Following on from my first demo at Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College I was invited back for another. This time demonstrating a seasonal recipe using the quintessential winter combination: apples and blackberries. I love the structure of this tart; crisp pastry base, spread with sweet fruit jam, topped with moist frangipane and decorated with caramelised apple slices. You don’t have to make the jam, especially if you’re strapped for time, but it does add a really nice touch! The students and teachers enjoyed it alike, now what to make for next time?
Apple & Blackberry Frangipane Tart
for the blackberry jam
- 200g fresh blackberries, washed
- 200g jam sugar (with added pectin)
for the pastry
- 150g plain flour, sifted
- 75g butter, chilled and cubed
- 30g icing sugar, sifted
- 1 medium egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon cold water
for the frangipane
- 110g unsalted butter, softened
- 110g caster sugar
- 2 medium eggs
- 90g ground almonds
- 20g plain flour
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
for the topping
- 1 red eating apple (approx. 200g) e.g. braeburn, cox, gala
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- 1 tablespoon caster sugar
Make the jam: place the blackberries in a medium saucepan and mash to a pulp using a potato masher. Stir in the sugar then place over a low heat, stirring continually until the sugar dissolves. Once the sugar has dissolved, bring the mixture to the boil and cook until a thermometer reads 105°C/220°F (about 5 minutes). Remove from the heat and allow to the jam to cool in the pan for a few minutes before transferring to a heatproof bowl to cool down completely.
Make the pastry: in a medium bowl, rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs then stir in the sugar. Use a palette knife to cut in the beaten egg then press together to form a ball. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, until firm but not hard. Grease a 23cm round loose-bottomed flan tin (about 3cm deep) then roll the pastry between a sheet of non-stick baking paper and the cling film to 3mm thick. Remove the paper then lower the pastry into the tin, cling film-side up, and press into the grooves. Place in the freezer for about 10 minutes and preheat the oven to 200°C (190°C fan)/400°F/gas mark 6.
Make the frangipane: place all the frangipane ingredients in a medium bowl and beat together using an electric hand mixer until smooth. Set aside. Core and half the apple, then cut into thin slices (with the knife perpendicular to the core). Set aside also.
Assemble the tart: remove the pastry case from the freezer and peel off the cling film. Trim the edges of the pastry in line with the sides of the tin and prick the base with a fork. Spread 100g of the blackberry jam over the base of the pastry case, then spoon the frangipane on top and smooth into an even layer. Arrange the apple slices in a ring on top of the frangipane, overlapping to hide the cores. Brush the apples with the melted butter and sprinkle with the sugar then bake the tart in the preheated oven for 20 minutes before reducing the temperature to 180°C (170°C fan)/350°F/gas mark 4 for another 20 minutes until the frangipane is risen, golden and just set in the middle. The apples should be golden and caramelised on top. Allow to cool completely in the tin. Serve at room temperature on its own or with cream.