Apple Tart with Almond Frangipane
The flavorful combination of crispy flaky and buttery crust with nutty and fragrant frangipane and juicy apples brushed with rich apricot jam make a perfect tart. This is a no ordinary tart; it has lots of character – it’s a classy, decadent tart. Frangipane is a pastry filling made with finely ground almonds or almond meal. It is sometimes referred to as almond cream.
For the shortcrust pastry:
- 150 grams (1 1/4 cups) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 113 grams (1/4 pound) unsalted butter, very cold and cut into thin slices
- 5 ml (1 teaspoon) granulated sugar
- A dash of salt
For the frangipane pastry cream:
- 143 grams (1 cup) shelled almonds
- 60 ml (1/4 cup) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 15 ml (1 tablespoon) unsalted butter
- Dash of vanilla
To assemble and bake:
- 4 large russet apples (about 2 pounds)
- 60 ml (2 tablespoons) granulated sugar
- 30 ml (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 237 ml (1 cup) apricot preserves
- 45 ml (3 tablespoons) Calvados, whiskey, or water
1. For the shortcrust pastry: Mix the flour, butter, sugar, and salt quickly with your fingertips until the butter is in pieces about the size of dried beans. Quickly stir in 30 ml (2 tablespoons) cold water into the mixture and gather up the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Press it into a flat dish shape. Refrigerate dough for 1 hour. Meanwhile, prepare the frangipane pastry cream.
2. For the frangipane pastry cream: Preheat oven to 180° C (350°F). Spread the almonds on a cookie sheet and roast for 7 or 8 minutes. Transfer the nuts to a food processor and add sugar, egg, butter, and vanilla. Process until a creamy paste forms.
3. To assemble and bake: Preheat the oven to 190° C (375° F). Line a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan with parchment or a silicone pad. Roll the dough out onto a lightly floured surface into a rectangle about 38 cm (15 inches) long by 25 cm (10 inches) wide, with rough edges. Roll the dough up onto your rolling pin and then unroll it directly onto the lined pan. Spread the frangipane on the dough, stopping about 4 cm (1 ½ inches) from the outer edge on all sides.
4. Peel the apples, remove the cores, and cut them into 1.3 cm (½ inch) thick slices. Arrange them attractively in a slightly overlapping pattern, like the tiles of a roof, on the pastry dough so that the apples cover the frangipane. Fold the edge of the dough back over the apples to make a 4 cm (1 ½ inch) border of dough. Increase the oven temperature to 200° C (400° F). Sprinkle the sugar over the apples, letting a little of the sugar fall onto the border to help crystallize the dough. Break the butter into pieces and scatter them over the tart. Bake for 1 hour. The dough should be nicely crystallized all over.
5. Remove the finished tart from the oven and cool on a rack until lukewarm. Dilute the apricot preserves with the Calvados or water and glaze the surface of the tart, spreading it carefully on the apples with the underside of a spoon. Let cool on a wire rack.