Apple Almond Tart

Versions of this simple fruit tart with an almond base known as frangipane are found all over France. I’ve used apples here, but poached pears, cherries and apricots are all commonly used. As far as French pastry is concerned, this one is one is almost foolproof.

The star of this tart is the moist, not overly sweet, almond filling reminiscent of Italian almond Christmas cookies. The fussiest thing about it may be finding the ground almond meal called for in this recipe. I find mine in the natural food section in my supermarket. If you are unable to find almond meal, whole blanched almonds finely ground in a food processor are a perfectly good substitute.

Any recipe for pie crust will work as the pastry base here-just go with your favorite version for a one-crust pie.

Apple Almond Tart
Pastry for a one-crust pie

6 tbsp butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
¼ tsp real almond extract
2/3 cup ground almond meal
2 tbsp all-purpose flour

4 medium size Granny Smith apples, peeled & thinly sliced

1-2 tsp granulated sugar for sprinkling
apricot jam (optional, but very nice)

Prepare the pie crust and fit into the bottom of a tart pan with a removable bottom. Set aside while preparing the filling.

To prepare the filling, beat the butter and sugar together until light. Beat the eggs in one at a time. Fold the ground almonds, extract and flour in until well mixed.

Spread the almond filling evenly on the bottom of the uncooked tart crust.

Arrange the apple slices in a decorative pattern on top of the filling.

Sprinkle the apple slices lightly with about 1 teaspoon granulated sugar and place the tart in a preheated 400 degree oven for 10 minutes. Lower the heat to 350 degrees, sprinkle again with sugar and continue to bake for another 40 minutes or until the apples are golden brown on the edges.

If desired, brush the apples while the tart is still hot with melted and strained apricot jam for a glossy appearance.

Serve warm or at room temperature as it is, or with whipped cream or good vanilla ice cream. This keeps well for several days if made in advance

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