A thick crumbling crust with soft, cool, and creamy almond filling in the center. A sprinkle of powdered sugar on top. In one bite, it’s all gone. You stare longingly at your plate, wishing for more. Don’t like almonds? Don’t despair; you wouldn’t even know it’s present in the cake.
And now you, too, can make this Belgian tart in your own kitchen. All the time. It is a common dessert in Belgium and in other parts of Europe, and is locally known as Frangipane. I was first introduced to this almond meal-based cake thanks to my grandfather’s recipe, as he was a pastry chef and chocolatier in Brussels.
This recipe isn’t extremely complicated and doesn’t require a lot of baking or prep time. You can also freeze the tart so it will keep for a long time.
Just be warned: this tart can be extremely addictive.
Making the Crust (Pâte Sablée) for the Frangipane
- Prep Time:10 minutes
- Cook Time:30 minutes
- Total Time:About 40 minutes
- 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup icing sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 9 tablespoon butter, cold, and cut into small cubes
- 1 egg yolk
Preheat oven to 375ºF.
Put the flour, icing sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse a few times to combine.
Add the cubes of cold butter into dry mixture and pulse until butter is cut into small pieces.
Add the 1 egg yolk to the mixture and pulse again until the mixture starts to become clumpy and more dough-like. Be careful not to overwork and over pulse the pastry.
Stop pulsing the dough when the pieces start sticking together, and resemble crumb size pieces (a little smaller than pea sized).
Butter 6 small individual individual tart pans (4 3/4 inch X 3/4 inch), or a 9-inch tart pan.
Place the dough into the individual tart pans or whole 9-inch tart pan and gently press the dough into the sides and bottom of the pan with your fingers.
Freeze the tart shell(s) for at least 30 minutes.
Preparing the Almond Filling and assembling the Frangipane
- Prep Time:5 minutes
- Cook Time:15 minutes
- Total Time:20 minutes
- 1 cup ground almond meal
- 1/2 cup granulated icing sugar
- 2 eggs
- 6 tablespoon butter, softened
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoon all purpose flour
Using a food processor, combine all of the ingredients until a smooth and creamy paste-like consistency has been formed.
Spread the almond filling in the chilled crust(s).
Place tart(s) in preheated oven, and bake for about 15 minutes, or until the tart is golden brown. Let cool, then enjoy plain or with powdered sugar on top.