A wonderful dessert for after Sunday lunch – sweet shortcrust pastry filled with almond frangipane and topped with sharp apples and blueberries for a fruity burst. Served with an almond milk custard.
Last weekend we did a Sunday roast for lunch and I thought it was the perfect time to get cracking on my New Year’s resolution for this year – Pastry. Pastry is something I have always wanted to be able to bake as I genuinely don’t think there is anything better than a homemade apple pie, surrounded by pastry you’ve made. That said – pastry terrifies me! Even without the challenges of replacing butter with a dairy free substitute, it is hardly the easiest or most consistent thing to make.
I found this recipe a long time ago in You Magazine, and have often looked at it thinking about how much of an achievement it would be to make this with homemade pastry. Last weekend the time felt right to try – and I’m pleased to say it worked fantastically! The only addition I have made to the recipe is to add more blueberries and rather than just sprinkling them on top of the tart, add some in the middle too.
Frangipane is a sweet almond filling – a mix of butter, sugar, ground almonds, a little flour and eggs – that when baked becomes a light fluffy nutty cloud of goodness… it’s hard to describe something so tasty and perfect! To serve, I’ve made an almond milk custard. It would be fair to say I am a custard fiend and this custard hands down beats any ready made custard you can buy – dairy free or otherwise, so definitely give it a go.
As a whole, this dessert looks a lot more impressive and time consuming than it actually is. The pastry and frangipane filling are done in a food processor (no processor? Use a bowl and wooden spoon for the same effect), making slicing the apples at the end the trickiest bit – and hardly difficult by anyone’s standards. The only watch out is that the pastry is best chilled overnight (this helps a lot when rolling out the pastry and lining the tin) so a little preparation and organisation is needed the night before.
Makes 1 23cm tart, 8 portions. Takes 1 hour, plus chilling and baking time.
- This makes a generous amount of pastry – only about 2/3rds will be needed for the tart.
- 80g dairy free butter (I used Pure Sunflower)
- 45g Cooken (look around the lard/ pastry section – Cooken is a pastry butter that is dairy free!)
- 125g golden caster sugar
- 1 medium egg
- 250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 30g ground almonds
- 150g dairy free butter
- 150g golden caster sugar
- 150g ground almonds
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 3 eggs
- 1 large eating apple (I used a granny smith apple to provide some sharp contrast to the sweet filling)
- 150g blueberries
- Icing sugar for dusting
- 500ml unsweetened almond milk (you can of course use sweetened almond milk, but reduce the sugar by 10g)
- 1 heaped tsp vanilla paste or extract
- 1 heaped tsp cornflour
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 egg
- 50g caster sugar
Make the pastry (this can be done up to a few days in advance):
- Cream the butter, Cooken and sugar together in a food processor (If you haven’t got a food processor, use a wooden spoon to mix), then once mixed, add the egg.
- Once evenly mixed, add the flour and ground almonds and process until a ball of dough begins to form (Again – no food processor, do this with a wooden spoon). Don’t worry if not all the dough has gathered in the ball.
- Wrap the dough in clingfilm and chill for at least 2 hours, but ideally overnight. The dough can be kept in the fridge for a few days.
Make the tart:
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
- Lightly grease a 23cm loose bottomed tart tin (I used a small amount of dairy free butter and kitchen paper).
- Cut 2/3rds of the pastry (reserve the spare 1/3rd for another time), and then lightly flour the pastry, the work surface and a rolling pin.
- Roll the pastry out to a thin circle, just less than the thickness of a £1 coin. Line the tart tin, and fill any gaps or cracks with the offcuts of pastry.
- Cover the pastry with baking paper and fill the tart with baking beans. Bake for 20 minutes until the edges of the pastry have started to brown. Once baked, remove the paper and baking beans.
- Whilst the tart case is baking, make the frangipane filling – place the butter, sugar, ground almonds and flour in the food processor (again – wooden spoon if you don’t have a processor) and process until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, and keep processing until smooth and creamy.
- Peel, quater and thinly slice the apple.
- Pour 1/3rd of the frangipane into the tart case. Scatter over 1/3rd of the blueberries, then pour over the rest of the frangipane filling. Arrange the apple slices over the filling, and then scatter over the remaining blueberries.
- Bake for 45 – 50 minutes until golden brown, risen and firm.
- Serve warm, dusted with icing sugar.
Make the custard:
- Add the milk and vanilla paste to a medium sauce pan over a medium heat and warm until almost simmering, stirring frequently.
- Whilst the milk is heating, add the sugar to the eggs in a medium size bowl and whisk until lighter in colour and airy.
- Mix the cornflour and 1 tsp of almond milk to make a smooth paste.
- Once the milk has come to temperature, slowly pour the milk over the eggs whisking all the time. Pour the custard back into the saucepan, adding the cornflour mix.
- Put the pan back over a medium – low heat and continue to whisk until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Serve the custard with the warm tart.