The other day Kannoli was talking about "finally" purchasing a bottomless tart pan for her delicious Shortbread Chocolate Hazelnut Tart. Her anticipation inspired me to use my own tart pan again. I love using these pans. No matter what you bake in them it always looks perfect, crust and all.
So I decided to make an apple tart with a frangipane filling.
A frangipane is a filling flavored with almonds or pistachios and anecdotes dates it back to the 13th century.
It was originally designated to be a custard but over the years morphed more into a filling.
It's very easy to make and let me tell you...looks stunning and tastes fantastic.
Pastry - Pate Brisee Frangipane - Almond Cream
1 cup all-purpose flour 1 stick butter
1 pinch salt 1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon of sugar 1 egg beaten
1 stick butter, chilled and cut into 1 inch cubes 1 egg yolk
1/8 to 1/4 cup ice water 1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbs brandy or whiskey
2/3 cup ground almonds
2 tbs flour
3 - 4 Apples (I used Braeburn)
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds and some powdered sugar for decoration
1. Before you make the pastry put some water and ice cubes into a glass and set aside. Combine the flour, salt and sugar in a medium bowl. Add the butter cubes and with your thumbs, index and middle fingers, rub the cubes into the flour until it resembles coarse meal (I like to do it this way but you can also make the pastry in a food processor). Slowly add a couple of tablespoons of ice water to the flour mixture and mix. Repeat adding tablespoons of ice water until the dough "just" comes together and you are able to press it all into a lose ball.
The idea here is to keep the ingredients as cold as possible and to work as quickly as you can so the butter will not "melt" into the flour.
Flatten the ball to a disk, rap in plastic wrap and let rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
This also can be done a day or two ahead; just let the dough rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before rolling it out.
2. To make the frangipane, in a small bowl mix the flour and the ground almond and set aside. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and soft. Add the beaten egg and mix well. Add the egg yolk and mix well. Now add the vanilla and liqueur and mix well. Fold in the almond flour mixture. Set aside.
3. Roll the dough out to 12" circle on a lightly floured surface. Transfer the dough to cover a 10" bottomless tart pan. I like to roll the pastry over the rolling pin and then "unroll" it over the pan. In any case carefully press the pastry into the bottom and up the sides. Fix any tears. Take the rolling pin and roll it over the part pan to cut off any excess dough. Prick the bottomof the pan all over the a fork and place pan in refrigerator for 10 minutes.
4. In the meantime peel the apples, quarter and core them.
You really can cut the apples any way you want to. You can be fancy and arrange them in a circular pattern or you can cut the quarters lengthwise trying to the keep the "quarter shape" as shown in the picture above.
5. To assemble, spoon the frangipane into the chilled tart pan and spread into and even layer. Arrange the apples on top of frangipane layer.
6. Place the tart on top of a baking sheet that has been preheated in a 400 degrees oven. Bake for 20 -30 mintues or until the filling is a light golden brown. Reduce heat to 350 and bake for another 10 minutes. Sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar over the top the tart. Return to oven and bake for another 10 minutes.
Cool the tart on a wire rack completely. Sprinkle the sliced almonds over the top and finish with powdered sugar.