Red Grape Tart with Rosemary Almond Cookie Crust

April 9, 2014

Red Grape Tart with Rosemary Almond Cookie Crust | une gamine dans la cuisine

"The clocks of flowers rise, it's April
and yellow and these seconds are an autopsy
of this word,

~ Bob Hicok, from "So I know" 

Spring is cautious this year. I imagine a cellist who somehow feels estranged from her beloved instrument. When sunlight spills through my morning window, I feel her raising a tentative bow and bringing it to pulsating strings; but as I hold my breath there's a missed heartbeat - - an eleventh hour hesitation. Instead of creating music and violets, she sighs and softly shoves her tidings aside with a slippered foot. Tomorrow, perhaps...

I'm waiting, patiently, for strawberries. Unfortunately the season is too young and off its mark. Every berry-filled green carton I find at the grocery store is a disappointment. This was an unplanned grape tart.

Red Grape Tart with Rosemary Almond Cookie Crust | une gamine dans la cuisine

Sometimes unintentional pastries are the most gratifying. They make me feel witty and clever and slightly smug. ;-) I wasn't sure how grapes would behave in a tart. They're perfect for mindless snacking and for filling the void between lunch and dinner, but I had never placed them side-by-side with their arch enemy, butter.

Hooray for gastronomic diplomacy! Grapes, apparently, are not opposed to joining the swarthy, dark side. The red grapes were cooked with fresh lemon zest, almond extract and a few spoonfuls of sugar. As soon as everything came together in a luscious, chunky, jam, I knew the strawberries wouldn't be missed. This particular crust is worthy of its own place on the mantel. Infused with ground almonds and rosemary, its texture and sweet disposition are akin to a sugar cookie. The sheltered, romance-starved, grape jam spilled blissfully into a buttery, scalloped, embrace. Tarlets arriving soon! xo

Red Grape Tart with Rosemary Almond Cookie Crust | une gamine dans la cuisine

Red Grape Tart with Rosemary Almond Cookie Crust
makes one 10-inch tart

for the crust
3 Tablespoons whole, unsalted almonds
1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1/2 cup granulated sugar
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/2 cup (that's 1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

for the filling
3 lbs large, red grapes, sliced in half {Note: My grapes had tiny seeds that I removed with a pairing knife.}
3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
Grated zest from one lemon
2 teaspoons cornstarch, sifted
1/2 cup strawberry jam

Prepare the crust: Place whole almonds and rosemary into a food processor and pulse until the almonds are finely ground (don't process too much or you will make almond butter). Measure out 2 Tablespoons of the almond rosemary mixture, anything leftover can be enjoyed with a spoon. :)

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the 2 Tablespoons of ground almond/rosemary mixture, salt, and flour.

In a separate small bowl, mix together almond extract and melted butter.

Make a well in center of dry ingredients and pour in the almond/butter mixture. Mix until coarse and crumbly, using your fingertips to break up any large clumps. The dough should stick together when pinched.

Press the dough into a 10-inch tart pan (make sure it has a removable bottom). Use your fingertips to gently press the dough onto the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Place pan in refrigerator for about 30 minutes. 

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Remove tart pan from fridge. Line shell with a buttered sheet of tin foil (shiny side facing dough). Fill with pie weights, dried beans, or uncooked rice. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until crust is golden and the bottom is dry. {Note: It's okay to peek under the weights and foil but do so carefully.}

Remove pan from oven and very carefully remove weights and foil. Set tart shell aside to cool completely before adding the filling. At this point you may turn off the oven.

Prepare the filling: In a medium size saucepan, combine sliced grapes, sugar, almond extract, lemon zest, and corn starch. Stirring occasionally, cook over medium heat until grapes are reduced in size and released juice forms a thick sauce. Remove pan from heat and allow grapes to cool completely. If you're in a hurry you can place pan in refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Spread 1/2 cup of strawberry jam onto base of cooled tart shell. Spoon grapes and sauce over the jam and spread into an even layer. Bake 20 minutes or until filling just starts to bubble. {Note: If edges of tart are browning too quickly, cover with a pie protector or loose foil tent.}

Remove tart from oven and place onto cooling rack. Cool completely before releasing from pan and slicing.

crust recipe adapted from Leslie Mackie's Macrina Bakery & Cafe Cookbook


  1. Here, spring could be compared to a rock muscian; noisy and exuberant!

    This tart is magnificent!



  2. i hope Spring and berries find your way soon Valeria. Its starting to feel like Spring in Dallas and I love the fresh air these days.

  3. Your creativity knows no limits. Five minutes ago, I didn't know a grape tart was an option. Now I need one!

  4. Beautiful post and pics. This tart is amazing, love how you used grapes here.

  5. I'm glad you used grapes instead - this sounds so, SO good! It's also so freakin' beautiful!!

  6. I have never baked with grapes but have been tempted (especially when a grape focaccia caught my eye the other day). I've been dreaming of this tart for days - I can almost taste it in my mind, now if only I could come for tea and a slice!

  7. This is beautiful! I love the idea of using grapes in a tart like this; such a wonderful contrast to that fragrant crust.

  8. dude. i've been stalking the local farm here to see when they will open their strawberry patch because i am too wary of the ones i've seen at the supermarket. it's painful.

    however, i will say that i've baked with grapes before and they are a surprising and startling and AWESOME fruit to work with. who knew?

    i know we say this often, but i wish we lived closer cus we could lament over how fickle the weather can be, and gush over tom hiddleston like the teenagers we are...

  9. I've always wanted to bake with grapes like this! You should feel proud it's gorgeous!

  10. Seriously, I want to live in your kitchen and eat all the desserts you make! Love this.

  11. This is spectacular.. Love that crust and and the idea of a grape tart.

  12. I am always curious as 'who' finish all the gorgeous desserts u bake, and now that I see this, can I be your neighbour? I recently roasted some grapes for puff pastry tart, which was a pleasant surprise..your grape compote is calling my name..

  13. I have only used grapes for snacking, never in baking - this is such a wonderful idea! absolutely gorgeous post Valerie!

  14. your creativity with rosemary is inspiring--this could be a great idea for a book you know?
    all things rosemary?
    sweet & savory with rosemary?
    you never know

  15. Would love to invite you to share your food photos with us over at Food Foto Gallery . com - There's no complicated approval process like the big sites. Any photos related to food (that are not watermarked) are accepted & get posted automatically. We also share our daily faves on social media, giving exposure to food bloggers when we can. Let me know if you have any questions and hope to see you at the site :)

  16. Valerie - you make the most divine desserts and this one is no exception. Love this and need to make it!

  17. That looks marvelous, Valerie. I do love herbs in crusts. Beautiful mouth watering photos along with this recipe!

  18. !!!!!!!! You are a genius!! Long ago, I read a friend's recipe for something she and her family called "That Grape Thing"...between that and a grape focaccia recipe, that's about all I've seen done with cooked grapes. Grape jelly has never appealed to me, but you make this glorious, jammy tart sound phenomenal! All the flavors! When some beautiful grapes fall into my lap, I will most definitely be trying this :)Beautiful!


Thanks for visiting, and for taking the time to read through my ramblings!
If you have a recipe comment or question, I'd love to hear from you.

Happy Baking!
♥ Valerie


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