To me, food is like a song- when it’s taken in it brings back certain memories. This tart reminds me of being a kid and watching my dad in the kitchen and huge family gatherings. Because the only time he made this tart was for a party. It was a special occasion or a special request tart. So this year for NYE I decided to make it for my family and I think it made them reminisce about my dad and the memories they shared with him.
The first time I made this tart was a little over 5 years ago. The tart is made of a buttery and flakey crust with a frangipane center topped with a creamy custard and fresh fruit. Growing up this is one of my favorite things that my dad made and with him gone I wanted to make sure that his “baking legacy” lived on.
I know some you are looking at the recipe and thinking “Holy Majoly! There’s no way that I can make this!” Don’t be afraid. I know that the recipe looks intimidating, but trust me it’s easier than it looks. I’ve made this tart a total of 2 times and not to toot my own horn, but I nailed it both times! So try it- you’ll be surprised with what you can do.
Pate Sucree (crust)
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sugar
4 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup butter
6 egg yolks
8 Tbs. sugar
5 Tbs. flour
2 cups milk
1 vanilla bean
pinch of salt
6 Tbs. butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg yolk plus 1 egg
1 Tbs. Calvados (optional)
2/3 cup almond meal
2 Tbs. flour
assorted fresh fruit- I used strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and mandarin oranges.
Make the crust:
Sift the flour onto a marble slab or board and make a large weak in the center. Put the salt, sugar, egg yolks and vanilla extract in the well and mix together with your fingertips until the sugar dissolves. Cut the butter into, add it to the well and quickly work it with the other ingredients using your fingertips until party mixed. Gradually work in the flour pulling the dough into large crumbs. With a pastry cutter or dough scraper mix the dough in a cutting motion. When the dough is smooth, work it on a lightly floured surface kneading it with the palm of your hands until it is pliable and peels away easily in one piece.
Form the dough into a disc, wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
Make the Creme Patisserie:
Beat the egg yolks with the sugar util thick and light. Site in the flour and add enough milk to make a smooth paste. Scald the remaining milk with the salt. Add the vanilla to the hot milk, cover and infuse for 15 minutes. Remove the bean and reheat the milk to boiling.
Whisk the boiling milk into the egg mixture and return to the pan and which over low heat until boiling. (Be sure to the pastry cream is smooth before letting it boil. If lumps form as it thickens, take the pan from the meat and beat until smooth.) Cook the cream gently, whacking constantly, for 2 minutes and the flour is completely cooked. Remove from heat and using a sieve transfer to a bowl. Rub a piece of butter over the surface to prevent a skin from forming and place in the fridge.
*When pouring the milk into the eggs, make sure to pour very slowly so you do not scramble the eggs. Carefully pour the eggs into the mixer while the mixer is on low. Making sure that the milk pours down the inside walls of the bowl into the eggs.
Prepare the Frangipane:
Cream the butter and gradually beat in the sugar, continue beating until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and then the yolk. Add the Calvados (if using) and then stir in the almond meal and the flour. The Frangipane can be made up to 4 hours ahead and kept in the fridge.
Assemble the tart:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Butter the tart pan and roll the dough to about 3/16 of an inch think. Press the dough into the tart pan. Chill in the fridge until firm- about 15 minutes.
Spread the frangipane in the bottom of the chilled pastry crust. Bake the tart in the bottom half of the oven for 10-15 minutes. Lower the oven heat to 350 degrees and cook for another 10 minutes or until the crust is brown and the frangipane is set. Remove from oven and cool completely.
Once the pie has cooled spread the creme patisserie on top of the pie and decorate with the fresh fruit.