The last time I made a frangipane tart was on The Great American Baking show so it was quite nice to not have the stress of the tent on my shoulders baking these today. One thing is for sure, I really need to make more frangipane desserts because this stuff is DELICIOUS! It's such a great balance between nutty, flaky crust and since I topped it with fresh fruit there's a brightness each bite that it brings light into my day. I think the orange zest is what really makes this recipe! ;)
This recipe can be adapted so many ways with different fruit and toppings. I went fresh fruit because this is for the ultimate berry lover. I also couldn't resist these gooorgeous raspberries at the Santa Monica's Farmer's Market this week. I mean, come on. They don't get more picture perfect than this.
These are relatively easy to make but it's just more about the chilling time. I've also seen many recipes using frangipane with either blind baking the crust first or baking the crust and frangipane together at the same time. This time I used the blind bake method but next time I'll try it all together and see how I like the difference. On the smaller tartlets the crusts brown crazy fast so that's something to keep in mind while the larger one seemed to be OK.
For garnishes, on the larger tart I wanted to go more sophisticated than I typically make my desserts so I tempered chocolate to make chocolate spirals and used some gold leaf to give it that extra pizzaz. Or you can go simple and top with fresh raspberries after the tartlets have cooled to room temp.
True be told, I friggin' love this combo of flaky crust with the almond filling. The sliced almonds also give it a little more texture when biting into the bottom. I love all the textures of this recipe because you get juicy, crumbly, buttery and crunch! And, if you add on the meringue, it's even better because it that adds an extra soft texture and vanilla flavor. All in all, a great tartlet for birthdays, dinners or just cause. ;)
Raspberry Almond Tartlet w/ Vanilla Italian Meringue
Makes 1 x 8" square tartlet and 3-4 smaller individual tartlets.
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large pinches kosher salt
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, small pieces
- 1 jumbo egg yolk with 2 teaspoons water
- 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temp
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs, room temp
- 1 cup almond flour, finely ground
- 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons orange zest ( I like naval or cara cara oranges)
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 tablespoons sliced almonds, blanched or skin on
- 2 punnets fresh raspberries
- 1 batch Italian meringue (optional)
- Chocolate shavings or decorations
1. Start by baking the dough. In a large bowl, add flour, sugar, salt and butter. Work through the dough with your hands by pinching the pieces of butter with the flour mixture. Keep pinching and incorporating until the dough is a rough sandy mixture. This is not your traditional pie crust where you have to keep the butter crazy cold. Once the butter is well incorporated and most of the pieces have been smashed into the flour, add the egg yolk/water mixture. Knead together in the bowl till it becomes a round smooth ball. Add a teaspoon of water if it's not coming together. Flip dough on floured surface and form into a round disc.
2. Next roll out the dough to a large circle at least 2 inches wider than the size of your pan. If the dough is too soft to handle, wrap with plastic wrap and put into the fridge. Mine was fine but I just had to make sure to keep flouring my surface I was rolling on and my rolling pin. Lay the dough on your fluted 8" tart pan with a removable bottom and press it into the creases. Use any remaining dough to fix any holes. Place the pan/dough into the freezer for 1 hour.
3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Take the tart out of the freezer and dock the dough all over with a fork. Blind bake the crust in the oven for 13-15 minutes until it's lightly browned. This recipe does not require you to use pie weights or cover. Note, my crust did shrink a bit in the pan so know that in advance going on. Watch the crust carefully towards the end to ensure you don't over brown it.
4. Next, make the filling. In a stand mixer bowl with a paddle attachment, add sugar, butter and salt and cream together for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add in eggs and continue to beat together for another 2-3 minutes. Turn the mixer off. Add in almond flour, flour, orange zest and almond extract then mix on low until incorporated. The mixture should be thick.
5. Remove tart crust from the oven and let it cool for 5-10 minutes in the pan. Add in the almond filling and smooth it evenly in the tart pan. Work quickly because it will start melting the mixture. Sprinkle the top of the tart with the almond slices. Quickly place the tart back into the oven. Lower the temperature to 375 degrees F and bake until golden, around 25-30 minutes. If you insert a toothpick it should come out clean or press it lightly with your fingers and it should resist.
6. Cool on a rack for at least 20 minutes. Be very careful to remove the tart from the pan by taking off the outer rim first then the bottom. Allow to come to room temp on a rack before decorating.
7. Feel free to garnish with raspberries and chocolate shavings. If you want to make Italian Meringue, see below.
Italian Meringue Recipe:
Makes about 2 cups. Recipe from Serious Eats.
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 room temp egg whites, fresh eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
1. In a small saucepan, combine sugar and water. Heat over high heat, brushing down sides of pot as necessary with a pastry brush dipped in water. Cook until sugar syrup registers 240°F on an instant read or candy thermometer.
2. Meanwhile, combine egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment; alternatively, wipe the mixer bowl with cut side of 1/2 lemon before adding egg whites (and omit cream of tartar or lemon juice). Set mixer to medium speed and mix until soft peaks form (when lifted, the head of the mixer should form gentle peaks in the egg whites that very slowly collapse back into themselves), about 2 minutes.
3. With the mixer running, carefully and slowly drizzle in hot sugar syrup. Increase speed to medium high and whip until you reach stiff peaks. When your meringue is almost done, add in vanilla extract and salt. Do NOT over mix or your eggs will separate. If you must, stop and check as you go. Total time may be about 3-6 minutes.