Crostata frangipane bionda alle albicocche (v2.0)
"My longtime friend Viola Buitoni is a chef instructor in San Francisco and one of the best cooks I know. Enjoy her recipes!" - Franluca
Let me preface that I am a less than artful baker, so this recipe relies not on originality but in putting together the well tried techniques of those whose work I find impeccable.
The pastry crust is an old Italian classic, from Pellegrino Artusi's "The Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well" a 19th century compendium, which is one of my cooking bibles.
I have tried a number of frangipane recipes and the perfect one for my taste remains the one from Martha Stewart's Pies and Tarts. It is simple, easy and delicious. I do toast the almonds to a dark blond before grinding and use vanilla bean instead of almond extract, but the balance of ingredients is all Martha's. If you can find them, or have the patience to collect them when apricots are in season, you can make this with apricot kernels.
By the way, I will be using apricots simply because I have a large bag of them hanging around, but any type of fruit will work for this recipe, so just go with your preference and your fruit bowl.
For a 9 to 10” tart pan:
Crust: 2 cups (270 grams) flour, ½ cup (115 grams) sugar, ½ cup (135 grams) butter (or, even better, 90 grams butter and 45 grams lard), 4 egg yolks pinch of salt grated zest of a lemon
Filling: 1 cup almonds, 10 apricots, 1 vanilla bean, 1 stick unsalted butter, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 egg, 3 tablespoons rum, 1 tablespoon flour
Prepare the pasta frolla: place all ingredients in the mixer with a paddle attachment, work on medium to high speed until they start coming together. Empty on top of a piece of plastic wrap and press together with the tip of your fingers, then form a flat round ball with the palm of your hands. Wrap tightly with plastic and place in the refrigerator to rest for at least 30 minutes.
If using a food processor, pulse until the ingredients start coming together, and then proceed as above.
To make the filling, blanch the almonds, remove the skin and toast them to a dark blond in one layer. Grind them very finely and let cool. Stone and quarter the apricots. Score the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape off the contents.
Cream the butter and sugar until the are pale and fluffy. Mix in the almonds, egg and vanilla. Then add the rum and lastly work in the flour.
Roll the pastry crust to about 1/4" and line the tart pan. Prick gently. Spread the almond cream in it into an even layer rising a just above half way up the sides of the crust.
Arrange the apricot quarters attractively in rows or concentric circles. Bake at 375˚F for approximately 45 minutes, until a knife or toothpick inserted in the center exits slightly wet but clean and clear otherwise.
as first published on
Viola's Italian Kitchen