Sunday, October 7, 2012

Frangipane Tart with Peaches

                                                                     Photography by Rachel Horesovsky

What the heck is frangipane?  I hear this question every time I make this tart (except people don't usually use the word "heck").  Frangipane is delicious, that's what it is.

Seriously though,  frangipane is a soft cake-like filling made from almond paste mixed with butter and eggs and a tiny amount of flour.  If you like marzipan, then you will LOVE frangipane.

I made this delectable tart last week for my daughter's birthday.  The crust is buttery and the frangipane filling is like chewy marzipan.  To top it all off we baked it with slices of the last peaches of the summer.  Amazing.

This tart is excellent with any stone fruit: peaches, plums, apricots, nectarines or cherries.  There is a natural affinity between the almond paste and the flavor of stone fruit that is just incomparable.

And if you really want to gild the lily, I suggest serving this with a scoop of honey-lavender ice cream.  The combination of honey with the floral perfume of the lavender is absolutely out of this world!

Frangipane peach tart with honey-lavender ice cream

Frangipane Tart with Peaches
serves 8

2 large peaches, peeled and sliced into thick wedges.

Pastry crust:

1 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp sugar
7 Tbsp ice cold butter, cut into small cubes
3 Tbsp ice water

Combine flour salt and sugar and mix well in the bowl of a food processor.  Add cold butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Add ice water and pulse until the mixture just barely comes together.  STOP.  Over processing will make a tough inedible crust!

Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate one hour.  Do not skip this step.  Refrigerating the dough helps relax the gluten in the dough and results in a tender pastry.

Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface until 1/8-inch thick .  Press dough into a tart pan with a removable bottom, trimming overhanging dough scraps.  Return the tart pan with dough to the refrigerator for 20 minutes while you prepare frangipane filling.

1, 7 oz. tube of almond paste (I like Odense brand)
1/3 cup sugar
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
2 eggs, room temperature
3 Tbsp flour

Grate the almond paste on the coarse side of a cheese grater.  In a large mixing bowl combine grated almond paste, sugar and butter and mix until well-creamed.  Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add flour and mix until just combined.

Pour frangipane into prepared tart shell leaving about 1/4 inch room at the top (you may not use all the filling). Gently press peaches into frangipane.

Bake 45 minutes until filling is puffed and golden brown.  Allow to cool 20 minutes before removing from tart pan.  Serve with honey-lavender ice cream.

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