I made this tart for a Come Dine With Me competition held amongst friends this summer. I won the pudding, but lost the plot with the rest of the cooking. Thank god there is always wine.
The tart consists of a shortbread pastry case, followed with a thin layer of frangipane, a layer of crème pâtissière, followed by fruit arranged in some form of pattern on the top. I used strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries, and dotted flaked almonds across the top, but I’m sure some more wintry fruits would work just as well.
250g plain flour
120g butter (unsalted)
100g golden caster sugar
a couple of drops of almond essence (optional)
100g ground almonds
60g butter (unsalted)
45g golden caster
4 egg yolks
125g caster sugar
500ml FULL FAT milk
40g butter (unsalted)
As you see fit
The first step is making the Crème Pâtissière as this needs plenty of time in the fridge.
Put the 4 egg yolks in a bowl with the caster sugar and whisk until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is more fluffy and pale. Next add the cornflour and whisk.
Cut open a vanilla pod using a sharp knife. Place the milk in a saucepan over medium heat until scalding. Pour half of this milk into the eggs whilst whisking continuously. Then pour the egg and milk mixture back into the milk still on medium heat. Keep whisking until the mixture starts to thicken. It should coat the back of the spoon without dripping by the time it is ready. This may take a while but be vigilant.
Remove the vanilla pod. Pour in a bowl and then it has cooled slightly, cling film and put in the fridge. Try to leave for a couple of hours so it gets a nice set.
Cut the butter, which should be chilled, into small cubes and rub into the flour with the tips of your fingers until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar, then add the egg and a couple of drops of almond essence. Bring the pastry together into a lump, you may need a few drops more of water
Wrap in cling film and leave to chill for 30 mins. Then grease a fluted tart tin, with a loose bottom (haha). Roll out the pasty to about 5mm thick and line the tin making sure to push the pastry right into the corners of the tin, and again leave to chill in the fringe.
Cream the butter and sugar together, then stir in the ground almonds. Add an egg and stir in to form an almost cake-mix like consistency.
Preheat the oven to 200*C. Remove the chilled tart case and spoon the frangipane onto the base. You might not need all of it, remember to leave room for the Crème Pâtissière. Bake for 30 minutes until the frangipane has hardened and the pastry is golden.
Wait for the tart to cool and spoon in the Crème Pâtissière. Arrange the fruit you have chosen as you like on the top. I would recommend chilling in the fridge for a couple of hours or even overnight before serving, but sometimes you are in a rush for tart.