Blackberry frangipane tart

Have I told you that I have always wanted to make a frangipane tart? I haven’t eaten many in my time, and my impression of the ones I have had were that they were nutty, but slightly dry. Plus, the first time I saw ‘frangipane’, I immediately thought of frangipani and thought “No way….” So when this month’s Daring Bakers challenge was to make a crostata, I immediately thought, “frangipane!”

So I know that crostata is traditionally Italian and frangipane cream (half almond cream and half crème pâtissière) is French, but I myself am a product of cultural fusion, and I think I do like to mix it up a bit when it comes to the baked goods I create. Plus, Italian crostata is traditionally made with pastry cream and/or fruit preserves. So I pushed the imaginary traditional French chef yelling “Sacré bleu!” out of my head and instead turned my attention to my frangipane crostata.

For the pasta frolla, I used the recipe provided by Simona. I found the dough to be the most temperamental yet- yes, even more temperamental than Marcus Wareing’s shortcrust pastry for his classic custard tart. I didn’t have a very good feeling after I made the dough and put it in the fridge to chill. Even worse when I rolled it out and it kept tearing. I actually balled the dough up and rolled it out a second time even though that is a big no-no, and quickly got it into my tart tin. I actually wanted to weave the pastry strips on top of the tart, to look like a real pie from the 50s, but the dough was too delicate for that (I was also working against summer temps) and so I just lay them flat.

But not before filling the tart with the frangipane cream and some plump blackberries. The tart case didn’t need to be blind baked either!

The only problem with experimenting with something for the first time is that you’re always wondering about whether things are going as they should. I was surprised that the frangipane filling rose in the oven as much as it did! The top looked like a soufflé! It rose so much but wasn’t too brown at the top, but I thought I had better remove it from the oven in case I overbaked it. I think it took it out a tad too early though, so next time I would leave it in for an extra 10 minutes.

But, it tasted absolutely wonderful! The tart shell was crisp, almost biscuity, and this was a change from the usual shortcrust tart shells. Even though I was unsure about the pasta frolla in the beginning, I think I would definitely use it again. And the frangipane had a sweet vanilla fragrance, and a smooth vanilla-almond flavour. What struck me most even the day after I baked this tart, was how good it smelt! And it tasted exactly like how it smelt.

Actually, a few days before I made this tart, S emailed me and asked if I had a good frangipane recipe. I hadn’t made one yet at the time, but now S, I say this will be my frangipane recipe from now on! I hope your two little angels love it too!

Also, this tart marks our 100th post on honeyandsoy. That’s cause for a little happy dance, I say… hurray!

Blog-checking lines:

The 2010 November Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Simona of briciole. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make pasta frolla for a crostata. She used her own experience as a source, as well as information from Pellegrino Artusi’s Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well.

Blackberry frangipane tart

makes 1 large tart

For the pasta frolla,


1/2 c. minus 1 tablespoon [105 ml, 100 g, 3 ½ oz] caster sugar 

1 and 3/4 cup [420 ml, 235 g, 8 1/4 oz.] unbleached all-purpose flour

a pinch of salt

1 stick [8 tablespoons / 4 oz. / 115 g] cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

grated zest of half a lemon

1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten in a small bowl

Put sugar, flour, salt, and lemon zest in the food processor and pulse a few times to mix. Add butter and pulse a few times, until the mixture has the consistency of coarse meal. Empty food processor’s bowl onto your work surface.

Make a well in the center of the mounded flour and butter mixture and pour the beaten eggs into it (reserve about a teaspoon of the egg mixture for glazing purposes later on – place in the refrigerator, covered, until ready to use).

Add the lemon zest to your flour/butter/egg mixture.

Use a fork to incorporate the liquid into the solid ingredients, and then use your fingertips.

Knead lightly just until the dough comes together into a ball. Shape the dough into a flat disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Place the dough in the refrigerator and chill for at least two hours. You can refrigerate the dough overnight.

For the frangipane cream,

from French cooking: Classic Recipes and Techniques

Pastry cream

1 cup (250ml) milk

½ vanilla bean

2 egg yolks

1/3 cup (65g) granulated sugar

3 ¼ tbsp (30g) cornstarch

A few drops of bitter almond extract or amaretto

Almond cream

1 generous cup (100g) almond meal

100g (7 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened

2 eggs

½ cup (100g) granulated sugar

A few drops of vanilla extract

To make the pastry cream, slit the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the milk. Add the vanilla bean to the milk and begin to heat. In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar briskly until the mixture turns pale and thickens. Add the corn starch and whisk in.

When the milk begins to simmer, remove from the heat and pour half over the thickened egg mixture. Combine thoroughly. Strain the remaining milk through a sieve into the egg mixture, return to the heat, and bring back to the boil. Allow to simmer for 2-3 minutes, whisking constantly. Transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap flush with the cream so that a skin cannot form. Chill quickly.

Next, make the almond cream. Cream the softened butter well with the sugar. Add the almond meal, and then the eggs, mixing them in one by one. Add the vanilla and whisk until smooth.

To finish off the frangipane cream, add a few drops of bitter almond extract or amaretto to the pastry cream when it is cool to loosen the mixture. Whisk the almond cream with the pastry cream until smooth.

To assemble the tart, cut away 1/4 of the pasta frolla to make the lattice top later. Roll out the remaining dough and place it carefully into your tart pan. Prick the bottom of the tart base with a fork in several places. Fill the tart with the frangipane cream. Top with chosen fresh fruit or fruit preserves. Roll out the remaining dough and make a lattice top.

Bake the tart at 190°C (375°F) for 25 minutes, and then keep checking the tart. It will be done when it is golden brown all over.

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  • Michelle Chin

    I love blackberries!

  • InTolerant Chef

    It’s always difficult making something for the first time, but this looks delicious! I love that you used blackberries too. Yumm…

  • Hannah Terry-Whyte

    This looks amazing!! Anything with fresh berries and almonds gets my vote :)

  • Audax Artifex

    Even with your slight anxious moments your final tart looks and sounds so stunning. I think the lattice looks fine. Wonderful results. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  • Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella

    Great job on your Daring Bakers! It looks absolutely beautiful and I love the flavour combination! :D

  • Deeba Rajpal

    Happy feet dance for yout 100th post T…♥ it, I do. Frangipane is a huge hit in our home, and now frangipane cream just adds to the dacadence. Me likey {very much}, and me wants some too. Seriously good tart this…yum! No blackberries in India, yet I feel like some now!

  • Nicola

    It looks spectacular and really want to try making this frangipane filling now! Too bad I have half a lemon tart in the fridge that needs to be eaten first!

  • Cake Duchess

    Oh this is lovely! I am having so much fun seeing all the different crostatas. This was my first challenge. Everyone is so talented. Beautiful photographs. I hope you are having a nice weekend:)

  • Cheap Ethnic Eatz

    Love it with the frangipane. I wanted to roll out some marzipan in mine but did not find it at the store. Looks great

  • aish

    This looks DIVINE babe! :) Though in the beginning, I’d misread it as frangipani and flashbacked to jasmine tea! Haha

    Man, where’s my fork at?? :)

    P.s. Congrats on the 100th post!!!


  • msihua

    Goodness me.. that looks absolutely beautiful!! And I’m sure it was delicious! Go Frangipane!!

  • Iron Chef Shellie

    woah looks so good!

  • Tangerineskitchen

    Berries hard to find where I live.. makes it all the more irresistable.

  • Lollcakes

    Well done Honey, your tart looks amazing. I know exactly how you feel about the pastry – I was really unsure at first but I think I’ll try it again soon!

  • honeyandsoy

    Me too! I wish they were easy to grow…

  • honeyandsoy

    It was, R! Hehe but lucky I learnt something from it, and the tart can only be better next time!

  • honeyandsoy

    Aww thanks, Hannah! I am impartial to berries and almonds too!

  • honeyandsoy

    Thanks for your kind words, Audax! I still will try to weave a proper lattice next time :)

  • honeyandsoy

    Thank you Lorraine!! I’ll definitely be making this again!

  • honeyandsoy

    Hahaha thanks for joining me in my little dance, Deeba! Oh I didn’t know you can’t get blackberries! I’m not sure what customs regulations are like, but I know what we will bring over when we visit you one day!

  • honeyandsoy

    I’m sure that lemon tart will be polished off in no time, and then on to frangipane! :)

  • honeyandsoy

    Thank you and welcome to DB! What an apt name you have, Cake Duchess!

  • honeyandsoy

    HAHAHAHA you crack me up!! So evil but I will remember that day with you and jasmine tea for the rest of my life :D and eww I don’t like the smell of frangipani, so I don’t imagine a tart would be very good… for my taste (and yours) at least ;)

  • honeyandsoy

    Thank you!! It was delish! And yes, I am all for frangipane too!!!

  • honeyandsoy

    Thank you so much, Shellie!

  • honeyandsoy

    Oh no!! Can you get someone to deliver? Or grow them yourself?

  • honeyandsoy

    Loll, we need to keep each other’s tantys in check! :) I will definitely also use it again… I loved the crisp biscuity texture.

  • Faith

    Your tart is really lovely! I’m always a little nervous to work with pastry dough but for something as beautiful and delicious as this I would give it a try!

  • Heidi – Apples Under My Bed

    I adore frangipane tarts – who doesn’t, they’re just delightful! This is beautiful! I’m so pleased it turned out.
    Heidi xo

  • Simona

    Your crostata looks very nice! I am glad you didn’t let anything deter you from moving forward and got your reward at the end.