk of dough from the refrigerator, dust the counter with more flour, and roll the dough out to a 1/4-inch thickness, turning it often to prevent sticking. Cut the dough into rounds using a 2 1/2- to 3-inch-wide biscuit cutter or drinking glass. Gather and re-roll the dough as needed to use up scraps.
Tuck a round of pastry into each of the muffin tin cups, folding the dough as needed to make it fit. Spoon a scant teaspoonful of jam into each of the tarts and top with a spoonful of the almond topping.
Transfer to the oven and bake until nicely browned on top, 18 to 22 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough, jam, and topping. Garnish Maid of Honor Tarts with a dusting of confectioner’s sugar.