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Assessment: Frangipane Tartlets

I will admit that I don’t usually respond to glazed pastry desserts as they often scream tooth-ache alert (although my teeth are perfectly healthy)but this version of frangipane tartlets are so amazingly delicious and addictive! A bite into the apricot jam-glazed almond flake top gives way to a superbly light, fluffy and moist cake-like almond filling, wonderfully cradled in a crumbly and rich short sweet pastry. And you can actually taste all nuances of flavour; from the nuttiness of the almond meal, to that hint of grated lemon zest, that little dot of raspberry jam inside and on top of the tartlet, the buttery and vanilla-ish pastry and of course the crunch of the toasted almond flakes on top with added sweetness and tang from the boiled apricot jam. We had to make and present 10 of these tartlets for last Saturday’s assessment.

Frangipane; spelled like the sweetly-scented 5 petal blossom of the same name with an ‘i’ instead of an ‘e’, is essentially an almond pastry cream (crème d’amande) that can be applied as filling to many pastry desserts and complimented with a myriad of toppings and I’ve seen pairings of frangipane and poached pear, apples, citrus fruits, chocolate, nuts, really, the sky’s the limit. The frangipane filling also forms the basis of the festive Galette des Roisa layered construction of puff pastry and almond frangipane with a lucky charm tucked inside. Click on underlined link to read more about the history of the galette des rois. I’ll attempt it on a separate occasion.

Frangipane Tartlets
 
(adapted and adjusted for 15-17 tartlets from William Angliss “Prepare  and produce pastries” workbook)

for the Sweet Short Pastry (Creaming Method)

A     175 g          BUTTER
         100 g        CASTER SUGAR

B         25 g        EGG
          1 drop     VANILLA ESSENCE
          1 drop      LEMON ESSENCE (we omitted this in class)

C      250 g         Medium Flour (plain flour will do, we used bakers flour in class)

What else you need

 15-17 mini foil tartlet/pie cases (approximately 6.5 cm diameter)
a little bit of raspberry jam.

METHOD

  1. Cream “A” together (do not over cream). Just until sugar has dissolved and mixture looks pale will do.
  2. Mix “B”, and add slowly to “A”. If added too quickly, mixture will curdle.
  3. Add “C” and mix to a smooth short paste (do not over mix), lightly knead into a smooth ball
  4. Wrap in cling film or plastic sheet and store dough in refrigerator until set (About 30 minutes resting time)
  5. After resting time, remove pastry from refrigerator and bring back to room temperature.
  6. Prick the base of the tartlet casing with a fork or the tip of a knife. This is to allow steam to escape from the base whilst baking.
  7. Lightly dust your clean and dry working surface with flour. Dust the rolling pin as well.
  8. Roll out pastry with minimal pressure, to about 3mm in thickness.
  9. Place a foil on the pastry to measure pastry cut out size.
  10. Line foil casing with pastry, taking care to firmly press the pastry against the base and casing wall, ensuring no air is trapped between the pastry and casing.
  11. With the back of a paring knife, trim the excess pastry around the edges of the casing.
  12. Pipe a dot of raspberry jam into the center of each tartlet, reserve some raspberry jam for later.
  13. Make the frangipane

for the Frangipane

A     150 g           BUTTER
        150 g           CASTER SUGAR
              1              LEMON
        1-2 drops  VANILLA ESSENCE – to taste (1-2 drops)

B      150 g          EGGS

C      150 g          GROUND ALMONDS/ ALMOND MEAL
           20 g          SOFT FLOUR (Cake/Biscuit flour)

what else you need

flaked almonds – as required
apricot jam – a few tablespoonfuls
METHOD

  1. Finely grate the zest of the lemon
  2. Cream “A” until light.
  3. Starting with “B”, add 1/4 to creamed “A”, mix well and then 1/4 of  “C” to the mixture, meaning add the eggs and dry ingredients to the creamed butter and sugar in 4 additions, make sure it is well combined.
  4. With a small palette knife, smooth the frangipane batter into the tartlet casing. Do not overfill as batter will expand with heat.
  5. Neatly coat the frangipane tartlets with flaked almonds.
  6. Bake in pre-heated oven at 180oC from 18 – 22 minutes. You can test for doneness by inserting a thin skewer into the centre of the tartlet. Skewer should come out clean. 
  7. Cool the tartlets until good to handle but still warm.
  8. Boil the apricot jam with 1-2 tablespoons of water.
  9. With a pastry brush, glaze the tartlets with the boiled apricot jam, as evenly as you can and take care not to burn yourself. Boiled jam is hot!
  10. Pipe a dot of raspberry jam onto the centre of the tartlet.

Enjoy! 

 

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