Apple & Almond Frangipane Tarts
I must have made thousands of these in my early days as a chef, and no wonder. The buttery puff pastry is topped with a luscious almond cream and thinly sliced apple, then baked until crisp and caramelised. Served with a simple scoop of vanilla ice cream, it’s hard to imagine a more delicious dessert.
- 2 pink lady apples
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 x 375 g roll of Carême puff pastry, thawed in the fridge
- 15 g unsalted butter, melted (½ oz)
- 1 – 2 Tablespoons caster (superfine) sugar
For the Calvados frangipane
- 100 g unsalted butter, softened (3½ oz)
- 150 g caster sugar (5½ oz)
- 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
- 100 g almond meal (3½ oz)
- 30 g plain (all-purpose) flour (1 oz)
- 1 ½ tablespoons Calvados (apple brandy)
- vanilla ice cream, optional
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) and line a large baking tray with baking paper.
- For the frangipane, place the softened butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle attachment and beat until pale and fluffy. Beat in the egg and egg yolk, then vigorously stir in the almond meal, flour and Calvados until smooth. Set aside.
- Peel the apples, then cut them in half and carefully remove the core. Cut into very thin slices — about 2 mm (1/16 inch) thick if you can — and put in a bowl with the lemon juice and 500 ml (17 fl oz; 2 cups) cold water. Stir once, then drain the apple slices on a clean tea towel.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to create a larger rectangle. Using an 18 cm (7 inch) side plate or ring mould as a guide, cut two rounds from the pastry. Place the rounds on the prepared baking tray and prick all over with a fork to stop it puffing up too much. Any remaining pastry can be pressed back together, wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in the fridge for another use.
- Evenly spread 1 – 2 heaped tablespoons of frangipane on each pastry disc. Any leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
- Arrange the apple slices in a concentric circle on top of the frangipane, overlapping tightly to create a flower shape, and place two or three half-slices in the middle to finish. Brush the apple with melted butter and sprinkle with half the caster sugar.
- Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and sprinkle with the remaining sugar. Return to the oven and bake for a further 10 minutes, or until the pastry is puffed in the centre and the apple slices are pale golden.
- Serve warm or at room temperature with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
As seen in my fourth book More Please! — recipe by Manu Feildel, photography by Rob Palmer, published by Murdoch Books Australia.