The main difference between this recipe and the previous one is the tart crust base. It’s an idea I’d never seen before young Joan found it in Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery cookbook. What I like about Keller’s combo is that it provides something of a balance between riches and sweetness…and also makes the florentines a little less melty on the fingers. This recipe makes a half sheet pan of florentines (which is a lot). The recipe can be cut in half and made in a 1/4 sheet. Or doubled to make a full sheet. Depends on how hungry you are. It goes like this:
1 lb. 9 ounces tart crust (one and a half recipes) pâte sucrée
4 ounces milk
5 ounces sugar
3 ounces glucose syrup
3 ounces honey
7 ounces butter
1/8 teaspoon Kosher salt
11 ounces sliced blanched almonds
3 ounces shelled raw pistachios
3 ounces finely diced candied orange peel
About 14 ounces coating chocolate
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Roll the dough out over a half-sheet-sized piece of parchment paper (to give you a pattern to work with). There will be a bit extra (about two ounces), so you can trim a bit without compromising the finished cookies. Slide the dough-covered sheet of parchment into the sheet pan. Place another piece of parchment on top of the dough. Cover the parchment with raw rice or beans (about half an inch will fit into the sheet pan) and bake the crust for about 12 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a cooling rack. Gently remove the rice (or beans) and paper.
Turn the oven down to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
For the fruit and nut layer, combine the milk, sugar, glucose, and honey in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat to 248 degrees Fahrenheit. Take the pan off the heat and add the butter and salt. Stir in the pistachios, almonds, and orange peel, the spread the mixture over the pre-baked crust. Bake the whole thing for 30 minutes, turning the pan once in the oven. Allow the finished “tart” to cool completely. Loosen the edges with a knife.
To finish, place a sheet of parchment on top of the sheet pan containing the tart, place a cutting board on top, and flip the whole thing over, inverting the tart onto the parchment and board.
Melt five ounces of the chocolate in a microwave using as many 10-second bursts as are necessary to nearly melt it, stirring between each, letting the residual heat do most of the work (you don’t want to burn the chocolate solids). Spread a very thin layer of chocolate over the crust, enough to just cover the crust, and allow it to firm. This is your chocolate “base layer”. Lastly, melt the remaining chocolate and spread it thinly over the tart, then use a cake comb to make a wave pattern on the top. Don’t overdo it here. You may not use all the chocolate.
Let the chocolate firm, then cut the tart into 3.5″ x 2.5″ rectangles.