Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Tarte crème d'amande et fruits exotiques
I stole this recipe from a cooking podcast I subscribed to when I was in France (Casse-croute). I first made the tarte when my cousin came to visit me after becoming engaged (to her then fiancé, now husband) while traveling in Italy. Mon colocotaire, mon cousin et moi ate the tarte on a balmy evening on our little balcony while drinking champagne and listening to stories of their engagement and their plans for their life and love to come...
It's a little difficult to make as the sweet pastry is a bit of challenge to get it rolled out properly. However, the most difficult part is easily avoided if you want to buy a pre-made shell at a grocery store. But it's fun to do it from scratch.
Quantity: makes one 9" circular tarte or about 14-16 cupcake sized tartes
Time: 75mins prep time, 3hrs wait time, 20mins bake time
Sweet pastry crust
(stolen from http://www.joyofbaking.com/FruitTart.html):
1 1/2 cups (200 grams) all purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup granulated white sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
First, mix flour and salt in a bowl and set aside. Then beat together butter (make sure it's been sitting out for a while so its soft) and sugar until light and fluffy. Then beat in the egg just until its incorporated, no more. Add in flour and mix until it forms a ball, but do not overwork or the dough will become tough and difficult to roll. Place in the fridge for about an hour before using.
La creme d'amande (the frangipane)
200g unsalted butter (just less than 1 cup)
200g ground almonds (store bought)
1.5 C icing sugar
50ml white rum (1 airplane bottle)
Second, Mix together the frangipane ingredients starting with the icing sugar and butter. You'll probably have to use your hands as it will just stick to a whisk. Once mixed, add the rum, eggs and almond powder. Mix very well et le mettre dans le frigo pendant 1 hour.
Take the pastry out of the fridge and roll it out flat (about 1/8 of an inch thick) and place it into a mold (I used a miniature loaf mold and muffin trays cuz that's what I had). Poke holes at the bottom of your pastry cups once in the mold to allow some air flow to bake evenly. Place your frangipane mix into the pastry mold only about 1/2 full as the mix expands. Place into a preheated oven at 350F for about 20mins.
Remove from oven and let rest for 5mins.
The third step is completely up to you. Select your favorite fruits and dice them up into aesthetically pleasing shapes. Arrange as you please. It's a little difficult to get very pretty designs but its more fun to design it yourself then to use a prettier store bought one I think. You can also glaze your tarts by purchasing store bought glaze packages or make your own by mixing equal parts (1 cup) sugar and water and a tablespoon of pectic or corn starch boiling for a minute in a small pot. Cover the fruit with the glaze and let sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Before serving remove from the fridge about 20 mins before serving.
Good luck and Enjoy!