It’s our first Baked with Scare Wednesday of October, and we’re dialing up the fright factor with a tasty tart – and a creepy crawly topper that’s 100% edible!
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 8 tbsp butter, softened
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp almond extract
- 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
- ¾ cup almond flour
- 4 tbsp butter, softened
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp all purpose flour
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 1 ¼ cups almond flour
- ¼ cup blackberry jam
- 1 cup blackberries
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup water
- Powdered sugar
- Lemon juice
Edible Spider Ingredients
- Dark melting chocolate
- 1 ½ cups almond flour
- 1 ⅔ cups powdered sugar
- ⅛ cup egg whites
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- Fine mesh sieve
- Chocolate dipping tools
- Mini tart pans
- Piping bag
- Start by preparing the blackberry jam and edible spiders.
- To make the blackberry jam, sprinkle sugar over blackberries and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until reduced by at least half. Remove from heat and strain through a fine mesh sieve to remove all seeds and pulp. Jam will thicken quite a bit as it sits, allowing it to cool to at least room temperature.
- To make the edible spiders that will sit on top of the tarts, start by making marzipan (you can also use almond paste from the store). Whisk together the almond flour and powdered sugar and then stir in the egg whites and extract until a log forms. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and cool for at least a half hour, up to overnight. Dip blackberries in melting chocolate and allow to cool completely. Using little pieces of marzipan, roll out a ball smaller than the dipped blackberry to be the other part of the spider’s body and spider legs. Freeze the marzipan pieces for 5 to 10 minutes before dipping them in chocolate and affixing them to the spider’s body, making sure they are dried and set before moving them. Be careful, they will be delicate!
- When ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Make the crust by beating together the sugar, butter, salt, and extracts until smooth. Add the all purpose and almond flours until the mixture makes crumbs that you can clump together. Press the dough into the bottom and sides of the pans, pricking with a fork before freezing for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Bake the crusts until they’re set and the edges are starting to brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
- To make the filling, beat together the butter, salt, sugar, all purpose flour, and extracts. Whisk in the eggs and blackberry jam until smooth. Add the almond flour and stir until just combined.
- Pour the filling into the tart shells and bake them for 18 to 24 minutes. The tops will lightly brown and you should be able to insert and remove a clean toothpick.
- Remove the tarts from the oven and allow them to cool completely in their pans.
- When ready, make the glaze by mixing lemon juice with powdered sugar to the desired consistency. This glaze will need to be fairly thick so that it stays mostly still once piped.
- Once the tarts are cooled, pipe spiderweb designs on the tops with the lemon glaze and allow the glaze to set. Garnish with the edible spiders and enjoy!
You know how sometimes you’ll buy an ingredient for a recipe, use what little bit you need, and then push the rest to the back of the pantry only to discover it some time later and think, “Hmm… I need to use that in something!”? (#halloweencreatorprobs!) Well that’s exactly the situation I found myself in with an almost-full bag of almond flour last year. I know it keeps for awhile, but I wanted to start using it sooner rather than later. It wasn’t long after that I found a recipe for an almond tart that caught my eye, so I decided to give it a whirl… and happened upon one of my new favorite desserts!
What I especially like about this almond tart recipe is how easily the crust comes together. Pie and tart doughs can be deceptively difficult, but this crust starts as crumbs that clump together in your hand before being molded into place in the pans, whether you’re doing 4 smaller tarts like we did here, one big tart for a group to share, or a dozen individual minis. A quick bake to set, and voila! You’ve got a tart crust ready for filling!
And what a filling this is! Somewhere between a custard-y pie filling and a corn cake, this tart’s unique texture mixed with it’s robust almond base is a winning combination. For these spiderweb tarts specifically, I added a quarter cup of blackberry jam to work in a secondary fruit flavor with a lemon glaze on the top that all came together in a comforting dessert with fresh flavors that was still a bit on the lighter side.
But where there are spiderwebs, there must be spiders – right? So to finish these tarts off, I had to try my hand at making edible spiders! I knew the blackberries would make a great abdomen to start building from, and quickly decided to use marzipan to sculpt out the remaining spider parts (carapace, legs, etc). Marzipan is easy enough to make at home and re-freezes quickly before dipping in the chocolate so you won’t have to worry too much about the pieces losing their shape in the process.
Just be sure to take your time and make sure everything is attached completely. It can be quite time consuming, but the finished product is so worth it! I started by dipping all of the blackberries and then the smaller marzipan balls to build up the spiders’ bodies before moving on to the legs, which I did one-by-one working through one spider at a time. And when it comes to your dipping chocolate, splurge on the good stuff. The colorful melts at most craft stores are alright, but my go-to brand is Ghiradelli: it melts easily, covers fully, and dries quickly! (Not sponsored, just trying to set you up for as much success as I can!) And best of all, the chocolate’s delicious – no waxy melts here! – which is, of course, clutch for a holiday as candy-focused as Halloween. Happy Baking!