This shortcrust pastry is from Damien Pignolet. Damien’s book French is a must-have cookbook and one I often return to. However, the grating of the butter is a tip I learnt from Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers, who wrote a series of books including recipes from their London restaurant The River Café.
The frangipane is based upon a Roux brothers’ recipe. When I make it with almond meal, I make my own meal from almonds with their skins still on.
Frangipane is easily confused with the botanic name Frangipani; it is different but there is a link. A late 17th Century nobleman Marquis Muzio Frangipani is credited with inventing an almond-scented glove perfume that overcame the problem that leather gloves frequently smelt dreadful. From then on, many nobles perfumed their gloves with this Marquis’s Frangipani scent. The Frangipane almond-flavoured paste used in this recipe was reportedly developed about the same time by innovative French pastry chefs.
This tart is perfect for leftover poached or roasted fruits, or fresh fruits such as raspberries, plums and nectarines. Poached and dried fruits make wonderful combinations. If using cooked fruits, have these ready the day before. Here I have used fresh pitted cherries.
Almond Frangipane Tart with Fresh Cherries
- Mixer with paddle attachment
- 1 x 9-inch tart dish
For the Shortcrust Pastry
- 300 gms plain flour
- pinch salt
- 140 gms butter cold cultured
- 100 mls water ice cold
For the Frangipane Mix
- 250 gms butter cultured, softened
- 250 gms almonds roasted, skinned and ground
- 250 gms icing sugar sifted
- 50 gms plain flour
- pinch salt
- 5 large eggs (55 – 65 gms), lightly whisked
- 50 mls rum or similar
- vanilla extract a few drops
For the Fruit Filling
- 800 gms pitted cherries a selection to fill the base of the tart shell
Shortcrust Pastry (make the day ahead)
- Sieve together the flour and salt.
- Grate in the cold butter and combine to a course mix using your fingertips.
- Make a well and add the cold water and bring the mix together to form a smooth ball.
- Resist kneading too much. You should still be able to see small flecks of butter. This will create a flaky pastry
- Wrap in cling film and chill for several hours, preferably overnight.
- Beat the butter in a mixer on high till smooth, then reduce the speed and add the ground hazelnuts and icing sugar.
- Add the eggs one at a time and finish with the rum.
- Beat well to combine and set aside in the fridge till you are ready to use. This can be made a day in advance however will need to be softened at room temperature before using to make it easier to spread.
Baking the Tart
- Spray your tart tin with non-stick spray.
- Roll out the pastry and press into the shell.
- Rest for at least one hour, the longer the better to prevent shrinkage.
- Preheat your oven to 180°C.
- Line your tart with the frangipane and then your selection of fruit.
- Bake for approximately 40 minutes until the pastry is crisp and the frangipane is set.
- Allow to cool, remove from the tin and glaze with your favourite and appropriate jam.
- Serve with cream.