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Sunday, June 3, 2012

NK Bakes - Easy Apricot Blackberry Frangipane Tart

There's a first time for everything and today, it's NK's first baking post. 
I've mentioned before that I dread baking. I do it as little as possible. While I marvel at the creations of others, I generally prefer to cook - cooking just seems to me to be more expressive, open to interpretation, and a bit less scientific. That said,I totally admire bakers, especially my best friend who is amazing at it. I've been trying, to no avail, to get her up here for a baking guest post (ahem). When I finally wear her down, you're all in for a real treat. 

Today's tart was inspired by a delicious dessert I enjoyed last week at a very unique restaurant called Dish in Water Mill, NY. Check it out here: Dish Hamptons 

Logo Courtesy of Dish Restaurant, Water Mill, NY
Dish is a tiny little place run by a charming husband and wife team who met while in school at the CIA. The restaurant, an unassuming storefront tucked in a shopping center, gives you the feeling of being in a quaint country kitchen, and their weekly four or five course pre-set prix fixe menus are on par with some of the finest restaurants around. To add to the awesome factor, it's BYOB. Last week's meal was as usual, unbelievable from start to finish, but the Apricot Tart served for dessert was a showstopper. It was then and there that I vowed to find a way to bake a similar tart and by God, I'd find an easy way to do it. 

My baking attempt was successful and easy thanks to in-season fruit and frozen puff pastry dough. Also, I learned how easy it is to make basic Frangipane - or almond cream. Frangipane is often a component used in the best baked goods. It imparts extra richness, taste and overall moistness. 

Easy Apricot Blackberry Frangipane Tart 
Adapted from Savour-fare.com
Serves 8 - Makes 2 Tarts that serve 4 each

Ingredients:
For the Tart
One Package Frozen Puff Pastry Sheets (I used Pepperidge Farm brand which has 2 sheets)
4 or 5 ripe Apricots, pitted and thickly sliced
1 package ripe Blackberries
Raw Sugar (for sprinkling)
1 Egg, optional, for extra browned tart crust

For the Frangipane (recipe adapted from French Food -About.com)
Almond Meal, Photo: NK
1/2 Cup Ground Almond Meal 
1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
1 Egg
3 Tablespoons softened Butter
3/4 teaspoon good quality Vanilla Extract
1 Tablespoon all purpose flour

Method:
 
Lay out two large sheets of Puff Pastry to thaw for 30 - 40 minutes or according to the package directions.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Meanwhile, prepare the Frangipane by combining all ingredients in a food processor. 

Blend until ingredients create a smooth and creamy paste. 


Frangipane, Photo: NK
Once the Puff Pastry has thawed, lay each piece on a non stick cookie tray or sheet pan.
On the first dough rectangle, carefully fold in the edges by a centimeter or so, pressing them down into the base of the tart to seal them and create a crust. Run your knife ever so lightly around the inside edge of the folded in crust. Repeat on the second dough triangle.

Spread the Frangipane over the inside of each tart crust. It should cover the inside completely but not so much that it spills over the crust edge. 

Assembled Tart, Photo: NK

Next, press your Apricots and Blackberries into the Frangipane. 
Optionally paint the crust edges with Egg White to promote a nicely browned, even crispier crust.

Optional Egg Wash, Photo: NK

Finally, sprinkle the tart liberally with Raw Sugar, and set in the oven to bake.
25 minutes should yield a perfect, golden brown and delicious tart. 
Slice into squares and enjoy!

Painless and Delicious! Apricot Blackberry Frangipane Tart, Photo: NK


Photo: NK

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