Matt's mum, Sue, introduced me to frangipane earlier this year when she sent me pictures of one she made. It was something I was curious about because I had never seen or tasted one before. It's hard to explain a frangipane if you've never had one. The best way to describe it would be: it is a slightly sweet pastry crust with fruit and an almond-y/marzipan-y filling. The filling is a paste or cream made with ground almonds, butter, sugar and eggs. If you like almonds you will love this tart.
Sue gave me Mary Berry's Classic Baking book last year and I've found it to be an amazing book with simple and delicious recipes for things you wouldn't normally find in the US. Mary Berry has a great recipe for an apricot frangipane. My recipe is adapted from hers which can be found here. I wanted to use figs and lavender because they looked so fresh and smelled so fragrant at the farmer's market, I couldn't resist. This makes a great dessert or little snack to have with your tea.
Matt and I leave for England on Friday morning for about a week. Matt's childhood friend is getting married!!!! I'm excited to see Matt's friends and family and for all of the new inspiration I'll have from our trip.
For the pastry
- 175g (6oz) plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 75g (3oz) cold butter
- 25g (1oz) sugar
- 1 egg
For the almond custard
- 75g (3oz) butter
- 75g (3oz) sugar
- 2 eggs
- 75g (3oz) ground almonds
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 6-7 fresh figs
- 1/2 tsp lavender flowers
For the glaze
- 125g (4 1/2 oz) powdered sugar
- 2 tsp water
Preheat the oven to 375F. Place a sheet pan in the middle of the oven. Dig up your 8inch loose-bottomed tart pan. To make the pastry, mix the flour and butter in a food processor until they resemble breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and pulse again. Then add the egg and 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of water. Pulse until the dough starts to form a ball. Wrap the dough in some plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to rest for 10-20 minutes.
To make the frangipane filling place the butter, sugar and lavender in the food processor (no need to wash it out first) and blend until creamy. Then add the eggs, the ground almonds and the almond extract. Blend until everything is incorporated.
Remove your dough from the refrigerator. Flour your counter or pastry board very well. This dough will easily stick to everything. Roll the dough until it's about 2mm thick. Gently, and loosely, roll the pastry onto your rolling pin and drape the dough over your tart pan. Press the dough along the sides and bottom and remove any excess coming off the sides of the pan. Prick the bottom of the dough with a fork and arrange your fig pieces in any pattern that you like. Then pour the frangipane mixture on top.
Place the tart on top of the hot baking sheet in the oven. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the pastry is crisp and the tart is golden brown. To make the glaze, mix together the powdered sugar and 2 tsp of water. Use a spoon to drizzle the icing over the tart. Remove the tart from the tin and transfer to a serving place. Slice and serve warm or cold with tea.