I spent a lot of time cooking this weekend. After spending a small fortune on almond flour (finely ground almonds) for the opera cake, I decided that I could absolutely not let the remaining flour go to waste. Being rather expensive and very delicious, it deserved a wonderful recipe that would highlight the delicate almond flavor. I found almost what I was looking for in this cherry frangipane tart recipe.
Frangipane is an almond paste made of almond flour, sugar, and eggs. It is commonly used in pastries with apples and pears in France. Since cherries are in season, I thought I'd give it a whirl with fresh cherries. I flavored the frangipane with 1T brandy and 1T vanilla. It was GREAT, if I do say so myself!
The recipe happens to be in metric so it allowed me to use my new scale that I bought to use w/ my French cookbooks. The scale turned out to be a cheap piece of work so I have to get something more robust. The recipe turned out well and looked gorgeous. Fresh, sweet cherries and the frangipane complimented each other well.
I did not like the pastry in this recipe. The crust turned out way too tough, almost like concrete. I really think pastry needs a bit of lard or shortening...and a bit of vodka...to stay light and tender, so I will be using my favorite Cooks' Illustrated pie crust recipe next time. There really is no need to try other pie crust recipes!
I am going to experiment with finding a frangipane recipe in our imperial measurements. I am also looking for one where the texture is silky. I think that may mean using powdered sugar.