Summer's bounty: Cherry, Peach and Frangipane Tart
The markets are a full rainbow of colours right now. It's summer. And it's beautiful.
1 kg bags of cherries and peaches have been on my fruit radar the last few weeks, and when I opened the fridge the other night and thought, 'if I have another cherry I'm going to start looking like one right about now', I knew I had to do something about it.
This cherry, peach and frangipane tart is the most beautiful way to combine the wonderful flavours of ripe, bursting cherries, fragrant peaches and earthy almonds that come together with every bite in a triumph of textures that range from the buttery crunch of the tart, melting softness of the frangipane and juiciness of summer fruit.
It is da bomb. Perfect for weekend breakfast, or afternoon tea.
This one's going to take a little bit of extra effort, so hear me out so I can make your life a little easier.
First, you should make the frangipane and leave it covered in the fridge. It lasts a couple of days so she'll be right. Take it out of the fridge as the oven is heating up on the day you make the tart, so that it will soften at room temperature. (And I pray for you that it's just the oven that's heating up that day - not your entire human system - ditto next tip.)
Another tip - to save you an hour or so of work (and your sanity) you can use store bought ready pastry (pasta frolla) and roll it out and bake to instructions.
If I had known that my house would be literally a human oven the other day as I made this, I would have taken that path, rather than trying to work a mound of melting butter in the pastry - that shouldn't be melting, jeesh. You want the butter to be cold, and stay that way, so either buy the pastry ready-made, or use a food processor. I'll explain later.
Milan is on 🔥🔥🔥. Sleepless nights continue.
It's hard to think of turning on the oven on days like these, I know, 🐸 came home the other day to see me dripping sweat onto the set over which I was shooting this tart. (Small European apartments with no air conditioning - you learn to get used to it.) I suppose you can say, literally, that I put a lot of sweat into this one. He then proceeded to have it for breakfast 3 days straight. I shared it with a bunch of friends nearby too. (Don't think I sweated directly into the tart 🤔?). Anyway, everyone loved it, and I know you and your folks will love it too.
So grab those plump cherries and juicy peaches - get baking!
CHERRY, PEACH, FRANGIPANE TART
Makes one 23 cm tart
Recipe adapted from Lily Vanilli's Sweet Tooth
Note: you will only need half of this for one tart, but you can freeze the rest. Or, divide the ingredients in half. For the 1/2 egg: weigh a cracked egg, whisk it, and take out half the weight.
230 g butter, room temperature
230 g sugar
230 g ground almonds (Italian: farina di mandorla)
3 medium eggs
50 g flour
Zest of 1 lemon or orange
SHORTCUT PASTRY (OR BUY READY MADE PASTA FROLLA FROM THE STORE)
225 g flour
Pinch of salt
20 g icing sugar (Italian: zucchero al velo) (optional)
115 g butter, cubed, cold
3-4 Tbs ice cold water
AND, THE TART
1 egg beaten with 1-2 Tbs milk, for the egg wash
3-4 ripe donut peaches or normal peaches, pitted and cut into 8 slices
100 g cherries, pitted with stems left on
Some flaked almonds
2 Tbs apricot jam (optional)
Step 1: FRANGIPANE
1. Using an electric whisk, beat the butter and sugar for about 3 minutes.
2. Add the almonds, then the eggs one at a time, beat thoroughly to combine.
3. Add the flour and zest and beat to combine.
Note: you only need half of this for the one tart in this recipe. The frangipane will keep in the fridge for 3 days, or can be frozen. Just bring to room temperature before adding to the tart.
Step 2: SHORTCUT PASTRY
1. Sift the flour, salt and icing sugar (if using) into a large bowl. Add the cold butter and working quickly, rub the butter into the flour mixture using your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs.
2. Add the water one teaspoon at a time, mixing it in evenly until there is just enough for the dough to come together into a ball. Wrap in plastic and chill in fridge for at least 30 minutes, up to overnight.
Using a Food Processor:
1. Sift the flour, salt and icing sugar (if using) into a large bowl. Transfer to the food processor and add the cold butter. Pulse several times until the mixer resembles bread crumbs.
2. With the machine running on low speed, add the water one teaspoon at a time until the dough begins to come together. Form a ball, wrap in plastic and chill in fridge for at least 30 minutes, up to overnight.
3. Preheat oven to 180C.
4. Remove the dough from the fridge and let it come to room temperature if it has been in the fridge for several hours. Knead gently, then roll out using a rolling pin, to 5 mm thickness. Carefully lift from one side and let it hang over the rolling pin, then place over the tart tin. Nudge the pastry into the inner edges of the tart tin, cut off any extra pastry from the outer seams.
5. Cut out a rough piece of baking paper to cover the entire surface of the pastry, then fill it with baking weights (a whole lot of small coins, dried beans, or uncooked rice also work) and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the weights and baking paper, prick the base several times with a fork and bake for a further 10 minutes (the small holes from the fork lets the steam escape and stops the pastry from rising as it bakes). Take out and brush it all over with the egg wash, then put it back in the oven for another 2 minutes (this seals the crust so that the filling later on doesn't make it all soggy). Remove from the oven and let it cool completely.
6. Grab your frangipane and fill the whole tart evenly with it. Place the peach slices evenly all over the tart, pushing it into the frangipane. Distribute the cherries all over with the stems staying up. Sprinkle over the flaked almonds.
7. Bake for 30-35 minutes - check at 30 minutes for doneness by poking the frangipane with a toothpick. If it comes out with wet frangipane, put it back in the oven, if it comes out clean or with just a few crumbs then it's cooked!
8. In the last few minutes of baking, heat up the apricot jam with a teaspoon of water in a small saucepan. Brush all over the tart as soon as it is out of the oven.