Carolyn’s Frangipane Apple Tart

When Baby Evan was just a couple months old, my little sister Carolyn came to visit. She wanted a chance to meet her only nephew before moving to Africa for two years, since it’s not exactly a place you just fly home on the weekends from. I would like to tell you her visit was lovely, full of hugs and laughter and hair-braiding but honestly, I was still in that oh-my-God-I-just-had-a-baby-and-I’m-never-sleeping-again stage of new motherhood and I barely remember it. I’m sure it WAS really fun though. Since we got past the stage of hating each other we have a lot more in common than you’d expect a homebody Navy housewife mom and a traveling Peace Corp volunteer artist to have. Starting with we both love Arrested Development and dessert. Although most of the visit is a blur the part that is CRYSTAL CLEAR is the apple tart she made. I think we ate the entire thing between us before it was even cool. But, hey, I was nursing 24/7 and she was about to leave for a place without ovens. Or indoor plumbing.

Of course I wouldn’t let her leave the continent without giving me the recipe, but in true free-spirit fashion, she wrote it in some sort of crazy shorthand on the back of a Gerber onesies cardboard insert. No, seriously:

To make things a little easier on myself, I got my Google on and tracked down what I think is the original recipe which provides useful information such as what exactly do I DO with the apples and the apricot jam? Although first I had to figure out what “fraugipani” was. Turns out it’s bad-handwriting for “frangipagne”, which is a kind of almond filling.

Are you getting hungry yet? I bet you are. And I haven’t even told you Carolyn spent a semester in France so she knows good pastry. Ready for the recipe? Allons!

Pastry:
1 1/3 cup flour
pinch of salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 egg yolk
3 Tbsp cold water

Mix the flour and salt, then add in the butter and egg yolk.

Oh those French and their love of butter.

Stir it together with a fork and then add the water a little at a time until you can press the dough together. If it’s still too dry, add a little more water.

My pastry took exactly the 3 Tbsp called for to look like this.

Wrap the ball of pastry in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.

Remember, it has raw egg in it. Not that it's ever stopped me, but at least CONSIDER not eating it.

Frangipane filling

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 egg yolk
1 Tbsp apple brandy (or whatever kind of liquor you have laying around)
2/3 c ground almonds*
2 Tbsp flour

Topping
2 – 4 apples (I used Braeburns)
1 tsp granulated sugar
1/4 cup apricot jam (or whatever you have in the panty)

Cream the butter and sugar, then add in the eggs.

I guess you could use a mixer, but it goes pretty fast by hand.

Dump in the brandy Kahlua and mix well. Combine the almonds and flour in a separate bowl, then add it to the wet ingredients.

The only thing in my liquor cabinet that seemed like a good substitute.

I suppose I could have used vanilla or almond extract instead. Oh well.

Roll out your chilled pastry crust so it fits in a tart pan or a pie plate. Fold up and flute the edges so it looks pretty.

Shockingly, I don't have a tart-specific dish, so this is just a 9 inch pie plate.

Preheat the over to 400 degrees.

Spoon the filling into the crust evenly.

The filling gets puffier while it bakes, so don't worry if it looks a little empty.

Peel, core and slice the apples into thin wedges. Arrange them super fancy and all artistic-like over the filling, pressing down firmly. Or if you’re just going to eat the whole tart yourself, just throw them on there.

This is just two apples, not the 4 my sister called for, since they were on the large size.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, then reduce oven temp to 350 degrees.Bake for 10 more minutes, sprinkle the tart with sugar and bake another 10 minutes.

Looks pretty good, doesn't it?

While the tart is still warm, brush the apricot jam over it so it gets nice and melty.

You could water down the jam a little so it spreads without messing up your pretty apples.

Serve with vanilla ice cream or just eat it strait from the pie plate before anyone else can get their grubby hands on your tart. I’m taking mine to knitting group tonight so I don’t snarf the whole thing down myself. Although they won’t get to see it looking this pretty since there’s going to be a piece missing.

*A note about the ground almonds. I was going to just use almond flour but I couldn’t find any at my local Stop & Shop, so I used my handy-dandy mini-Cuisinart to just grind them up myself. Several other versions of this recipe call for marzipan instead, which would be an easy alternative.

Absolutely the BEST kitchen appliance ever.

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4 Responses to “Carolyn’s Frangipane Apple Tart”

  1. Jill says:

    ::drool:: your recipes are the best! my niece LOVES to bake and i am SO giving her this recipe and then she can do all the hard work and i can eat it! :)

  2. I have no intentions of making this anytime in the near future and still enjoyed reading about it :) Looks delicious!!!!

  3. Merin says:

    If you are bringing things like this to knitting each week, I might really have to start again!

  4. Sara says:

    Hey! Just made this and it was quite delicious! Everyone invited to eat were pleased. =) Keep those yummy recipes coming! (I especially like your play-by-play pictures!)

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