All the recipes I'm finding are for pies where you put the layer of thinly rolled almond paste on the pie shell, add the filling and then bake. I'm wanting to blind bake my pie shell, lay down the almond paste, add pastry cream and top with fresh strawberries. Would this be a problem?
Almond paste is a finished product. It can be eaten without cooking.
In fact, one of my favorite tart recipes is Julia Child's "Pear and Almond Tart" from her Mastering the Art of French Cooking. The four parts of the tart (crust, almond filling, poached pears and currant glaze) are cooked separately and it is assembled without being baked afterwards. It uses a "frangipane" that cooks the eggs rather than leaving them raw as many almond pastes do. I don't have a copy of the book to confirm but this looks like the correct version of the recipe.
- 1/2 cup almonds
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 3/4 cups sugar
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3 tbs butter
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Toast almonds until brown (about 10 minutes), then pulverize in a bender, food processor, or with a mortar and pestle.
Whisk egg and egg yolk in a large mixing bowl until combined. Gradually add sugar and beat until mixture is pale yellow – about 3 minutes. Beat in the flour.
Heat milk on the stove over moderate heat until it reaches the boiling point. Beat a small amount of milk into the egg mixture, to temper the eggs. Then pour in the rest of the milk and whisk vigorously.
Pour milk mixture into a sauce pan and heat over moderate heat. Stir slowly, until mixture begins to thicken and coagulate into a stiff paste. Beat vigorously over low heat for 2-3 minutes to cook the flour. Off the heat add the butter, vanilla and almond extracts, and almonds. Let cool. To prevent a skin from forming, cover custard with buttered parchment paper.
If you're making the almond paste on your own, you might consider substituting this one for it. It's really amazing and was hard to stop eating.