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Megans Cookin: Daring Baker Challenge: Frangipane Tarts!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Daring Baker Challenge: Frangipane Tarts!

The June Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict and Annemarie of Ambrosia and Nectar. They chose a Traditional (UK) Bakewell Tart... er... pudding that was inspired by a rich baking history dating back to the 1800's in England. This tart is a rich shortcrust pastry which holds jam and an almondy sponge cake-like filling.

I was excited when I saw we were making this tart. I've been wanting to try frangipane for more then a year, so this was right up my alley. Usually I'm more inclined to under bake things but in this case, my tops were a little brown. But they were still tasty!

The ingredients for this recipe were in ounces so it gave me the kick I finally needed to go out buy a new scale. It made it much easier to measure out my ingredients as compared to my old ancient Weight Watcher model.

Sweet shortcrust pastry

Prep time: 15-20 minutes
Resting time: 30 minutes (minimum)
Equipment needed: bowls, box grater, cling film

225g (8oz) all purpose flour
30g (1oz) sugar
2.5ml (½ tsp) salt
110g (4oz) unsalted butter, cold (frozen is better)
2 (2) egg yolks
2.5ml (½ tsp) almond extract (optional)
15-30ml (1-2 Tbsp) cold water

Sift together flour, sugar and salt. Grate butter into the flour mixture, using the large hole-side of a box grater. Using your finger tips only, and working very quickly, rub the fat into the flour until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Set aside.

Lightly beat the egg yolks with the almond extract (if using) and quickly mix into the flour mixture. Keep mixing while dribbling in the water, only adding enough to form a cohesive and slightly sticky dough.

Form the dough into a disc, wrap in cling and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes


Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Equipment needed: bowls, hand mixer, rubber spatula

125g (4.5oz) unsalted butter, softened
125g (4.5oz) icing sugar
3 (3) eggs
2.5ml (½ tsp) almond extract
125g (4.5oz) ground almonds
30g (1oz) all purpose flour

Cream butter and sugar together for about a minute or until the mixture is primrose in colour and very fluffy. Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. The batter may appear to curdle. In the words of Douglas Adams: Don’t panic. Really. It’ll be fine. After all three are in, pour in the almond extract and mix for about another 30 seconds and scrape down the sides again. With the beaters on, spoon in the ground nuts and the flour. Mix well. The mixture will be soft, keep its slightly curdled look (mostly from the almonds) and retain its pallid yellow colour.

Assembling the tart
Place the chilled dough disc on a lightly floured surface. If it's overly cold, you will need to let it become acclimatised for about 15 minutes before you roll it out. Flour the rolling pin and roll the pastry to 5mm (1/4”) thickness, by rolling in one direction only (start from the centre and roll away from you), and turning the disc a quarter turn after each roll. When the pastry is to the desired size and thickness, transfer it to the tart pan, press in and trim the excess dough. Patch any holes, fissures or tears with trimmed bits. Chill in the freezer for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400F.

Remove shell from freezer, spread as even a layer as you can of jam onto the pastry base. Top with frangipane, spreading to cover the entire surface of the tart. Smooth the top and pop into the oven for 30 minutes. Five minutes before the tart is done, the top will be poofy and brownish. Remove from oven and strew flaked almonds on top and return to the heat for the last five minutes of baking.

The finished tart will have a golden crust and the frangipane will be tanned, poofy and a bit spongy-looking. Remove from the oven and cool on the counter. Serve warm, with crème fraîche, whipped cream or custard sauce if you wish.

When you slice into the tart, the almond paste will be firm, but slightly squidgy and the crust should be crisp but not tough.

We were also to make our own jam for the tarts. I made a Chocolate Raspberry Dessert Sauce.

This sauce was so good it needs it's own 15 seconds of fame. I'll post the recipe next! Stay tuned!

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Blogger kat said...

Great looking tarts. Your filling sounds wonderful. Baking mine up today

June 27, 2009 at 7:36 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

Your tarts look great. I thought long and hard about making individual Bakewells, but ended up with a single large one. Next time I'm doing minis!

June 27, 2009 at 7:41 AM  
Blogger finsmom said...

Beautiful! Yours turned out so well! Great blog!

June 27, 2009 at 7:53 AM  
Blogger Saucy said...

Yummy! The tarts look rich and dense! These would certainly be worth a try so I will have to bookmark your page for when the mood strikes!

June 27, 2009 at 9:12 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

Yum!!! I love the idea of a raspberry-chocolate sauce in these...sounds really delicious!!

June 27, 2009 at 9:23 AM  
OpenID nutmegnanny said...

I love your tarts! They look so delicious:) I can't wait for the chocolate raspberry sauce recipe!

June 27, 2009 at 10:02 AM  
Blogger Heather B said...

I love your mini tarts. They look delicious!

June 27, 2009 at 12:07 PM  
Blogger Katy ~ said...

Well done, Megan!

June 27, 2009 at 1:57 PM  
Blogger Barbara Bakes said...

I'm jealous of your new scale. It looks like a beauty, as do your tarts!

June 27, 2009 at 3:37 PM  
Blogger Coleen's Recipes said...

It doesn't get much more English than this, it's beautiful.

June 27, 2009 at 4:25 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

Megan, these are great looking tarts. Thet really turned out well.

June 27, 2009 at 5:14 PM  
Blogger Adam said...

Nice job on the tarts, they look like a little bit of work, but I'm sure they were worth it.

Now that chocolate dessert sauce.... we have to start talking about that real soon :)

June 27, 2009 at 5:47 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

Yum! Chocolate raspberry sauce sounds terrific! And I love that this recipe was in weights too. Don't feel bad about how brown yours are. Yours look nice and golden compared to mine!

June 27, 2009 at 7:33 PM  
Blogger Dragon said...

Your tarts look so gorgeous! Great job on this month's challenge.

June 27, 2009 at 9:16 PM  
Blogger Wok Through the Fire said...

I love your mini tarts! Beautiful work!

June 28, 2009 at 4:15 AM  
Blogger Reeni♥ said...

They look so moist and melt-in-your mouth scrumptious! I love the stack! I wish it was in front of me!

June 28, 2009 at 9:47 AM  
Blogger Katrina said...

Your tarts look and sound de-lish!

June 29, 2009 at 4:51 PM  
Blogger Leslie said...

minis are the way to go. What a yummy challenge

June 29, 2009 at 6:24 PM  
Blogger Ingrid said...

Ha, I think I subconciously look for recipes that force (HA!) me to buy new gadgets. :))

Your tarts look good despite your displeasure at the tops.

June 30, 2009 at 8:23 PM  
Blogger Cakelaw said...

Beautiful job on your tart Megan. the chocolate raspberry dessert sauce sounds scrumptious.

July 5, 2009 at 1:37 AM  

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