on my plate: Peach and Orange Frangipane Tarts

SINCE going to an interview for the BBC’s Young Baking Talent of the Year I have become slightly obsessed with baking. Not that it wasn’t of interest to me before, or that I didn’t actively bake, but as soon as I had to articulate why I was passionate about this area of cooking I realised quite how great it can be.

What fascinates me about baking is how on the surface it can seem so simple but that in fact – without a respect for quantities and a knowledge of how certain ingredients interact with one another – you can be caught out. A lack of skill can’t be masked through a multitude of flavouring, sauces or side dishes, making it much harder to disguise any failings.

But, that is also precisely why I used to be apprehensive of really going for it in the baking department. I very rarely attempted to make my own pastry. And baked bread even less frequently than that. Now though, having recently discovered some brilliantly easy recipes, that with a small amount of effort yielded some pretty impressive results, I have decided that it is time to stop being scared.

Baking can be accessible to all. I’m by no means a ‘perfect’ baker (see Hot Cross Buns) but through my willingness to learn techniques and develop ideas that are engaging and inspiring I am quickly realising that you can easily be creative. Baking doesn’t need to be complicated or labour intensive. And it’s fun.

My love for Niki Segnit’s THE flavour THESAURUS has also been inspiring me. A wonderful tool with regards to any aspect of playful cooking, it has proven to be invaluable in aiding experimentation with flavours. This doesn’t means always conjuring up the wildly bizarre, but simply encouraging a considered approach with regards to which ingredients may enhance or compliment each other.

Hence the peach and orange combination here. The orange – according to Segnit – bringing out the flavours of the peach. And both being perfect partners to the almonds within the frangipane.

I chose to roll the pastry quite thin so that it resulted in a light, slightly crumbly, dainty tart. However you could choose to roll it slightly thicker, produce less tarts, and have a more generous filling. I will warn you though, they are incredibly moreish. And so I’d opt for the ‘smaller’ versions – if you’re worried about any potential post-pastry-gobbling guilt – for there’s no way you’re going stop at eating just one…

 

Peach and Orange Frangipane Tarts

(makes 22 8cm diameter tarts)

 

Pastry:

250g ‘00’ flour

40g icing sugar

125g cold butter, cut into small cubes

1 large egg, beaten

1 orange, zest only

splash of milk

 

Frangipane:

100g butter

100g caster sugar

120g ground almonds

1 egg, beaten

1 tsp almond essence

 

5 peaches, cut into slices (approx 16 from each peach)

salt (optional)

caster sugar, for sprinkling

chopped hazelnuts or almonds, for sprinkling

 

–       Sift together flour and sugar in large bowl.

–       Rub in butter until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

–       Add egg, orange zest and milk and bring it all together into a ball. Dust with flour, wrap in clingfilm, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

–       Meanwhile, cream butter and sugar together for frangipane. Add almonds, followed by egg and almond essence. Mix until smooth.

–       Pre-heat oven to 180C.

–       Roll out pastry to approx 0.25 cm thick. Cut out to fit chosen cupcake tray.

–       Lightly butter tray. Sprinkle sparingly with salt if using.

–       Put 1 tsp of frangipane mix in centre of each tart. Arrange 4 peach slices on top in fan shape.

–       Sprinkle peaches with a little sugar and some chopped nuts.

–       Bake in oven for 20 minutes, until lightly golden.

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Comments
2 Responses to “on my plate: Peach and Orange Frangipane Tarts”
  1. realfunfood says:

    Those look so cute!!

  2. Karen says:

    The tarts are just beautiful little jewels and must be wonderful.

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