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!
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,
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
1 generous cup (100g) almond meal
100g (7 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened
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.