Frangipane would have to be one of my most favourite sweet treats; the first time I tried it was while I was studying at Uni and working part-time in an ‘authentic’ sourdough bakery (I say ‘authentic’ cause it still wasn’t proper sourdough). However, their croissants were delectable and the almond ones were my favourite. I loved getting the open shift, where I would have to unload all of the trays of bread and pastries, delivered from the factory, onto the shelves in the cafe. Sometimes the almond croissants would have so much frangipane on them that it would break away from the edges and just be laying around on the trays…..good free breakfast for a uni student. Needless to say I was a little curvy after a few months in that job!
This tart came about as a result of some nectarines going too soft in the fridge; leftover from my habit of having to have stone fruit around the house at Christmas time, thanks Mum. Also, found a huge rosemary bush down the road; I’m sure it needed a trim. And….let’s face it, I’ve usually got some gin lying round.
1 1/2 cups plain flour
150g cold butter, cubed
2 tbs pure icing sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tbs cold water
200 g butter, softened
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups almond meal
1tbs fresh rosemary, finely chopped, plus extra to decorate
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 cup gin
1/2 cup plain flour
2-3 nectarines, halved, stone taken out, thinly sliced
1/4 cup plum jam
Greek yoghurt, to serve
For the pastry, sift the flour and icing sugar into a large bowl, add the butter and use fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until mixture resembles sand. Add the egg yolk and the water. Mix with a spoon until the dough comes together. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until just smooth, about 1min. Wrap in cling wrap and rest in the fridge for an hour.
Turn the pastry onto a lightly floured surface. Use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll out to a 3mm-thick disc. Grease and line the base of a round, fluted tart tin, with removable base. Line with the pastry, trim most of the excess but leave about 1/2cm of overhang to allow for shrinkage. Prick the base with a fork. Place in freezer for 30 minutes to rest.
Preheat oven to 200°C. Line the pastry case with non-stick baking paper. Fill with pastry weights or rice. Bake for 12 minutes. Remove paper and pastry weights or rice. Cook for a further 7 minutes or until golden.
Reduce oven temperature to 180°C. With an electric beater, beat the caster sugar, brown sugar, butter, vanilla essence, rosemary and almond meal in a bowl until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add 2 tablespoons of the gin. Add the flour and beat until just combined.
Spoon almond mixture into pastry case and smooth the surface. Arrange nectarine on top, overlapping in a circular pattern. Bake for 45-60 minutes or until golden and firm to the touch. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool slightly.
Combine the jam and remaining gin in a small saucepan. Cook, stirring, on medium until combined and thickened slightly, about 5 mins. Brush the tart with the jam mixture. Sprinkle with extra rosemary. Serve with greek yoghurt.