Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Blueberry Frangipane Tartlets

Continuing with the fixation for blueberries, and tarts, Blueberry Frangipane tartlets are a treat combining both. Buttery, crumbly and light pastry crust encasing yummylicious almond frangipane studded with blueberries, these cuties are perfect evening tea material and breakfast material alike. oh, did i mention, brilliant midnight snack material too. ok, i'll stop, these babies are yum for pretty much any time of the day :)

The frangipane is an almond flavored filling for tarts and cakes that is very easy to put together. The star ingredients here are the chosen fruit and the gentle almond flavor and it takes pride in being versatile. i look forward to making variations with other nuts and fruits.

For the tart crust or the Pâte brisée:
- 125 g all purpose flour
- pinch of salt
-50 g butter chilled and cubed
-2 tablespoons powdered sugar
-1 egg whisked and divided
-1/2 tablespoon fresh cream (chilled)
- a bowl that has been kept in the refrigerator (for the mixing)

*Makes six-seven 3,5" tartlet shells
The key to making light, crumbly pâte is to keep the ingredients and the all things that come in contact with the ingredients (especially the butter) as cold as possible. So neurotic as it may seem, that means refrigerating the bowl in the freezer in between steps. Also, make sure not to over mix the ingredients or the dough - can result in a heavy dung-y tart. With that in mind, let's start.

-Sift together the powdered sugar, salt and flour in the dry bowl and keep aside.
-Add the cubed pieces of butter to the flour mix and incorporate it into the flour using your fingertips. If you are in a place as humid as Chennai, you may want to keep the bowl in the freezer in regular intervals for a couple of minutes in between steps.
-Loosely incorporate the butter till the mix looks like coarse sand grain.
-Make a well of sorts in the mix by pushing the flour to the sides of the bowl.
-Pour the egg into the well and beat it with a spoon or fork. Mix it into the flour little by little.
-Add the fresh cream and continue to incorporate it till the mix looks homogenous. Be careful not to overmix/overknead.
-Divide the dough into two balls, flatten gently into discs, cover in cling wrap and refrigerate for half an hour (or upto two days).
-Let the dough warm up a little before rolling it out/flattening it out.
-Once it has reached the stage where it can be rolled out/flattened, sprinkle flour on the work surface and roll out with the help of a rolling pin or flatten out the disc using your fingertips to fit the tartlet tins. Make sure there is enough to come up the sides of the tartlet tins as the pâte will shrink when blind baking by a few centimeters. So the pastry that you roll ought to be at least an inch bigger than the tins.
-Make sure the tart is of uniform thickness of 2 cm. Also, make sure to roll or flatten from the centre, outwards.
-If you were rolling, gently lift the pastry and place in the tartlet tins. Make sure to brush off excess flour before lining the pan.
-Gently press the dough into the bottom and sides of the tins. Cover with cling film.
-Refrigerate the tins again for another half hour.

-Twenty minutes into the above mentioned time, preheat the oven to 180 C.
-Take the tart shells out of the refrigerator, prick holes in the bottom of the patry with the tines of a fork, cover with aluminum foil, fill it uniformly with pie weights and blind bake at 170 C for twenty min or till golden in color. (Another indication will be the smell of freshly baked pastry filling up the kitchen)
-Fifteen minutes into the blind baking, remove the pans, brush with the egg wash and pop back into the oven. Rotate the sheet if necessary to ensure uniform baking. The egg wash will give the tarts a nice golden hue.

All the waiting gives us ample time to make the frangipane filling.

-100 g Blueberries (i used dried blueberries and plumped them up in blueberry jam)
-50 g almond meal
-30 g Butter
-1/8 cup ground sugar
-1 egg
-1/2 tablespoon flour
 -a pinch of salt
-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
-Castor sugar to dust (optional)

Pulse together the almond meal, sugar, flour and salt. Add the butter, egg and vanilla extract and combine till it becomes a smooth paste.

Once the tartlets have cooled after the blind baking, add the frangipane filling. Place the blueberries over the filling and pop back into the oven and bake for 25 minutes, or till the tops are golden and when you insert a toothpick, it comes relatively clean with very few crumbs. Place on rack to cool and dust the castor sugar over the tartlets. Store any remnants in the refrigerator.


  1. Wow...These look perfect and delicious...Nice detailed post...

  2. Looks absolutely perfect and tempting.. very nice presentation too.. love it :)

  3. They have come out awesome!


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