June 22, 2012
I haven't made frangipane in quite some time, and I'm so glad I checked back in. I've only ever known to use it as filling in tarts shells, so showcasing it on its own was a welcome update. It's nice to have the option of using frangipane in a fast and easy treat, and not worrying about the lengthy extra step of making tart dough. I am a huge fan of the flavor of baked goods made with almond paste, and even better is frangipane's amazing texture comprised of a crispy outside and soft and chewy inside. Add fresh and juicy fruit (blueberries would be nice, too!), and this is one really nice "go to" recipe.
Cherry Frangipane Tartlets
1 cup pitted and halved cherries
2 tablespoons whiskey for soaking cherries (kirsch would be nice, too, and water works just fine.)
2/3 cup almond paste, grated
1/2 cup sugar
6 tablespoons butter, room temp.
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup flour
1/2 cup almond flour (or sub more AP flour)
Powdered sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease 6 mini tart pans. Heat cherries and liquid in small saucepan until fruit is warmed and liquid is absorbed. Set aside to cool. In stand mixer, beat sugar and almond paste together until the mixture resembled small granules. Beat in butter until fully incorporated. When mixture is as smooth as possible, add yolks + vanilla one at a time, beating until fully incorporated, scraping down after each addition. Add flour and mix until just combined. Spoon mixture into tart pans until 3/4 full. Drain cherries and press into each frangipane tart. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until edges are dark golden, and top is lightly golden. Top should still be soft enough not to spring back. Cool for 5-10 minutes in pans before turning out on cooling rack. Dust with powdered sugar.
Adapted from: King Arthur Flour
June 7, 2012
Mini pate sucree tart shells filled with strawberry pastry cream and topped with fresh strawberries. Adorable, refreshing, bite sized warm weather treats! I made these tart shells as a test run for another dessert I'll be making for Doug's birthday coming up, as they are the perfect party snack size. They turned out wonderfully and I am excited to use them as a vehicle for all sorts of fruit/pastry cream/whipped cream/compote/curd combinations.
Strawberry Pastry Cream
8 oz strawberries, hulled and chopped
1/8 cup sugar
1 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar, divided
1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
pinch of salt
1 egg yolk
1 1/4 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
Combine strawberries and sugar in a small sauce pot and let macerate for 10 minutes. Once nice and juicy, place pot on medium heat and cook until the berries have broken down and the sauce has thickened. Remove form heat, strain into medium bowl, and set aside. Combine milk, 1/4 cup sugar, vanilla bean, and salt in a medium sauce pot. In a small bowl, whisk eggs together, and in another small bowl, whisk cornstarch and remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Heat the milk mixture until just about boiling, and then reduce heat. Whisk eggs into cornstarch, and slowly temper the hot milk into the egg/cornstarch mixture, whisking constantly. Once mixture is hot and liquidy, pour back into sauce pot with remaining milk, raise heat, and continue to whisk for a full two minutes, making sure pastry cream does not scorch on bottom of pan. Remove from heat and whisk in butter until dissolved. Strain pastry cream into bowl with berry sauce. Fold the two together, place plastic wrap on top of pastry cream so a skin does not form, and place bowl in the fridge. Allow to cool and set up for at least two hours.
12 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease mini muffin tin (24 count). In stand mixer, beat butter and sugar together until combined. Add yolks one at a time beating until fully combined, scraping down as needed. Add flour and salt all at once and beat until dough just comes together and no flour remains. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for 1/2 hour. Remove dough from refrigerator and weigh out 20 gram pieces, rolling into balls and placing one in each muffin cavity. Take end of rolling pin, or use you fingers, and smush dough down and up the sides of tin. Place filled tin in freezer for 15 minutes. Remove from freezer and dock bottom of each shell with a fork with an "X" pattern. Bake for 10 minutes, or until puffy, remove from oven, and pat down bottom and sides to maintain shape (be careful not to burn yourself!). Place back in oven and bake until lightly golden (approx 20-25 mins). Cool on rack for 10 minutes and then remove shells from pan. Allow to cool completely.
Adapted from: David Lebovitz's "Ready For Dessert".
Whisk up cooled strawberry pastry cream and pour into a piping bag. Pipe into the cooled tart shells. Arrange strawberries in any fashion on top.