Magazine article Sunset

Swedish Sand

Magazine article Sunset

Swedish Sand

Article excerpt

ADVENTURES IN COOKING

Swedish sand pastries convey summer celebrations for me. My introduction to them came in the form of cookies made by a Swedish friend who wanted to mark a midsummer's day with her California neighbors. Years later, I was actually in the right place at the right time-- Sweden, on the longest day of the year, which, to be properly observed, must be feted through the pale gray of night until early dawn of the next day. Sand pastries-this time little tarts with summer berries-were part of the grand buffet that went on through the hours of merrymaking. They're tasty enough to deserve a place in your jolly times throughout the months of summer.

What makes sand tarts taste so pleasant is their crumbly, silky texture and toasty flavor from browned butter and ground roasted almonds. You can, in fact, control the flavor and texture by how you make the tarts: If baked just until golden brown, they're tender; if richly browned-- which is how I love them-they take on a crunchy bite when cool, with a melt-away texture on the palate.

Most cookware stores will carry various shapes and at least a couple of sizes of the tiny tart pans. You can use tiny ones for pretty pick-up treats or larger ones for a full-size dessert.

Sand Tarts

PREP AND COOK TIME: About 1 hour NOTES: Served plain, sand tarts are like cookies; invert them on the plate so the impression of the mold shows. If you serve the pudgy little pastries right side up, spoon a small puff of sweetened whipped cream in the slightly depressed center and top with several fresh berries-strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries-or fresh currants. You can make the dough (steps 1 and 2) up to 3 days ahead; wrap airtight and chill. Bring to room temperature before continuing. You can make the tarts up to 3 days ahead; wrap airtight when cool and let stand at room temperature. …

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