Spring frangipane tart
As I have said in an earlier post, always try to use seasonal produce. I hate the thought of people travelling all over the place, trying to find an ingredient for a recipe and ending up either paying 10 times the price they would have had it been in season or getting fed up looking and cooking something completely different.
My preference is to use fresh cherries for this tart, however at this time of year I would need to take out a small loan to purchase some! Your local supermarket will probably have an abundance of canned fruit, but resist the temptation – for this tart go fresh.
I visited the local fruit and vegetable shop to see what interesting fruits could marry the flavours of frangipane and chocolate, there were many possibilites. Obviously I found strawberries, which are not only available for a little bit longer than cherries but are a little more affordable as well. There were also blueberries and raspberries which would work beautifully too. I saw some ripe pears which could be sliced and sautéd in a little sugar and arranged in the middle of two layers of frangipane.
Another option is rhubarb; peel the base of the stalk a little (it can be quite stringy), dice and cook with a little sugar. Don’t completely stew the rhubarb – you want to be able to push the pieces into the frangipane.
Slices of peach or plum would also work; they are best if they are ripe, but if they are a little green, simply sauté with a little sugar.
The opportunities are endless and it can be so exciting adapting a recipe to suit your tastes.
1 tart will serve 12Pastry
100g icing sugar
2 egg yolks
2tbsp milk or water
70g Brazil nuts
125g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1. Preheat your oven to 180ºC, on fan bake.
2. To make the pastry, blend the very cold butter with the icing sugar, flour and cocoa in a food processor.
3. Beat the yolks with the milk/cold water and lightly pulse into the flour and butter mixture. Remove from the processor and knead a little on a floured surface to combine (do not over-mix).
4. Wrap in cling film and chill.
5. To make the frangipane, grind the almonds and brazil nuts to a breadcrumb consistency (not a fine powder).
6. Cream the butter and sugar, add the egg then fold in nuts and vanilla. Chill the mixture.
7. Roll the pastry (to approximately 2-3mm thick) and line a tart shell. Place in the freezer for 10 minutes.
8. Blind bake the tart shell in your oven for 10 minutes.
9. Reduce the oven temperature to 160ºC.
10. Add the frangipane to the partially cooked tart shell.
11. Press in the fruit, which you can do in a pattern or haphazardly.
12. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until the frangipane sets.