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Strawberry-Frangipane Tart

April 29, 2011

As early/mid April to late June is the peak harvest time for strawberries here in northern California, the fruits–which are actually a member of the rose family–abound.  Strawberries belong to the Rosaceae family, as do apples, pears, quinces, peaches, plums, cherries, apricots, blackberries and raspberries.  I’m not certain how accurate this is but the strawberry is said to derive its name from the former practice of using straw as a mulch when cultivating the rose plants.  Whatever their origin, I’m happy to enjoy them while they are at their peak.

Part of my motivation to bake with them was due to the numerous recipes I’ve seen on the blogosphere showcasing this springtime bounty.  I’ve seen strawberry granitas, compotes, shortcakes and cupcakes galore, but my heart was set on another sweet treat: A tart.  But I wondered what kind of twist I could put on the usual pastry cream or custard filling.  I do like them both, in fact, a custard-y treat should be making its way here on the blog soon since I’ve had a hankering for Portuguese egg tarts lately.

I found inspiration in one of my cookbooks using one of my favorite foods: almonds.  Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse Fruits includes a recipe for frangipane, an almond cream.  I’ve always been intrigued by frangipane and I know how to make my own almond paste so the decision was made.  I eschewed the pineapple, their fruit of choice for this tart (next time) but I had high hopes for incorporating strawberries instead.

First item to cross off the list was the almond paste for the frangipane.  I learned to make it myself out of need last year and I haven’t had to use store-bought since.  It’s very easy to make and you will never have to dash to the store for a last-minute item.  The frangipane was next, also simple to make.  Just a few additional ingredients to lighten up the almond paste made a very light-textured, almond-specked cream.  To be honest, I might have eaten a good portion of the almond paste AND the frangipane before they even made it to the tart! In my book, they qualify as dessert all on their own.

But I still had a tart to make…

Instead of making one large tart, I decided to make four smaller ones, well, to up the cute factor (and also for portion control).  I had some doubts about making this as a galette (free-form tart) which I always like for its rustic quality but I felt that the recipe wasn’t very clear.  I will spare you the details but the first two tarts were a fail.  The recipe required sautéing the fruit in butter and sugar first but even cutting the butter still made the flavor too pronounced for me.  There was also the matter of the filling being too runny (even when drained) so the galletes fell apart as soon as I put them in the oven.  I salvaged them by the putting them in the tart pans but they weren’t pretty!

I took matters into my own hands by using my last two clean mini tart pans for the rest of the batch.  I rolled my last two pieces of dough, arranged them in the pans and popped them in the freezer between filling applications.  After applying the frangipane for the bottom layer and allowing to cool in the freezer for a few minutes, I arranged the strawberry slices in two layers.  I felt that sautéing the strawberries in butter and sugar wasn’t really a value-added step in my first batch so I gave each strawberry layer a light sprinkling of sugar.  You may know by now my penchant for desserts being “not-to-sweet” so I was curious if I would lose much flavor by eliminating the sautéed fruit.

Well, well, well–it worked.  I have to say that my version was no slouch compared to the first batch. In fact, I actually preferred it.  The frangipane and paté sucrée already have butter so the filling didn’t need it either.  The freshness of the strawberries comes through and you can control the sweetness by the amount of sugar you sprinkle on them.  This is a keeper of a recipe.  Use store-bought almond paste or make it yourself but do try the frangipane.  It’s divine.  As for the sweet pastry crust, my go-to version is too easy and too foolproof not to use.  You have no reason not to make this!

Strawberry-Frangipane Tart

  • For the crust, please click here (This will make enough for one 10 oz dough or 4 smaller ones)
  • For the almond paste, please click here 

For the frangipane:

  • 3 oz (1/3 cup) almond paste
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon kirsch (I used Cointreau instead)
  • 1 pinch salt
Blend together the almond paste and the sugar using an electric mixer.  Beat in the butter then mix in the flour, egg, kirsch and salt.  Beat again until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  This recipe makes 1/2 cup and will keep for 1 week in the refrigerator.
For the mini tarts (4):
  • About 3 cups sliced strawberries
  • 1/2 cup frangipane
  • 10-oz galette dough, divided into four
  • Sugar, for sprinkling on the strawberries
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Roll out each piece of the dough you divided into four and place in your tart pan.  The dough needs to remain cold for best results so I like to store mine in the freezer or refrigerator when I’m not using it.  Spread a layer of frangipane on the bottom and cool again the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it.  Next, arrange the strawberry slices on top of the frangipane, sprinkling a bit of sugar after each layer.  I managed two layers on my little tarts.  Brush the exposed tart dough with egg.
Bake the tarts for about 25 minutes until the tart edges are slightly brown and crumbly and the filling is bubbling. Place the tarts on a wire rack and let cool for a few minutes before removing from the pan.  Serve warm or at room temperature.
33 Comments leave one →
  1. April 29, 2011 9:35 AM

    Love the recipe and your photos are stellar as always. I looked at that one strawberry on edge for awhile thinking, how’d they do that. Some mysteries are just too great.:)

    • May 7, 2011 8:51 PM

      Thanks so much! No tricks at all with the strawberry, I swear! I just propped it up against another strawberry behind it. 🙂 I just had to hurry up and take the picture before it tipped over. 🙂

  2. April 29, 2011 9:35 AM

    Yum! This looks so yummy. I just bought a ton of strawberries so I’ll be making this ASAP.

  3. April 29, 2011 9:38 AM

    What a lovely, seasonal dessert! Looks like you did a fantastic job!

  4. April 29, 2011 9:44 AM

    Love frangipane, love strawberries. Never seen them together. How lovely. Lovely strawberry photo.

  5. April 29, 2011 9:48 AM

    I make a version of this tart every year this time! I remember when I first discovered the almond and strawberry combo. It was unbelievable to me how much they were made for each other. Another version I like is to hold the strawberries aside for topping (raw and whole) after it bakes. GREG

  6. April 29, 2011 9:51 AM

    The tarts look delicious and your photos are just lovely.

  7. April 29, 2011 9:58 AM

    you definitively “upped” the cute factor 😉
    The frangipane is a winner. And I like how you arranged the strawberries geometrically.
    Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse Fruits (and frankly ALL her books) are constant inspiration to cook with seasonal, local.
    I made a rhubard strawberry tart… have not had time to blog about it yet though!

  8. April 29, 2011 10:04 AM

    Very nice. I have’nt had good strawberries this year, but I’ll have to keep this recipe in mind! Thanks

  9. April 29, 2011 10:30 AM

    How cute are these. And boy have you worked hard on them. I would have given up after two gos on the tart base. Glad you chugged on because it looks liek you got beautiful results. Well done. And I lurveeee the pink napkins!

    • May 7, 2011 8:53 PM

      Hi Sukaina! I guess I had nothing better to do, LOL! I’m also glad that I kept on for the second batch turned out much better. 🙂

      PS: Those actually aren’t napkins. It’s textured wrapping paper that I bought sometime ago. I couldn’t resist the pretty colors. 🙂

  10. April 29, 2011 10:35 AM

    Looks delectable, Jean! I just saw that Whole Foods is having a strawberry sale today only for $1.99/lb! :-p I may have to swing by and grab some!!

  11. April 29, 2011 1:50 PM

    Just stunning!

  12. April 29, 2011 2:16 PM

    this looks wonderfully delicious colourful presentation

  13. April 29, 2011 3:47 PM

    Wow looks so delicious Jean! I love your pictures, I always do…. Have a great weekend. 🙂

  14. April 29, 2011 6:09 PM

    Beautiful tarts Jean! I have the Chez Panisse Fruit cookbook, it’s full of good recipes and info. I like your combination of almond and strawberries in a sweet individual size tart. I’ve used frangipane with pears in a tart but not strawberries and will have to change that;-)

    I also like all the photos, quite lovely and inspiring me to pick up some strawberries soon;-)

  15. April 29, 2011 6:49 PM

    What a beautiful tart! I am so excited about strawberries and your tart looks just divine. I want to start my canning of strawberry jam. Soon I will get started. Look forward to seeing you on Sunday at the Pebble Beach Food & Wine event! 🙂

  16. April 29, 2011 7:10 PM

    These look too good to eat. What am I saying?? no, ALMOST too good to eat. They’re beautifully photographed too. I’ll try them!

  17. April 29, 2011 7:26 PM

    Beautiful job; wishing I had a piece right now. I love frangipane. I love strawberries. This is so right up my alley. Great photos too.

  18. April 29, 2011 7:28 PM

    Beautiful Jean!! Love the tart. Gorgeous pic of the strawberry. Such a gorgeous dessert!!

  19. April 29, 2011 8:16 PM

    This tarte is so beautiful and the strawberries are just so fresh! Nothing worse than strawberries that look faded! Love the combo of frangipane and strawberries, brilliant!!!

  20. April 30, 2011 5:11 AM

    I love frangipane, it’s the best filling for fruit tarts, and these strawberry ones look delicious.

  21. April 30, 2011 5:15 AM

    These look fabulous! I love frangipane and strawberries

  22. April 30, 2011 10:22 AM

    These are just lovely! I have a ton of strawberries, maybe I should make some of these cute little tarts!

  23. April 30, 2011 11:04 AM

    I also love frangipane. Your strawberries are so vibrant and that photo of the one strawberry alone should be framed…gorgeous:)Lovely tarts!! Hope you have a wonderful weekend Jean:)

  24. April 30, 2011 1:43 PM

    Strawberries in gallettes are very tricky! They are so moist that the filling is often too runny even when drained, like you did. But to be honest, I am in love with your tart version! I love tarts (especially the cute small ones!) and the combo of strawberries with almonds is one of my favorite! To me this recipe is a winner on all fronts! (Oh and that pic of the strawberry….I just want to give it a bite!)

  25. May 2, 2011 1:44 PM

    So pretty…..wonderful use of strawberries.

  26. May 2, 2011 7:35 PM

    Love how bright and red these tarts are. Gorgeous strawberry shot too!

  27. May 4, 2011 7:09 PM

    This sounds really delicious. I don’t think I’ve ever had frangipane or worked with almond paste. This sounds like a great recipe to finally change that.

  28. May 8, 2011 10:29 PM

    Sold!!! I will save this recipe to try in the future! I love the mini tarts vs. the one big tart. I’ve been wanting to make a fruit tart as I’ve never made one before. I’m always buying them pre-made. 🙂 I’ll definitely use your crust recipe when I do. I’m with you about the strawberries – – – how can you resist them at this time of the year! I’m hoping to make a strawberry dessert for our family’s belated mom’s day celebration next weekend. Hopefully it’ll turn out OK! Have a great week!

  29. May 12, 2011 5:54 PM

    Gorgeous tart and what a wonderful way to celebrate summer.

  30. July 19, 2011 10:25 AM

    Looks so good! I love the individual servings. Although I think I would eat more than one!

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