Almond flour makes a most delicious and fragrant gluten-free tart crust. I have long been a devotee to the buttery cookie crust. Still am, really, but I heard somewhere from someone it is good to diversify and I'm pretty sure they were talking about cheesecake. Even when gluten intolerance is not an issue, I love to make this crust because it is super yummy and also because I can rationalize that by eating 2 or 3 of these tarts I am loading up on heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and antioxidants and other nutrients from the almonds. ;)
For these wee babies, I used my go-to mini cheesecake recipe and swirled in some fancy pants quince jam my sister gifted me. But you can substitute any fruit jam or purée you have on hand.
Makes 12 mini cheesecakes.
For the almond flour crust
1 1/4 C almond flour (sometimes called "almond meal" if not blanched/skinned, either works)
3 tbsp raw cane sugar
Pinch of salt
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted to liquid state and cooled slightly
For the batter
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature (leave it out for 2-3 hours or cut smaller if you are short on time)
3 tbsp raw cane sugar
2 tbsp sour cream (or heavy cream if you don't have but I think sour cream gives a nicer tang)
1 large egg
1 tsp pure vanilla bean paste or extract
For the topping
2 tbsp quince jam (or other fruit jam or purée of your choice)
Preheat oven to 350f. Make the crust by mixing well the almond flour, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Mix in the melted cooled butter until thoroughly combined. Divide evenly among the 12 cups of a mini cheesecake pan or 12 paper lined muffin tins, just under 1 tbsp for each. Press down firmly with a small flat-bottomed object like a shot glass. It's okay if some of the mixture goes up the sides. Bake 10 minutes or when just beginning to brown. Remove from oven and let it cool completely.
Meanwhile, reduce the oven temperature to 325f and make the batter.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the room temperature cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients sour cream (or heavy cream), egg and vanilla bean paste (or extract) and mix well. Divide the batter evenly among the 12 cooled crusts, about 2 tbsp each. Top with about 1/2 tsp of quince jam (or other jam or purée of choice).* Bake for about 18-20 minutes or until "just set" which in cheesecake terms mean slightly wiggly in the centre when you move the pan (it continues to firm up a bit more outside the oven). Cool 30 minutes before unmolding.
*If you want to create a swirl effect, dollop the jam in 3 spots evenly spaced apart and pass a toothpick or wooden skewer through once or more times depending on the design you want. YouTube has videos on creating swirl designs that might be helpful.