Strawberry Frangipane Tart
This is a bit of a twist on a classic. I've made frangipane tart a number of times, but always with apple baked into the top or with a topping of poached pear. Frangipane is an almond, butter, sugar mixture that fills the tart case giving a nutty, sweet finish. It's like the filling in a bakewell tart.
This one I've topped with strawberries as they are so beautiful and plentiful at the moment. It's a real crowd pleaser and well worth the little bit of effort. The base and filling could also easily be made the day before and then topped with the strawberries and glaze before serving.
Sweet crust pastry
1-2 sheets of bought sweet crust pastry, or to make yourself:
- 250g plain flour
- 150g unsalted butter (cold and cut into cubes)
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 300g unsalted butter, soft
- 300g caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- 300g almonds
- 3 tbsp plain flour
For the topping
- 2-3 punnets of strawberries
- jam (any flavour!)
To make the pastry:
The secret to making good pastry from scratch is not to be too fussy with it, and to have some time for resting it twice. I often make the pastry the day before, wrap it in cling film in the fridge over night and then make the tart the next day.
1. Put all ingredients into a food processor and pulse until it forms a ball.
2. Wrap in cling-film and rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
3. Take out and roll out on your floured counter, you may need to wait for the butter to soften, and fill your greased tart dish.
If using a bought pasty case, create your tart shell and rest as per step 4.
4. Rest again in the fridge for another 30 minutes, this stops the pastry shrinking when cooking!
5. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
6. Use a piece of crumpled baking paper to cover your tart shell and fill with baking beans or raw rice/chickpeas to weight it down.
7. Cook for 10 minutes and take out to cool. Remove the bakig paper and filling while cooling so that the case doesn't get wet.
8. Turn your oven down to 160°C.
To make the filling:
1. Beat the butter and sugar until light and creamy with an electric mixer.
2. Add the eggs one at a time.
3. Stir in almonds and flour.
4. Spoon into the cooled tart case and smooth the top. The butter will melt a bit, that's fine!
5. Bake for 40 minutes until the filling is a light gold colour and it looks set.
6. Allow to cool completely.
For the topping:
1. Take the tops off the strawberries and cut in half
2. Arrange on top of the cold tart in overlapping circles, until the tart is covered
3. Heat 2 tbspns of jam in a small saucepan with a little water to loosen. Make sure you don't boil it! Use a pastry brush to brush the jam over the strawberries to give them that shiny glow!
4. If you like it a little less sweet you can glaze with a reduction of Australian balsamic vinegar.
TOP LOCAL TIPS:
STRAWBERRIES // The COVID-19 lockdowns across our Eastern states, and the close of restaurants in particular, has had a significant impact on our strawberry farmer's markets this season. This is the year for all of us to go strawberry mad, and buy and eat as many as we can.
AUSTRALAIN ALMOND MEAL // It's so easy to make your own almond meal in a food processor, this will ensure you are eating the freshest nut meal around - it'll taste so much better in your tart. Just don't over process or your meal will be oily, everyone loves it rustic anyhow!