One of my most frequently made desserts in the past month has been these little apricot frangipane tarts. It seems whenever I have extra sweet pastry sitting in the fridge, our family agrees that we must make these tarts to use up the pastry. Even my six-year-old sister enjoys these tarts!
You may be wondering what frangipane is–and that question is rightly deserved. Little known among home cooks in the US, frangipane (or almond cream) is often used in European desserts like the English Bakewell tart and the French pithivier. It’s basically an almond cake, which puffs up some in the oven even though it doesn’t contain baking powder. It’s a little nutty tasting, and not overly sweet.
What really makes these tarts is the combination of almond and apricot. The fruity sweetness of the apricot jam and minced apricots in the frangipane accompany the mild, almond-flavored frangipane quite well. The crunch of toasted almonds and touch of water icing on top add the finishing touches. I encourage you to try it–it’s easier than you think!Print
Perfect for after-supper dessert or a teatime treat, apricot frangipane tarts are a delightful combination of nutty almonds and sweet apricots.
For the Pastry
- 6 six-inch tart pans, lined with sweet pastry and blind baked until light golden brown around the edges
For the Frangipane
- scant 1/2 cup caster sugar (90g)
- 6 1/4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened (90g)
- 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour (15g)
- 1 cup almond flour (90g)
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 tsp. almond extract
- 4 dried apricots, minced
For Assembling the Tarts
- 3/4 cup apricot jam
For the Decoration
- 1/2 cup apricot jam, warmed and sieved
- 1/4 tsp. butter
- 1/3 cup sliced almonds (60g)
- 1/2 cup icing sugar (60g)
- Few drops of cold water
Making the Frangipane
- Cream the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer.
- Add the eggs one at a time, adding one tablespoon of all-purpose flour with each one to prevent the mixture from curdling.
- Blend in the almond flour and almond extract until thoroughly combined, then fold in the minced dried apricots.
Assembling the Tarts
- Preheat the oven to 375 F. Put a dark cookie sheet in to preheat.
- Spread an even layer of apricot jam at the bottom of each tart.
- Cover the jam with a layer of frangipane, making sure to spread it all the way to the edge. Otherwise, the jam will bubble up in the oven.
Baking the Tarts
- Arrange the tarts on the cookie sheet and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the frangipane is golden brown and doesn’t wobble when shaken.
- Let the tarts cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan.
- While the tarts are still warm, brush their tops with the warmed and sieved apricot jam.
Decorating the Tarts
- In a small frying pan, melt 1/4 tsp. of butter over medium heat. Dump in the sliced almonds and stir continuously until fragrant and evenly toasted. Immediately pour the almonds into a bowl to cool, then discard any burnt pieces.
- Sift the icing sugar into a small bowl and mix with a few drops of cold water until a thick icing is formed. Spoon into a sandwich bag and cut off the corner to form a piping bag.
- Once the tarts have cooled, drizzle the tarts with the icing and sprinkle with the sliced almonds. Let the icing set, then serve.
The frangipane can keep in the fridge for a few days. Before you need it, let it warm up on the counter, stirring occasionally until it’s spreadable.