Kernza Brittany Shortbread Tart Crust
I’ve been baking with Kernza a lot recently, for a couple of reasons. First, unlike its cousin, bread wheat – which is what we find in the grocery store – Kernza is a perennial. It grows back again and again every year. The norm in grain production in the US is for the plants to get tilled or pulled from the soil every year to make way for new seeds. That’s done a number on soil and climate preparedness in the US breadbasket. Perennial grains could change all that. Climate aside, the second reason I’ve been baking with Kernza is that it smells FANTASTIC. Like cinnamon and spices and magic. (You almost forget that like most foods, flour probably used to have a smell before the US food system blandified it). I’ve been making tarts that build on its nutty-spiciness: caramel, hazelnut, and cinnamon-apple. Yes, my kitchen has smelled wonderful. If you’d like to order Kernza flour, you can get it from Perennial Pantry.
Also, not for nothing: If you roll this dough out very thinly, it also bakes into a delicious graham cracker.
Recipe: Kernza Brittany Shortbread Tart Crust
- Makes two tart crusts
- Active time: 30 minutes
- Bake time: 20-25 minutes
- 70g butter, softened
- 30g sugar
- 30g raw sugar
- 40g almond flour
- 2g salt
- 30g yolks (~2 yolks from medium eggs)
- 100g twice-sifted Kernza flour
- 6g baking powder
- 20g almond butter
- 18-cm tart ring or tart pan
- Pastry scraper
- Stand mixer
- Preheat oven to 335F.
- If using a tart pan, spray with cooking spray for easier crust removal later, and place atop a baking sheet. If using a bottom-less tart ring, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and secure tart ring to the paper-lined pan with magnets.
- Sift Kernza flour twice to remove as much bran as possible.
- In a small bowl, combine the almond flour, salt, baking powder, and Kernza flour.
- In a stand mixer, combine the room-temperature butter, sugar, and raw sugar, and mix until well combined. Add egg yolks one at a time, and the almond butter, mixing until combined after each addition.
- Add the dry ingredients to the stand mixer and mix just until dough has formed into quarter-sized pieces.
- Finish mixing by hand, or using the pastry scraper to smear and combine ingredients. (This helps coat the flour in the butter.) Dough will be thick.
- Divide the resulting dough in half, and press one half evenly into the bottom of the tart pan or ring, creating a thin crust. Flatten the surface using the pastry scraper.
- Bake at 335 for 20-25 minutes, or until the bottom and sides are slightly browned.
- Allow to cool to room temperature, and then decorate as desired.