Preparation time: 2 hours
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Apricot & Almond Frangipane Tart
This recipe is included in our cookbook, Vanilla, and comes from LittlePod friend and executive chef at Patisserie Valerie, Leonel Gouveia. Leonel designs and makes magnificent wedding cakes, and joined forces with the Chairman of Devon County Council to cut the ribbon at the opening of our new headquarters in October 2013. You can make this recipe your own by using your favourite home-made jam and topping it with your choice of nuts. The sweet pastry is slightly more time-consuming than regular pastry, but it’s worth it. It’s a foolproof recipe for frangipane, which you can use in all sorts of desserts, with whatever pastry base you wish.
For the pastry:
125 g plain flour
a small pinch of salt
40 g icing sugar
zest of 1⁄2 lemon
60 g butter, cut into pieces
2 egg yolks, beaten
For the frangipane:
200 g butter
200 g icing sugar
300 g ground almonds
1⁄2 teaspoon LittlePod vanilla paste, or 1⁄2 a vanilla pod (seeds only)
2 tablespoons apricot jam, for spreading
a handful of raw almond flakes, pine nuts or pistachios, for sprinkling
a 20-cm round tart pan, or a 12-hole tartlet pan, greased
1. For the pastry, put 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl and chill it until very cold. Put the flour, salt, sugar and lemon zest in a food processor and blend together for a few seconds. Add the butter and blend briefly until a breadcrumb consistency is achieved. Turn the mixture out into a bowl and add the chilled water and one of the egg yolks. Mix, then knead lightly until a dough forms. Wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
2. Meanwhile, make the frangipane by blending the butter, sugar, eggs, ground almonds and vanilla paste, or seeds from the vanilla pod, in a food processor or blender until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
3. Preheat the oven to 200ºC (400ºF) Gas 6.
4. Take the pastry out of the fridge. Roll it out thinly on a lightly floured surface and use it to line the prepared pan. Return it to the fridge for 30 minutes. Line the pan with baking paper, fill with baking beans and bake for 15−20 minutes. Remove the baking paper and baking beans, brush with the remaining beaten egg yolk and return to the oven for 5 minutes. Turn the oven down to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4.
5. Using the back of a teaspoon, spread the jam evenly over the base of the pastry, then fill it with the frangipane mixture. Sprinkle the nuts on top. Bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly golden on top.