Ever since I saw a frangipane tart video, I just cannot get it out of my mind. Just look how elegant and attractive it is? And that is just the appearance, wait until you actually have a taste of it. This tart is more than just beauty and elegance, it’s way above other kind of tart that I had ever tried before and I will tell you why. But first, let’s talk about frangipane.
What is Frangipane?
Frangipane is an almond flavoured cream or paste that is made by combining almond flour, sugar, egg and butter. It’s a filling used for variety of desserts such as pie, cakes and tarts, like this Raspberry Frangipane Tart. I’m always a huge fan of anything with almonds and I had a fair share of my favorite almond based desserts such as Almond Shortbread Tart, Flourless Chocolate Almond Torte Cake, Almond Shortbread Bar and more. I like the subtle flavor of almonds and the creamy taste that it gives to desserts. Although quite more expensive than other nuts, I always think it’s worth the price when I’m using it to make my dessert especially in making frangipane.
This tart is more than just beauty and elegance
I made this tart using mini tart pan of about 4-inch diameter. I always find single serve dessert better so I don’t get overwhelmed with the portion, and it’s seriously dangerous for me to have a huge tart anyway. I cannot promise that I can control myself not to finish the entire thing. So, I am kind off doing myself a favor so that I get appreciate every bite of this tart. This tart has a very nice buttery sweet pastry crust, it’s unbelievable how so creamy and buttery it is. It holds it shape well, and doesn’t crumble easily when cut into pieces. It’s stable to hold the jam and frangipane at the same time. The tart, combined with the nutty almond flavor of frangipane and the citrus flavor of raspberry is a though combination to beat. It has the buttery, creamy, nutty and sweet and tangy fruity flavor, and all that is just in one tart.
Make-ahead is the best way to go
I know that it may look like a lot of work to make this, but believe me it’s not. It’s all about planning ahead, and making part by part ahead of time. I always made my sweet pastry crust first and keep it in the freezer until I am ready to use it. Making the actual sweet pastry crust will only take about 10-15 minutes, and chilling time of about 1 hour in the freezer. Then the day before I want to serve the tart, I make the frangipane and keep it in the fridge. It will only take about 10 minutes or even less to make it, because all you do is to mix all the ingredients together. The frangipane can be made 2-3 days ahead as long as it stays chilled in the refrigerator because it has egg in it. That same day, I also blind bake (pre-bake) the sweet pastry crust, cool it then leave it in the refrigerator. So on the day that I want to serve it, all that I need to do is to assemble the tart together. That is to fill each tart with jam, cover with frangipane, top with fruit of my choice, then in to the oven. This way, I get to relax more and not be rushed which made me enjoy this tart better.
All in the same day process
Now, if you don’t want to do it piece by piece, you can also do everything in the day that you need it. Just make sure to factor out the time you need to make the sweet pastry crust (15 min), chill (60 min), blind-bake (20 min), cool (15 mins) and make almond filling (15 min). The entire process would take approximately 2-3 hrs including the chilling, cooling and baking. Baking time depends on how thick the frangipane layer, and the tart size.
Now, are you ready to see how I made this? Let’s get started!
The process behind the beauty of this tart
First – Make the Tart Crust: Have you made any kind of Pie Crust before? or maybe a Shortbread Cookie of some sort? This part is similar to making a pie or tart base which is really simple. For a better texture and strong base, I strongly suggest you blind bake (pre-bake) the tart crust before using it, about 20 minutes then let it cool completely. This will make a solid base and will not soften easily when the filling is added. This part can be made ahead of time, cool, cover and store in the fridge until ready to use.
Second – Make the Frangipane (Almond Filling): This one could also be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge overnight until ready to assemble. This is basically an almond paste filling made from almond flour, flour, sugar, butter and egg. It’s similar to almond shortbread but it’s a lot loose and runny.
Third – Assemble: The most exciting part! Now that you have all the 3 parts done, you are now ready to assemble it, bake it and enjoy it!
Are you ready to give it a try? Let’s have a closer look at the steps involved in these four parts. Let’s get started!
Let’s make the sweet pastry tart crust
- 1 1/4 cups (175g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon (2g) salt
- 1 tablespoon (14g) granulated white sugar
- 1/2 cup (113g) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces
- 1/8 to 1/4 cup (30 – 60 ml) ice water (only as needed)
- In a food processor, place the flour, salt, and sugar and process until combined. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Try to take a spoonful and clump it with your hands to see it the dough will hold its shape. If it does, then no need to add water (skip step 2) otherwise add water as needed.
- Add water 1 tbsp at a time in a slow, steady stream through the feed tube until the pastry just holds together when pinched. Add remaining water, if necessary.
- Turn the pastry out onto your work surface, gather it into a ball, if the dough is not too soft to work on, divide it into desired portion. This recipe makes 6 mini pie of size 4-inch each or 1 8-inch round pie. If the dough is too soft to work on, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about one hour or until firm. Once the pastry has chilled sufficiently, remove from refrigerator and place on a lightly floured surface and divide into desired portion and arrange in a tart or pie pan.
- Cover with plastic wrap or put in a ziplock bag and place in the freezer for about 30 minutes before baking. This can also be kep frozen for 2-3 months. Bake without thawing.
Let’s make the frangipane/almond filling
- 1/2 cup (75g) icing sugar – sifted
- 1/2 cup/1 stick (75g) butter, room temperature
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1/2 cup (75g) almond powder
- 1 tbsp (10g) flour – sifted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Beat butter and powdered sugar until smooth and pale in color. Add salt and vanilla extract and continue mixing until just combined.
- Add the beaten egg slowly and continue mixing for another 2 minutes.
- Add almond flour and mix for another 2 minutes. Store in container and keep refrigerated until ready to use. This can be made 2-3 days ahead of time.
Let’s assemble the tart
- Pre-heat oven to 375F.
- Optional: Fill each pie tart with 2 tbsp of Raspberry Jam or Strawberry Jam. You could use more if you are making a bigger pie.
- Divide the frangipane between the 2 mini pie tart (or 6 if you want to use all tart). Scrape and level to distribute as evenly as possible. I find it easier to have the frangipane is a piping bag, its less messy and easy to handle. If you don’t have a piping bag, you can use a ziplock bag and cut the corner to make the hole.
- Arrange the raspberry on top of each tart. Just put each on top, do not push down.
- Bake for 35 -45 minutes (adjust baking time as needed as it will depend on how thick your frangipane layer is, your oven configuration and the size of the pan). You can tell when its done when the frangipane filling has already set and no longer wet.
- Remove and let cool completely before serving. I like making this ahead of time to allow more time to set in the refrigerator so that it gives a more stable crust and clean cut.
There you go! a delicious and elegant dessert that is sure to dazzle your guest. Enjoy!
If you like a chocolate variation, checkout my Chocolate Frangipane Tart with Raspberry Poach Pear.
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