Recipe of the Week: Strawberry Frangipane Crostata
This yummy dessert is a favorite one among my grandchildren, and I love making it for them because it is so easy to prepare. What are you waiting for? Spread a little love tonight with this tart and you will make a dessert lover out of anyone. You can prepare and bake your tart shell ahead of time or even the day before or you can buy a premade pie shell. For the fruit filling, you can choose whatever is in season or what looks good at the market – apples, pears, peaches, plums or even mango – and pair them with the matching jam. Whatever combination you decide, it will be a delicious and colorful addition to any meal. Serves eight. (Chef tip: When making the dough, do not overwork it or it will become tough.)
2 cups strawberries, washed, hulled and halved
1/2 cup seedless strawberry jam, warmed
For the pastry:
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 pound very cold unsalted butter, diced
1 large egg yolk
2 tablespoons ice water
For the frangipane:
1 cup toasted almonds
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
For the pastry, place the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter and pulse 12 to 15 times, or until the butter is the size of peas. With the motor running, add the ice water and egg yolk all at once through the feed tube. Keep hitting the pulse button to combine, stop the machine just before the dough becomes a solid mass.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured board and form into a disk. Wrap with plastic and refrigerate for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350F. Flour a rolling pin and roll the pastry into an 11-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Transfer it to a tart pan and press into the pan and mark dough with a fork. Cover it with foil or parchment paper and top with pie weights. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the pie weights and bake for five more minutes. Remove from the oven.
For the frangipane, in a food processor grind almonds with 1/4 cup granulated sugar until finely ground. Add flour and mix. In a separate bowl or mixer, cream together butter and remaining 1/4 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks one at a time, until combined. Add almond paste and combine. Spread frangipane, filling evenly in par-baked tart shell.
Warm the strawberry jam and toss with fresh berries. Artfully arrange strawberry halves over frangipane.
Bake the crostata for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the frangipane is set. Allow to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature with a drizzle of any remaining strawberry jam.