With the start of the strawberry season our daughter Frances decide to add strawberry tarts to her repertoire of tarts that she bakes every week in our La Cigale kitchen. We sell them during the weekend on the bakery counter and during the week in the café. She’s come up with her own version of the frangipani mixture which she’s agreed to share with you. If you don’t have the time to make a tart yourself give Frances and call and order one. She makes 3 sizes.
- Ingredients (serves 2)
- 1 sheet of sweet shortcrust pastry – pre-made frozen pastry is fine or feel free to make your own!
- 250g unsalted butter
- 250g caster sugar
- 250g ground almonds
- 50g plain flour
- 3 eggs
- A good dash of your chosen liqueur – I use brandy but Poire William or rum would be perfect too.
- ¼ teaspoon of almond essence
- 1-2 small punnets of strawberries – hulled and cut in half
Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease a 23cm tart with removable base. You’ll need to roll out the pastry a bit if you’re using frozen. Line tin – I leave the over-hanging pastry on until the very end to avoid shrinkage disaster! Prick the pastry and put in fridge for about 20 minutes. This also helps it from shrinking while baking. Blind bake for 10 minutes. Remove beans and cook for another 10 minutes or until pastry is golden. Set aside to cool.
Cut butter into cubes and put in mixer at medium speed until soft. Add sugar and then ground almonds with the motor running. Now mix in the flour then the eggs. At this point, I let it mix for at least 5 minutes to allow the frangipane to become really fluffy. Finally add the alcohol and the almond essence and mix through.
Fill the pastry case with the frangipane and smooth with a knife.
Now to arrange the strawberry halves. I usually place them in consecutive circles but you could be creative!
Sprinkle a little bit of caster sugar over the tart and put in 180 degree oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Leave in the tin for about 15 minutes.
Trim off overhanging pastry, lift out of tin and cool on a rack.
I brush mine with an apricot glaze – apricot jam mixed with water and warmed up – and then dust with icing sugar.
Serve warm or at room temperature with cream or yoghurt.