Sunday, 20 February 2011

Peach and almond tart

The weather has brightened a little – I have seen the sun on more than one occasion this week!
Maybe that’s why I started thinking about summery flavours. It’s a good few months until peaches are in season but I do love a tinned peach – definitely the queen of tinned fruits!

The almond sponge might be called a frangipane in some circles (I’m never entirely sure when almond sponge becomes frangipane – perhaps it depends on the price the restaurant wishes to charge for the dessert?); it’s densely textured and rich with almond flavour.
It has that almost oily moistness that sponges do when they’re heavy with almond – OK, I know that's possibly not the most appetising description but I'm sure you'll know what I mean! It ages wonderfully too, tasting better each day you can bear to leave it after baking!

The pastry contains virtually no sugar and it’s dry biscuity texture works really well against the rich sponge and juicy soft fruit.
Indeed, this tart could be topped with many different fruits – I think pears, plums, raspberries or cherries would work particularly well.

I think this is the most professional I’ve ever rolled my pastry out and lined a tin...

...and it looked really nice after baking too:

The jam glaze on top is worth doing as it creates a professional looking finish – one tip I would offer is to add the jam glaze on the day of serving; I did mine the day before and it got absorbed!

I never thought I’d find peach jam but found it in Panzer’s, a fascinatingly well-stocked grocery/deli shop in the St John’s Wood area of London. The shop also has a good selection of US baking goods although I was disappointed that they didn’t have cake flour. I bought a bottle of date syrup (amongst other things) which you can apparently use in anything you’d usually use treacle/golden syrup in...looking forward to trying that!

This tart was incredibly popular – everybody loved it and started playing around for ideas of how it could be adapted to make different versions. It all got eaten in record quick time (don’t worry Mr CC – I have saved you a “generous” slice!)


For the pastry:

175g plain flour
85g unsalted butter, cold
1 tablespoon caster sugar
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons water

For the filling:

140g unsalted butter, at room temperature
100g caster sugar
2 eggs
140g ground almonds
50g plain flour
1 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
2 cans of sliced peaches (or 3 fresh peaches slice)

Optional: peach or apricot jam to glaze

To serve: thick cream


Start by making the pastry: place the flour, butter and sugar into a food processor and blitz together.

Keep the processor running and add the egg yolks and water, blitzing until the dough just starts to come together.

(If you prefer to make the pastry by hand rub the butter into the flour until it resembles bread crumbs, stir in the flour, then the egg yolks and water)

Bring the dough together and form into a fat disc before wrapping in clingfilm and refrigerating for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200˚C/fan oven 180˚C/350˚F/Gas mark 6.

Have ready a 23cm loose bottomed flan tin – no need to grease it if it’s loose bottomed.

Roll the pastry out between two sheets of clingfilm (this will stop the need to add extra flour) and use to line the tin; leave the spare pastry overhanging.

Line with baking paper and baking beans and bake for 10 minutes.

Remove the paper and beans and prick the base with a fork.

Return to the oven for a further 10-15 minutes (or until it looks golden, firm and biscuity).

Leave on a cooling rack.

Now make the filling: beat together the butter and sugar until it’s pale and smooth.

Beat in the eggs one at a time, if it looks like it might curdle add some of the flour.

Stir in the almonds, flour and, if using, the extract.

Spoon into the cooked pastry case and level the surface.

Arrange the peach slices on the top – I went for concentric circles as I think it looks pretty and professional.

Bake for 30-40 minutes until the almond sponge is cooked – test with a skewer, the same way you would for a cake. If the skewer comes out clean it’s ready.

Incidentally, don’t panic that the pastry turns a much darker brown that pastry normally does – it’s a dry, biscuity pastry and the colour doesn’t affect the taste.

Leave to cool, in the tin, on a wire rack. This dish is best made the day before as it gives the almond time to develop and release its oil and flavour into the sponge!

Cut away the excess pastry that is overhanging the tart tin. This is a rather tasty bonus for the cook!

If you wish, you can brush melted apricot or peach jam over the top of the cooled tart – this will give it the professional patisserie glazed finish.

Serve the tart at room temperature with thick cream.

Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have created.



Jacqueline said...

That looks absolutely gorgeous CC. I would love a slice of that right now.

Beth (Jam and Clotted Cream) said...

Nice work - looks yummy

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes said...

This looks delicious! Fruit desserts are my favorite! Thanks for sharing and have a great day!

Catherine said...

Almond sponge? Frangipane? Either way this looks delicious! Well done on the beautifully lined tin.

Regarding cake flour- I've seen flour labeled as 'extra fine sponge flour' in sainsburys taste the difference range and McDougalls also do a sponge flour. If you're looking for something approximating american bleached flour then you might find this useful:

Pudding Pie Lane said...

Date syrup sounds amazing! And I agree - tinned peaches are where it's at :)

Nice photos, I shall definitely try this recipe!

Lisa said...

Man, I made an apple/pear/almond tart today that is headed straight for the bin (one of those days where I just should not have baked). This looks like everything I was dreaming of today. Gorgeous.

Baking Addict said...

Looks great. Definitely a spring/summer feel to it. Cant wait to see what you make with the date syrup.

Anonymous said...

Lovely blog. I'm your newest follower.

Anonymous said...

Hey CC,

I just found your blog and LOVE it!!
I'm in the process of trawling back through your posts to see what delumpscious goodies you have made before I knew this blog existed.

I really like the way your blog works, the pictures and explanations, then the recipe. It really is a delight to read.

A question for you please- excuse me if this sounds 'thick' but what is a loose bottomed tart pan? Is it where the bottom lifts out?
I have one of those.
But if i were to use one of my other ones, where the bottom is fixed, how do you get your tarts/quiches etc out?

Also, (sorry another question) can I substitute butter for oil in a victoria sandwich cake? Or would this ruin the flavour and texture?
If I can, what would the ratio be please?

Keep up the amazing baking! I'm hoping to try out many of your recipes and subject my family to my cooking.
I shall try and do you justice!

Have a lovely day!

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi Roze

I am delighted you are finding pleasure from my little site - I hope you bake lots of yummy things!

Yes - a loose bottomed flan tin is exactly what you describe - the base is a disc that sits in the bottom and pushes up to de-tin the flan.

If you have a solid tin you might want to rethink turning it out and simply serve from the tin.
You could lay two long strips of foil or baking paper across the tin (overhanging the edges) before lining it with pastry and use these as a winch to get the tart out!

Re substituting butter with oil I know it can be done but it will change the texture of the sponge (think more carrot cake than victoria). I'm not sure if the quantities are like for like. Maybe one of my lovely readers can help?

Happy baking

Anonymous said...

Oooo that was a prompt reply.
Thank you!!

I shall investigate oil for butter substitution and will let you know what happens!

Happy baking!!


YourBrainMedia said...

This one looks healthy to the bite. I would love to add this on one of my all time favorite vegan desserts.

Lucy said...

This tart sounds just perfect! The peaches make me feel like it's already summer - will definitely have to give this a go :)

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Cakelaw said...

What a fabulous tart - just the kind of thing I like to eat.

Anonymous said...

Hey there!

So, I made a coconut sponge (actually just realised it was the same recipe as you have), and instead of using butter I decided to use canola oil - I know not as romantic as butter.
Anyway, I'm still experimenting with the ratio of oil v butter. In this one I used 3/4 the amount of oil I would have used if it were butter.
The sponge was very moist, nice and slightly dense and still crumbly coconut! Very nice indeed, although I am going to keep trying different ratios of oil and see how low I can go with the oil without ruining it!

This afternoon I'm going to try your caramel cake (for a dinner party tomorrow) with, wait for it, BUTTER!!! Yes, it's going to be all out creamy buttery calorific yummyness. Hopefully!

Yes happy joyful baking indeed.

Have a lovely day me dear.


Anonymous said...

I correct myself, I'm making your 'Buttery golden syrup cake'!! I have caramel on the brain....

olivia said...

great peach and almond tart... looks yummy

Melody Fury said...

This looks amazing! Would love to have a slice or 3.

Froggy said...

Hello Caked Crusader,

I discovered your blog some months ago, and I am now going with great joy through all your delicious posts. I noticed that in this one you ask yourself a question : when do you start calling almond sponge frangipane?
If you had not found the answer yet, I hope you won't mind me giving you the information, because I think you might find it interesting. Frangipane is not the same thing as almond sponge: it is in fact a crème d'amande where a measure of crème pâtissière has been added.

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi Froggy

Thanks for that - I've never heard that explanation before

Happy baking