speciale della torte della prugna
I have created this blog purely to record grub I’ve made that I thought was pretty tasty, so I can bask in my amateurish cooking and share recipes that look delish! I BEGIN with a delicious frangipane tart recipe from Jamie Oliver’s Italian book which says it serves 8 people, but it fed 15 hungry students just fine.
15 whole figs, washed (I used 4 plums and cut them into quarters which was plenty)
30g/1oz caster sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves picked
zest of 1 orange
for the shortcrust pastry:
100g icing sugar
a small pinch of salt
255g plain flour
optional: 1 vanilla pod, scored lengthways and seeds removed (I just bought vanilla extract with seeds from my local supermarket and used about a teaspoon)
zest of a lemon
2 large egg yolks, preferably organic
2 tablespoons cold milk or water
for the frangipane:
285g/10oz blanched whole almonds
55g/2oz plain flour
255g/9oz unsalted butter
255g/9oz caster sugar
2 large eggs, preferably organic, lightly beaten
1 vanilla pod, scored lengthways and seeds removed (again I used the vanilla extract, about a teaspoon)
1 tablespoon grappa (grappa isn’t the easiest liquer to get hold off but I had some brandy and this went very nicely with the plums!)
First you will need to grease a loose-bottomed 28cm/11 inch tart tin with a little of your butter.
To make your pastry, cream together the butter, icing sugar and salt and rub in the flour, vanilla seeds, lemon zest and egg yolks - you can do all this by hand or in a food processor. When the mixture looks like coarse breadcrumbs, add the cold milk or water. Pat and gently work the mixture together until you have a ball of dough, then flour it lightly. Don’t work the pastry too much, otherwise it will become elastic and chewy, not flaky and short as you want it to be. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and place in the fridge for at least an hour. Remove it from the fridge, roll it out and line your tart tin. Place in the freezer for an hour.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4 and bake the pastry case for around 12 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and turn the heat down to 170°C/325°F/gas 3.
To make the frangipane, blitz 255g/9oz of the whole almonds in a food processor until you have a fine powder and transfer this to a bowl with the flour. Now blitz the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add this to the almonds with the lightly beaten eggs, the vanilla seeds and the grappa and fold in until completely mixed and smooth. Place in the fridge for at least half an hour to firm up. Remove the stems from the figs, score each one on the top in the shape of a cross, then using your thumb push up from the base to open them out.
Spoon the chilled frangipane mixture into the pastry case, then lightly push the figs into the frangipane with the scored side up. Heat the sugar with the water and drizzle this syrup over the figs. Roughly chop the remaining almonds and sprinkle over the top with the thyme leaves and orange zest.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes, or until the frangipane mixture has become firm and golden on the outside but is still soft in the middle. Allow to cool for about 30 to 40 minutes. Lovely served with a dollop of mascarpone or crème fraîche.
super saporito! (my Italian dictionary says that means ‘tasty’)