Diana's Desserts - www.dianasdesserts.com

Individual Strawberry-Almond Tarts

Servings: 6
With the dough already mixed and rolled, fruit tarts are a so easy to make with frozen puff pastry. Put pastry in the fridge to thaw; if you forget, then open the package and separate the sheets -- they will thaw very quickly. Many fruits can be substituted for the strawberries: Try raspberries, apples, apricots, peaches or pears.

1 package (17 1/4 ounces) frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
1 egg, beaten
4-ounce tube of almond paste
3 tbsp. granulated sugar
1 1/2 pints strawberries, washed, hulled, patted dry, and sliced

Adjust oven racks to lower-middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees F. Working one sheet at a time on a lightly floured work surface, cut each sheet into four squares, reserving two of the squares for another use, or make two extra tarts.

Working with one square of dough at a time, fold each side of dough in 1/2 inch, then unfold to form a crease. With a pastry brush, brush the four corners of dough with the beaten egg, then pinch each corner to form a 4-cornered lipped square. Place tart shells on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Grate almond paste on the coarse side of a box grater, separating it as it's grated to prevent clumping. Sprinkle over the bottom of the tart shells along with some of the sugar. Arrange strawberries over the almond paste in slightly overlapping rows. Sprinkle strawberries with a little more sugar.

Bake until golden brown, 15-20 minutes. Cool briefly; serve. (The tarts can be baked ahead and rewarmed at 200 degrees, or baked during the meal.) Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

Makes 6 tarts.

Date: January 12, 2003