Frozen Berry and Frangipane Tart

I’ve described why I like using frozen fruit in my Lemon & Frozen Berry Cake recipe. Although I have a Cherry Frangipane Tart, tis not the season for fresh berries so I’ve revamped that recipe.

Here, a layer of defrosted frozen berries hides under the cake-like frangipane filling, with a suggested garnish of berries to show what goodies are underneath.

Serves: 12-16 depending on portion size

Ingredients
For the sweet shortcrust pastry:

  • 200g gluten-free plain flour, plus additional for rolling
  • 1/2 unwaxed lemon: finely grated zest only (save juice for filling)
  • 75g icing sugar
  • 25g ground almonds
  • 90g cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 large egg, beaten (65-70g when weighed in its shell)
  • Vegetable oil or cold butter to grease tin

For the filling and garnish:

  • 400g frozen fruit: your choice of single berry or mixed (I’ve used a strawberry, blackberry, redcurrant, and blackcurrant mixture); drained in a sieve over a bowl overnight
  • 150g unsalted butter, cubed and softened
  • 150g white or golden caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs (62-68g each when weighed in their shells), beaten
  • 1/2 unwaxed lemon: juice only (see Pastry Ingredients)
  • 100g gluten-free plain flour
  • 100g ground almonds
  • Ground spice to match your chosen fruit (optional), anything from 1/4 tsp to 1/2 tsp: cinnamon, nutmeg/mace, allspice, ginger; or 1/8 tsp if using cardamom or cloves
  • Icing sugar, to garnish (optional)

Kit

  • A fine citrus zester
  • A citrus juicer
  • 2 large mixing bowls, plus 2 small bowls (for beaten eggs and used baking beans)
  • Clingfilm
  • A round, loose-based pie/tart tin: 9-10″ (23-25cm) diameter and 2″ (5cm) deep
  • Baking/parchment paper
  • A rolling pin
  • Baking beans or beads for blind-baking
  • A pastry brush
  • A chopping board and sharp knife
  • An electric mixer (hand-held or stand)
  • Kitchen paper
  • A spatula
  • 2 sieves
  • A cooling rack

Steps
Making the pastry (see Pastry footnote):

  1. Mix the flour, lemon zest, icing sugar, and ground almonds in a large bowl. Add the cold butter and rub in with your fingers until you have a consistency like fine breadcrumbs.
  2. Add 1/4 of the beaten egg, and mix manually just until fully combined. Pull it together into a ball – if it seems too terribly crumbly, add a drop or two more of the egg just until the ball holds together. Flatten it into a thick disc and wrap in clingfilm. Chill in the fridge for an hour, or overnight (see Overnight Prep footnote).
  3. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 190 C (170 C fan-assisted). Lightly grease your tin and line with paper.
  4. Lightly flour a work surface and a rolling pin. Roll out the pastry approximately the thickness of a pound coin, to fit the tin so the pastry goes all the way up the sides. If you’re using a fluted tin, ensure the pastry is pushed into each nook and cranny through the paper. Lightly prick it all over with a fork.
  5. Cover the pastry case with baking paper, and pour in baking beads/beans. Blind-bake for 8 minutes, then remove from the oven. Tip out the beads/beans into a small bowl and discard the covering paper. Return the tin to the oven, and bake for 6-7 more minutes until the pastry’s lightly browned.
  6. Remove the tin from the oven, and brush the pastry all over with the rest of the beaten egg to seal it for the filling. Leave on a cooling rack.
  7. Turn the oven down to 180 C (160 C fan-assisted).

Making the filling and garnish:

  1. Pick out the nicest-shaped fruit from the sieve for garnish and lay on kitchen paper; squish all remaining fruit in the sieve to ensure it’s fully drained and there are no pieces larger than bite-sized.
  2. Whisk the butter and sugar at medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add the beaten eggs a bit at a time, whisking well all the time; then add the lemon juice and whisk at medium-high speed for 4 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl a few times. Sift in the flour, ground almonds, and spice(s) if using, and fold together gently until fully combined.
  3. Smooth the squished fruit evenly over the bottom of the baked pastry case. Splodge the frangipane over and smooth it.
  4. Bake for 35-40 minutes, turning the tin halfway through for even baking. When the centre springs back quickly from a light finger touch, remove from the oven and leave to cool on a cooling rack. (You can turn it out after 20 minutes to help it cool faster.)
  5. When the tart is fully cooled (at least an hour), pat dry the reserved garnish fruit and place on top. You can dust with icing sugar as well before serving.

Pastry Notes
You don’t want the dough to be too damp, even though wetter pastry is easier to handle – it can be really tough in the baked tart, and it can also shrink out of shape when baked. Err on the side of just a teeny bit too crumbly – you’ll work it together when you roll it out, and you can always patch up in the tin.

It takes MUCH less egg than you think it will – so start with only 1/4 of a large beaten egg.

Overnight Prep Notes
Leave the frozen fruit to drain in a sieve over a bowl overnight on the counter. Once the pastry is made and wrapped in clingfilm, also put clingfilm over the bowl with the remaining beaten egg and put both in the fridge.

You’ll want to let the pastry rest at room temperature for about 10 minutes before trying to roll it out the next day. (If it’s still fridge-cold, it’ll just break up as you try to roll it.)

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