Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Berry Frangipane Tart

It's not officially summer but you wouldn't know it here with all the berries at the farmer's markets. This is a quick and easy summery dessert that can be made with any berry or berry combination. Instead of pastry cream, which I find kind of bland and blubby (?) I like to make a frangipane bed for the berries instead. Frangipane is an almond flavored cream made from ground almonds, butter and sugar and makes you sound sophisticated and fancy. Its also just fun to say: Fran-juh-pan. Usually you bake it with the fruit, and you could certainly do that here, but I left it simple and fresh with uncooked ripe berries. It's used in french pastries, tarts, danishes, etc. and is a great thing to have in your repertoire. The crust is a simple pate brisee that can be thrown together in a food processor. I doubled the recipe to make two tarts.

Berry and Frangipane Tart

One tart shell (recipe below)
Frangipane (recipe below)
Four little baskets (just over a pound) of mixed berries, washed, dried and tossed in a bowl with the juice of one orange and a tablespoon of turbinado or granulated sugar

Tart Crust (Pate Brisee)

1 1/4 c all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbs sugar
1/2 c cold, unsalted butter, cut in to 1" chunks
2-4 tbs ice water

Put the flour, salt and sugar in a food processor and pulse a few times to mix. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse sand (about 15 seconds.) Pour two tbs of water through the opening and mix until the mixture will hold together when pinched (you may need to add the remaining water.) Remove the dough and work it into a ball. Pat it down into a disc, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate one hour. After an hour, unwrap the dough, let it soften a few minutes, and roll it out on a floured surface until it's 1/8" thick. The best way to transfer it to your tart pan (mine was a 10") is to roll the dough around your rolling pin and then unroll it over the tart pan. Use your fingers and push the corners in and neaten up the edges. Prick the bottom a dozen or so times with a fork and then chill the whole thing for 5 min in the freezer. Instead of using pie weights, I use a double layer of aluminum foil slightly larger than the tart pan and when the dough is chilled from the freezer, I cover the dough with the foil and push it in to the sides to keep them from sagging as the tart crust bakes. Bake it for ten minutes at 350 F and then remove the foil and bake another 10 minutes or until pale gold in color. Spread the frangipane (recipe below) over the bottom of the tart in an even layer and bake again 10 minutes until slightly puffed. Remove from oven and while it's still warm, pile the berries on top. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.


1/2 c almond four (found in the baking section at most markets)
1/4 c sugar
1 Tbs flour
3 Tbs room temperature unsalted butter
1 egg
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Blend all ingredients in a food processor until smooth.

This recipe can be tried with all kinds of summer fruits. Peaches would be delicious. In the fall try pear or apple slices and bake the fruit with the frangipane. Let me know what you try....


Anonymous said...

Now I know what I'll bring to Nora's pot luck dinner, thank you Emily for such a light, fresh, but still decadent dessert

Walshita said...

This looks hard.

Emily Baird said...

The only part that takes a little careful attention is the pastry crust, but with a food processor it's simple. Then it's just mixing ingredients for the frangipane and raw berries. Give it a shot, no matter how it turns out, it'll taste Walshy good ;)