Recipes

1. Frangipane tart

January 20, 2015
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This is a delicious tart and one that everyone should learn to make. Use good quality vanilla extract and the yummiest fruit for the best results. There are a number of fruits that work really well with a frangipane, pear, figs, dark sweet plums just to name a few. The wonderful thing about this tart is you can bake it with the fruit or add the fruit after baking. In addition, add chocolate to the frangipane mix to create another dessert altogether. It is by far, “truly”, my favourite tart!

pear and honey

Serves 8-10

Ingredients

Pastry
  • 170gm plain flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 85gm cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 30-50ml ice water with a dash of white vinegar
Frangipane
  • 100gm unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 100gm caster sugar, sifted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean, halved lengthways, seeds scraped
  • 100gm almond meal
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 large ripe Packham or Bosc pears

Method

Preheat your oven to 180°C degrees. Butter and lightly dust with flour a 24cm loose base tart tin.

To make the pastry, place the flour and salt in a food processor and blitz for 30 seconds until well combined. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. With the motor running,add just enough water for dough to come together. Empty onto a clean surface, gently pat together to form a flat disc, wrap with clingfilm and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.

Roll the pastry out between two clean plastic sheets to 2mm thickness. Line the tart tin with the pastry, tucking well into the corners. Trim the edges neatly. Line with greaseproof paper or foil and fill with uncooked rice or baking beads and blind bake for 20-25 minutes or until the edges are slightly golden. Remove the rice and paper and bake for a further 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Prepare the pear by peeling the skin, core, halved and slice thinly.

For the frangipane, cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. Fold in the almond meal and flour.

Fill the cooled tart shell with the frangipane, smooth out the surface and top with the sliced pears in a circular design. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until frangipane is cooked. Remove from the oven and immediately drizzle over some good quality honey. Allow to cool slightly before slicing up. Serve with your favourite vanilla cream.

fig, pistachio & honey

For a fig, pistachio and honey version, follow the above steps by filling the tart shell with the frangipane, then bake as it is until lightly golden.

You will then need about 4 fresh figs, some halved and some left whole, haphazardly place them on top of the cooled tart, drizzle with honey and sprinkled with pistachios crumbs.

Note: For the pistachio crumbs, toast a tablespoon of pistachio kernels (without their shells) in the oven at 180°C degrees for 5-10 minutes. Allow to cool, then grind in a mortar and pestle to a coarse crumb.

chocolate frangipane

Serves: 8-10

Ingredients

 Pastry
  • 170gm plain flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons (50gm) cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon (25gm) icing sugar
  • 130gm cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 egg yolk
 Chocolate frangipane
  • 100gm unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 100gm caster sugar, sifted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 vanilla bean, halved lengthways, seeds scraped
  • 170gm dark chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 100gm almond meal
  • 1 tablespoon flour

Method

Preheat oven to 180°C degrees. Butter and lightly dust with flour a 24cm loose base fluted tart tin.

To make the pastry, place the flour, salt, cocoa, and sugar in a food processor and blitz for 30 seconds until well combined. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. With the motor running add the egg yolk and process until dough comes together. Empty onto a clean surface, gently pat together to form a flat disc, wrap with clingfilm and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.

For the poached pears, place the water, sugar, vanilla, lemon peel and Vincotto in a deep, small saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil. Peel the pears and trim the base. I am not hugely fussed about the core but if you like, you can remove the core from the base. Place the pears, stem-side up in the saucepan and cover with a cartouche. Simmer gently until pears are tender. Add the lemon juice to the mixture. Remove the pears and set aside to cool until ready to use. With the remaining poaching liquid, you can reduce it further until it becomes syrupy.

Roll the pastry out between two clean plastic sheets to 2mm thickness. Line the tart tin with the pastry, tucking well into the corners. Trim the edges neatly. Line with greaseproof paper or foil and fill with uncooked rice or baking beads and blind bake for 20-25 minutes or until the edges are crisp. Remove the rice and paper and bake for a further 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

For the chocolate frangipane, cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. Add the melted chocolate and beat until well mixed, then fold in the almond meal and flour.

Fill the tart shell with the frangipane, smooth the surface and bake for 25-30 minutes or until frangipane is cooked. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

When it has completely cooled, carefully remove the tart from the tins and place onto serving dish. I like to halve some pear and leave some whole. Place them around the tart. Drizzle the tart with a little poaching syrup and serve with vanilla cream.

 

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