It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…..
All around the house….
And the Christmas tree is up….
Peach Frangipane Tartlets
I came up with that mouthful title, to be accurate. But they really are just peach tarts. And while they may look like they’re complicated to make, they are not. I’m being honest. In fact, let that be our secret. Let people think these are soo … hard to make, they’d think you’re a kitchen goddess!
If that’s what you aspire to be. And if misleading is alright with you. Kind of like what I did. Because we were celebrating an anniversary. And I didn’t want Sabo to think I didn’t care. And he was very impressed. And thought he had married a kitchen goddess. Now I’m feeling a little bit bad. Because it wasn’t all that hard.
I’m sure you know how to make sweet pastry crust (pâte sucrée) by now, don’t you? I had an easy recipe for it, right here. That recipe makes 14 miniature tartlets, less than 3 inches in diameter.
The frangipane (filling)
There are plenty of frangipane recipes out there, some calling for butter and sugar to be creamed first or the butter to be melted first. I’ve made all these versions before, but now I always use this recipe, from About.com, because it’s the easiest and the fastest, with similar result. No brainer there, right?
This recipe is enough for the 14 tartlets, with some leftover. That’s okay, just drop it by the spoonfuls on a cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 min. in the 375° F oven that you just baked your tarts in, and you’ll get yourself almond cookies. But if you want to halve the recipe, and know of a way to measure half an egg, go ahead. Knock yourself out!
½ cup ground almond meal
¼ cup granulated sugar
3 tbsp butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
In a food processor, combine all the ingredients and mix until a smooth, creamy paste is formed.
The peach rosette
This is the hardest part, kind of. At least that’s what you’ll tell people. I use about 5 peaches, with plenty of leftover pieces, because I was looking for areas with reddish skin to make my rosettes. You can certainly save them for other uses. Peach preserves or syrup, maybe?
Start with thinly sliced peaches. I’m pretty good with my knife, so I hand cut these. But you can use a mandolin, I suppose. You know there’s a pit in the middle of the peach, so when you reach it, you won’t be able to make round slices anymore. That’s okay, you want half-moon slices anyway, which means you’ll have to slice your beautiful rounds into halves.
Making the peach rosettes
When you have enough slices, start assembling your rosettes. Begin by rolling a small piece for the center of the rosette. Then add more slices, overlapping as you go. The easiest way to do this is by standing your rosette up on your cutting board. That’s why the half-moon slices are perfect. The straight edge will allow your rosette to stand straight up. See, it’s not that hard, right?
Alternately, you can make the rosettes by rolling the center of the rosette, press it into the frangipane filling, then build up your outer petals by adding more pieces around it. I found this method to be a bit messy, but it’s your call. Use what you think is the easiest method.
Putting it all together
1. Pre heat oven to 375° F.
1. Roll your chilled pâte sucrée. Cut into 3½ inch rounds (my tart molds are tiny) or adjust the size depending on your molds/pans. Line the molds with the pastry. Freeze while working on rosettes.
2. Once you have all your rosettes made, fill tarts with the frangipane filling, about 2/3 full.
3. Place a rosette on top of filling, pressing it slightly, and spreading apart the petals a little so it resembles more like a flower.
4. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until frangipane puffs up and crust is golden brown.
5. Once tarts are cool, you can brush the top with strawberry jam or dust with powdered sugar, or both. Jam, then sugar.
1. The peel left on the peach slices tends to burn, and becomes stringy, so it might be worthwhile to peel the peaches beforehand. Although you will lose the beautiful orange reddish coloring of it.
2. Out of 14 tarts, 11 came out easily out of the molds. 3 refused to come out. Removable bottom tart pans may be the answer to this.
3. The same 3 tarts that refused to come out also had their crust slightly undercooked while the peach rosettes on them were already starting to burn. Again, peeling could have helped. And probably baking the pastry crust first before filling may also help. In fact, that’s what I’ll do next time.
By the way, for the anniversary dinner, I was responsible for dessert. So, I made the tartlets and brought out the fancy tea things. Sabo was in charge of dinner, which meant he would buy food, since he doesn’t cook. And he always defers to the kids, so he bought pizza ’cause that was what the kids asked for. I’m not complaining, I love pizza. As long as there are olives on it. He remembered. He got olives.