I can’t say no to blackcurrants; whatever they are in I will like it. They have such a distinctive flavour and when I found some at the market I had to set about making a blackcurrant frangipane tart. This tart is a marriage of two of my favourite things: blackcurrants and sweet almond frangipane.
The best thing about this tart comes from using raw blackcurrants. As they cook in the frangipane filling they burst and become sweet and sticky. The blackcurrants retain their sharp berry flavour but taint the tart with splashes of deep purple impromptu jam. With autumn just around the corner I can’t think of anything else I would rather spoon into my face.
I always put a large piece of greaseproof paper into a tart for blind baking. This makes it easier to get the baking beans out. I gather the four corners of the paper together and remove all the beans at once. I usually tip them onto a baking tray to allow them to cool quickly without rolling away. See my recipe notes for alternatives if you don’t have baking beans.
If you want a neat looking tart you can trim the pastry edges. You can cut them off before you blind bake the tart case but I find I have too much shrinkage and end up with a very short sided pastry case! The alternative is to slice the edges off after the tart is baked. As I didn’t have much excess pastry I didn’t trim it this time and I really like the jagged edges.
Blackcurrants work really well in this tart because of their sharpness but other less sweet fruits like redcurrants or gooseberries would work too.
I have seen recipes which use other nuts instead of almonds for the frangipane and I’d like to give that a try. If you’re not keen on an almond filling you could try a custard based filling like the one I used for my Heritage Cherry Tart.
Blackcurrant Frangipane Tart
- 20cm loose bottomed tart tin
For the pastry
- 120 g plain flour
- 60 g unsalted butter cold
- 2 tbsp cold water
- Pinch caster sugar
For the filling
- 75 g butter softened
- 150 g caster sugar
- 150 g ground almonds
- 2 eggs beaten
- 225 g blackcurrants washed, stalks and flowers removed
- To make the pastry, mix together the butter and flour to make a breadcrumb texture. You can do this by hand with a knife and your fingers, or use a mixer.
- Slowly add the water, you may not need all of it, mixing the butter, flour and water together until you have a dough.
- Wrap the pastry in cling film and chill for 30 minutes.
- Remove the pastry from the fridge. Dust a little flour over your worktop and a rolling pin. Roll the pastry out so that it is just larger than the tin, allowing enough to go up the sides.
- Lay the pastry into the tin and push it gently into the base and sides. Prick the base all over with a fork then put back into the fridge for another 30 minutes.
- While waiting for the pastry, make the frangipane filling.
- Beat the sugar, butter, almonds and eggs to make a paste. Add most of the blackcurrants to the almond mix and stir them in. Cover and chill the mix in the fridge for 20 minutes.
- Preheat an oven to 190C.
- Remove the pastry case from the fridge and line it with greaseproof paper. Fill the tin with baking beans (see below) and put in the oven to blind bake for 15 minutes.
- Take the tart case out of the oven and carefully remove the baking beans and greaseproof paper.
- Spread the almond mixture into the tart case and put the tart back in the oven for 25 minutes.
- Leave to cool slightly before removing from the tin. Scatter the remaining blackcurrants over the top of the tart. This tart is delicious served warm and it's also good cold.
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