Blueberry & Almond Tart
:: Megann’s Kitchen ::
|:: beautiful blueberry & almond tart with fresh berries & creme fraiche ::|
Whenever I am homesick I seem to crave recipes made with blueberries. You see, I grew up with an amazing blueberry patch on our family farm & it was like a sanctuary for me. Whenever I wanted, I would roam aimlessly through the rows upon rows of blueberries. I would lie under the branches, looking up at the sky & let my imagination take over. I would even play there with friends, having blueberry fights – squishing the berries to feel them ooze between our fingers before pelting the mess at an unsuspecting victim. Yes, these were incredibly wholesome blueberry memories of my childhood filled with pure joy.
I have now made this tart many times. The frangipane cream can be a vehicle for any fruit of the season – but in season or not, a blueberry filling is my ultimate favourite.
1 quantity of sweet shortcrust pastry
basic frangipane cream (GF)
125g good quality unsalted butter, softened
150g castor sugar
1 tsp of vanilla bean paste or seeds of 1 vanilla bean
2 large eggs
200g almond meal
250g blueberries (2 punnets)
|:: gently smooth over the top & sprinkle with blueberries ::|
|:: bake until evenly golden brown & cooked through ::|
Preheat oven to180°C (350°F). Line a 24 cm loose-bottomed tart pan with pastry following the Sweet Shortcrust Pastry instructions, then bake blind at 180°C (350°F) for 10 minutes. Remove pastry weights & parchment paper then bake for another 5 minutes, until just cooked through. Remove.
While the pastry is blind baking, place butter, sugar & vanilla in an electric mixer (I use my ever trusty KitchenAid) & beat until butter mixture is light & creamy. Add eggs one at a time & make sure they are fully incorporated before you add the next. Finish by adding the almond meal & mix through.
Sprinkle half of the blueberries on the pastry base. Spoon the thick Frangipane Cream evenly over the top of the berries, smoothing out the top when finished. Scatter the remainder of the blueberries over the top of the almond mixture, pushing slightly into the batter.
Bake for 35-45 minutes until it has turned a golden brown on top. Cool in tin for at least 30 minutes before serving
|:: serve on a breadboard for a rustic & homestyle feel ::|
|:: this recipe can be made with any sweet fruit - this is a cherry tart ::|
:: The Frangipane cream is quite thick, so be mindful of placing it where you want it, then smooth over the top.
:: A way to test if the almond Frangipane Mixture is cooked through is to simply press on the top when it looks golden. If it feels firm and springs back, then it is ready. If your finger leaves an indentation & breaks the surface, pop it back in the oven for another 5 minutes & check again.
:: All is not lost if not cooked through. I accidently did this once & quickly placed it back in the oven for another 10 minutes & it was beautiful! The pastry was a little crunchier than normal, but still a kitchen win in my eyes.
:: No blueberries? Try raspberries, cherries, blackberries, figs brushed with honey, fresh sliced peaches, halved apricots, poached pears… just use your imagination!
:: The Frangipane Cream is a Gluten Free mixture, so omit the pastry for a Gluten Free option.
Style & Serve
:: Dust with icing sugar & a dollop of double or triple thickened cream.
:: To impress, I love finely diced strawberries & baby herbs scattered on the side. If using crème fraîche, I also add a fine drizzle of honey to counteract the sourness of the dairy.
|:: elegant accents with a drizzle of honey ::|
:: Have no time to make your own pastry? Never fear. You can either prepare it the day before & let it chill in the fridge overnight then continue with the baking process or
:: Use a good quality pastry base, such as Carème Vanilla Bean Sweet Shortcrust Pastry (see selected outlets) or frozen Pampas Shortcrust Pastry (never, ever use low fat options in pastry – it turns out hard & tasteless).