Valentine’s Day at my house is not about expense gifts, but rather a romantic comfortable evening at home. While I haven’t decided on my dinner menu, I have decided on my dessert, Raspberry Frangipane Tartlets. A few weeks ago I noticed some cute little fruit tarts at my local bakery. I immediately thought they would make the perfect Valentine’s Day dessert. My second thought was I should make them myself. I do like to bake, however, beyond cookies I can get intimidated especially when it comes to making a pie or tart crust. But Valentine’s Day is about showing some love and I like that love to be homemade if possible. I was determined to master the art of making raspberry tartlets for my honey for Valentine’s Day!
My first try was a free form tart with an almond pastry cream, the result was rather soggy. I then rediscovered my mini tart pans and pulled out my most trusted baking reference cookbook, “Baking” by Dorie Greenspan. Her sweet dough crust was perfect for a tart crust novice like me (and it is so delicious, it’s like a shortbread cookie). I was apprehensive to use the same pastry cream from my first try so I used a frangipane recipe from another trusted cookbook, I was referred to from that local bakery, “Butter, Sugar, Flour, Eggs” by Gale Gand, Rick Tramonto and Julia Moskin. I was not familiar with a frangipane, it is an almond filling which bakes up like a custard. The second raspberry tartlet try is a keeper! Valentine’s Day dessert, Raspberry Frangipane Tartlets.
- Sweet Tart Dough:
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
- 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 stick plus 1 tablespoon 9 tablespoons very cold or frozen unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 extra large egg yolk
- Frangipane and Tart Filling:
- 8 ounces raw skinless almonds
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 lb. 2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 3 extra large eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 tablespoon unbleached flour
- 2 1/2 cups raspberries
- Confectioners' sugar for dusting
Sweet Tart Dough
Put flour, sugar and salt into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Pulse a few time to combine.
Scatter the butter over the flour mixture and pulse until the mixture is coarse with oatmeal and pea like pieces.
Add the egg yolk, pulse to combine. When the egg yolk is mixed in, pulse for 10 second increments until the dough starts to form clumps and curds. Just before you reach this stage the machine sound will change, this is when you stop. Dump the dough onto a work surface and lightly knead to incorporate all the dry ingredients.
Cut the dough into 6 equal pieces.
Roll out one piece at a time to 5-6 inches in diameter. Line each individual tartlet pan with the dough, pressing the dough evenly over the bottom and sides. Freeze the pans for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer, before baking.
Frangipane and Tart Filling:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
Put the almonds and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse until sandy.
Scatter the butter pieces over the almond mixture and process until combined. Add the eggs and process until smooth, texture will be slightly grainy because of the almonds.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the flour, vanilla and almond extracts, process until smooth. This is the frangipane.
Divide the frangipane into the unbaked chilled tartlet shells. Smooth the tops. Divide the raspberries on top of the frangipane in a single layer.
Arrange the tartlets on a baking sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the frangipane is golden brown and puffy and the berries have sunk in and cooked. Let cool and dust with confectioners' sugar before serving.
Happy Valentine’s Day