‘Tis the season for holiday table inspiration. Food memories are more inextricably intertwined with this month than any other. Emotional attachments that defy culinary justification persist.
When I started planning my Christmas baking lineup I was almost at a road block. This is my third year doing the #12DaysofBaking series, and I wanted to expand beyond the usual sugar cookies. As thoughts started pouring in, I started to see that apple would have to make some sort of appearance. But I was determined to present it in a not so traditional way. That’s when an apple frangipane tart came to mind and I was instantly sold on the idea, the days approaching Christmas Eve were filled with images and days dreams of a beautiful, seemingly intricate, yet deceptively simple tart in bloom.
This Apple Frangipane Tart combines buttery Pate Sucrée with a sweet almond cream and lightly sweetened apples. The frangipane layer is extremely moist and nutty and also acts as a waterproof layer which is perfect because no one wants a soggy bottom!
So to start off your dessert table this holiday, this tart would be the perfect centerpiece.
Apple Frangipane Tart (Tarte De Pommes a la Normande)
Makes one 9″ pie + extra crust
For the Pate Sucrée
- 340 grams all-purpose flour
- 150 grams unsalted butter, cut into small cubes and cold
- 90 grams icing sugar
- 2 room temperature eggs, beaten
- pinch of salt
For the Frangipane
- 100g of unsalted butter
- 80g of icing sugar
- 120g of almond flour
- 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 tsp almond extract (optional)
For the Topping:
- 3 medium apples,peeled, cored, and cut into thin slices (I used Fuji and Granny Smith)
- Juice of one lemon
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- Make the Pate Sucree: In the bowl of a food processor, sift the flour, icing sugar, and salt together and give them a quick pulse to mix it all together. Add the cubed butter and pulse again till you get pea sized crumbles. Do not overwork it or you’ll end up with a hard shell. Add the beaten eggs, and pulse until partially incorporated. Turn the dough onto your work surface, and gather it all into one disc. Wrap it in cling film and put it in the fridge for at least one hour. (you can even keep it overnight)
- When ready to use, take the pastry out of the fridge and roll it out to around 5 mm thickness to line a 9″ pan. The edges should overflow over the pan, snip off the excess dough and keep for use later. Refrigerate for 20 more minutes while you prepare the frangipane and the apples.
- Make the Frangipane: Creamunsalted butter with icing sugar. Add in the egg and egg yolk to the creamed mixture. Stir in the milk. Add almond extract to taste. Stir in almond flour. Chill the mixture.
- Assembly: Spoon the frangipane into the chilled pastry crust, spread into an even layer and arrange the apple slices on top. Place the apples perpendicular to the crust, starting from the outside edge, and work your way towards the center. The slices should overlap each other.
- Bake tart until crust is deep golden brown and almond filling is puffed, browned, and firm to the touch, about 45 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking time. (I baked mine for around 35 minutes, it needed a bit more, but I was running a bit late so I had to remove it earlier than needed, which is why it doesn’t have that golden crust color). Cool tart on baking sheet on wire rack to room temperature, about 1 hour.
- Serve warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream or softly whipped cream. Refrigerate any leftovers.
Bon Appetit 🙂