For a while now, frangipane has been a big mystery to me. I often dip my finger in a batch at my work (shh, don't tell) and shiver with satisfaction. I have tasted frangipane many times, and I know it has almond in it, but what else? How does one make it? I thought it had liquor in it, but nope (although...a little dash might be nice). Just your good ol' fashioned butter, egg, sugar. Seriously, who needs anything else in life?
Why do they call it frangipane? Well, I'm still not quite sure. Apparently the word is derived from frangere il pane (Italian for "break the bread"). What this has to do with one of the most divine almond tarts ever tasted? Still a mystery to me.
In just the tiniest bite of this Almond Frangipane and Blackberry Jam Tart, I can taste it all. BUTTER, ALMOND, BLACKBERRY, LOVE.
This tart is very versatile. I can see it served during the cold winter months as well as the springtime (Easter brunch dessert?!). You can change up the jam to whatever suits your fancy.
At my work, we use frangipane in our tarts and puff pastry turnovers. In addition to almond, we like to mix it up and use other nuts and flavorings (hazelnut is dreamy!).
Just make this. Indulge. Love it.
Almond Frangipane and Blackberry Jam Tart
adapted from SmittenKitchen
1 recipe's worth of sweet tart dough, pre-baked in a 9-inch removable tart pan
1 cup coarsely chopped almonds, blanched if you can find them
1 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
9 tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 teaspoons orange zest (not traditional, but just lovely in there)
1/3 cup jam (I used blackberry)
Slivered or sliced almonds, for garnish (optional)
Finely grind almonds and flour in processor. Mix in sugar, then butter, extract and orange zest. Blend until smooth. Mix in egg and egg white. Transfer filling to medium bowl. Cover and chill at least 3 hours.
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Spread jam over base of tart shell. Dollop the almond filling all over, then spread it carefully with an offset spatula. If using slivered or sliced almonds as garnish, sprinkle them over the top now. Bake tart until golden and tester inserted into center of filling comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool tart in pan on rack.
To serve, push pan bottom up, releasing tart from pan. Cut tart into wedges and sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.
Do ahead: Almond filling can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled. Whole tart can also be made half a day in advance. Let stand at room temperature.