So, flaounes. What a random pick for a pastry technical, no? I suppose that now that they’re on Season 6 of Bake Off they are running out of obvious things to pick. Mastic? Mahlepi? If I had infinite time and resources then I would probably be more inclined to hunt for obscure ingredients to make the technical challenge recipe but, you know, we don’t live in a perfect world. The full list of ingredients for the flaounes is pretty extensive. Plus I was rather put off by the bakers smelling the mastic and retching. Pretty much the minimum I expect from baking is for the process not to make me sick.
Every week I adore Tamal more. Just putting it out there. Quote of the week is surely ‘This is basically inspired by a sandwich that I had a few years ago. It was in the top two sandwiches of my life… I think about that sandwich quite a lot.’ Also Nadiya is great and hilarious.
So, I made a frangipane tart. Even I am not very excited by this, to be honest, because I’ve made them before. But I’ve already said why flaounes weren’t going to happen, and I have no idea what I would do with 48 vol-au-vents either. Giving away cheesecakes was one thing, but for some reason giving friends armfuls of vol-au-vents seems a bit odd. They will probably all chime in now and say I’ve given them weirder things in the past.
Anyway, I love nectarines and I don’t think I have used them in a dessert before, so here we go. I thought raspberries would be a good accompaniment both taste and colour wise. And they were. This tart was nice. Not particularly exciting, or groundbreaking, or challenging. But quite nice.
Things could definitely be worse.
Source: I took the basic frangipane tart recipe from Leiths: How to Cook, but have adapted it and added my own fruits and flavourings.
Notes: It sounds weird, but I think the thing that makes this tart is adding almond extract. In with the almonds. It seems a bit belt and braces, but since I was using ready-ground almonds rather than toasting and grinding my own, I think they needed a bit of a flavour boost. I mean, really you should toast and grind your own, but it was what I had in the cupboard.
for the pastry
250g plain flour
20g caster sugar
pinch of salt
140g chilled butter, cut into small cubes
2 egg yolks
3-4 tbsp cold water
for the frangipane
1 egg and 2 egg yolks
150g butter, softened
150g caster sugar
150g ground almonds
1 tsp almond extract
40g plain flour
1 large ripe nectarine (or 2 small ones)
handful of raspberries
raspberry jam (optional)
apricot jam (optional)
- First, make your pastry. Put your flour, sugar, salt, and butter into the food processor and pulse until they reach breadcrumb stage. Whisk your egg yolks with your cold water and slowly drizzle the liquid into the breadcrumb mixture with the food processor running until it starts to come together. Stop when it starts to come into a ball. It should not feel wet or sticky. Gently and briefly knead the pastry together (I normally tip it into a bowl to do this) and then wrap it in cling film and chill in the fridge for at least half an hour.
- While it’s chilling, make your frangipane. Beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl. Beat the eggs and egg yolks together, then beat them into the butter and sugar. Stir in the almonds, almond extract, and the flour.
- Take the pastry out of the fridge and roll it out on a lightly floured surface to around a 3mm thickness. Line your tart tin – mine is 22cm. Ideally, you should now cover it with cling film and pop it back in the fridge for another half an hour to chill but I never have time for this. You could also pop it in the freezer for ten minutes. While you’re waiting, you could prepare your fruit – stone your nectarine(s) and cut them however you want to present them.
- Heat your oven to 200C/180C fan/ gas 6. Pop your tart case on a baking tray, line it with baking parchment and baking beans, and bake for fifteen minutes. Remove the parchment and beans and bake for five more minutes.. Take it out of the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 180C/ 160C fan/ gas 4. If you’re using jam, spread this over the base of the pastry case. Cover with the frangipane. Arrange your fruit as you wish, and push this down gently into the frangipane.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the frangipane is well-risen, golden, and set. Remove from the oven. If you want to glaze it, do so while it is still warm. Sieve around 5 tbsp apricot jam and gently warm it in a pan until runny, then brush it over the tart.