31 May 2013

Frangipane and Nectarine Tart



I love almond paste. I love almond paste so much, I bought a tube of store-bought paste with having no idea what to do with it. So it sat in my cupboard, staring at me expectantly every time I open the door. So today I decided to tackle that paste. And I am so very glad I did.



This Frangipane and Nectarine Tart is so deliciously good, that it was gone in 24 hours. And that's just two people with a fork. How, you ask? Well, we ate it for pre-dinner snack, post-dinner dessert, pre-bed snack, and then for breakfast. Take it to a party, and I guarantee you that it will be gone in minutes flat. It is so fresh, so dense, so sweet, so light, and oh-so-decadent!


This tart has grated lemon peel in its sweet crust, offering a light freshness to the dense, creamy, and almondy filling. The nectarine slices sweeten and become somewhat caramelized on the top, finishing the taste on a note of pure bliss!



This tart is a new favourite, and now I am disappointed we ate it so fast. I suppose I will have to go buy some more almond paste... or just figure out how to make my own!


Frangipane and Nectarine Tart

Ingredients:

Pastry
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter, cold
- 1/2 tsp lemon zest
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 and 1/2 tsp water
Filling
- 8 oz almond paste (sweetened variety, mine was 33% almonds)
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 large eggs
- 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 and 1/4 lb firm-ripe nectarines (I used about 3 large nectarines)


Directions

Prepare the dough
1. Combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Add butter and lemon zest, and process in a food processor (or use two knives, or using a pastry cutter, or use your fingers) until the mixture is coarsely combined. Add yolk, vanilla, and water and mix until just combined and it begins to form large clumps.
2. Spread the dough in a fluted tart pan (11inches), and chill for 30 minutes.
Prepare the filling
3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine butter and almond paste (my almond paste was somewhat dense so I had to use my hands initially to get it to mix together. The heat from my hands allowed the almond paste to soften).
4. Add one egg at a time, mixing with a hand mixer for about 1 minute after each egg. Mix in the flour and salt.
Throw it all together!
5. Preheat the oven to 350F and remove your pie crust from the fridge. Prick the dough with a fork a couple times, and then bake it for 15 minutes or until it becomes a soft golden colour. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Leave the oven on because we still need it!
6. While it's cooling, cup your nectarines into wedges.
7. Spread your almond filling into the pie crust, and then top with your nectarine wedges. I layed my out so they looked somewhat like a flower. Be careful not to push them too far into the filling.
8. Bake at 350F for about 30 minutes or until the frangipane turns a golden colour on the entire surface. Remove from heat, and allow to cool at room temperature.

Store in the refrigerator. You are welcome to warm it up in the oven before serving if you prefer, but I like mine at room temperature best!


Like fruit pies and tarts? Check out one of these recipes!

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