Peach Frangipane Tart
This classic combination of fruit and frangipane is baked in a pastry case made from pâte sucrée - a richer and sweeter version of the pâte brisée. There’s no water, just egg yolks, and extra sugar, which give the pastry a sandy, biscuit-like taste and texture. Because of the extra sugar the pastry colours more quickly so it is baked at a lower temperature.
|For the filling:|
|100g||unsalted butter, chilled|
|4||large free-range egg yolks|
|Finely grated zest of ½ unwaxed lemon|
|For the pâte sucrée:|
|100g||unsalted butter, softened|
|Finely grated zest of ½ unwaxed lemon|
|2||large free-range eggs, beaten|
|4||medium just-ripe peaches|
|1 tbsp||flaked almonds, to decorate|
|Icing sugar, for dusting|
|1 x 23cm||deep loose-based flan tin; a baking sheet|
You will need a 1 x 23cm deep loose-based flan tin and a baking sheet.
To make up the Pâte Sucrée: following the method for Pâte Brisée on page 173,
Sift the flour and salt onto a clean worktop and make a large well in the centre. Put the butter between sheets of clingfilm and pound with a rolling pin until it is very supple but still cold. Cut the butter into pieces and put into the well with the egg yolk, sugar and lemon zest.
Put the fingertips of one of your hands together to form a beak shape and use to mash together the ingredients in the well. When they are thoroughly combined gradually work in the flour with your fingers, using a plastic dough scraper (or metal spatula) to help you draw the flour in. When the mixture looks like coarse crumbs, gather the whole lot together to make a ball of dough. If there are dry crumbs and the dough won’t come together add more water a teaspoon at a time; if the dough is really sticky work in a little more flour.
Lightly dust the worktop with flour and start to gently work the dough: press down on the ball of dough with the heel of your hand and push it away from you, then gather up the dough into a ball once more (using the scraper) and repeat. Continue working for a couple of minutes – no more – until the dough is silky-smooth and very pliable, so pliable it can be pulled off the worktop in one piece. The dough will feel slightly stickier than pâte brisée, but avoid flouring your hands as much as possible. After the dough has been worked and is silky-smooth and pliable, wrap and chill for 30 minutes until firm.
Lightly dust the worktop with flour, then roll out the pastry to a circle and use to line the flan tin. Save any pastry trimmings to use for decoration. Prick the base of the pastry case, then chill while preparing the filling. Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas 5 and put the baking sheet into the oven to heat up.
Put the butter into a mixing bowl and beat with a wooden spoon or electric mixer until creamy. Add the sugar and lemon zest and beat until the mixture becomes very light in colour and texture. Gradually add the eggs, beating well after each addition. Fold in the ground almonds and flour with a large metal spoon. When thoroughly combined, spoon the mixture into the pastry case and spread evenly. Keep in the fridge while preparing the peaches.
Bring a pan of water to the boil. Make a small nick in the skin of each peach at the stalk end, then gently place it in the boiling water. Leave for 12 seconds, then remove. Once the peaches are cool enough to handle, slip off their skins. Halve the fruit and remove the stones.
Set 7 of the peach halves, rounded side up, on top of the almond filling. Cut the remaining half into thick slices, leaving them attached at the stalk end, and arrange in a fan shape in the centre of the tart. Set the tin on the hot baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes.
While the tart is baking, re-roll the pastry trimmings and cut into leaf shapes with a cutter (or cut round a template or free-hand). Remove the tart from the oven – the almond filling will have puffed up around the fruit – and lay the pastry decorations on top. Scatter over the flaked almonds. Dust with icing sugar and return to the oven. Reduce the temperature to 180°C/350°F/gas 4 and bake for a further 25–30 minutes until the pastry and almond filling are golden.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes before carefully unmoulding; the frangipane filling will gradually subside. Serve the tart warm the same day or the next, either at room temperature or reheated in a 160°C/325°F/gas 3 oven for 10–12 minutes.