April 25, 2011

Strawberry Frangipane Tartlets

I found some adorable organic strawberries at the market this past weekend. They were perfect in every way. 
As you can see, we spent a lot of quality time together. Until I got hungry.
Then I decided to whip up a batch of tartlets for our Sunday dinner. Having forgot to buy chocolate, I made some with frangipane. Frangipane is quite a funny word, I know, but it's probably my favorite pie/tart filling since I'm obsessed with almonds. 
Chewy, almond flavor, accented by tart-sweet strawberries in a flaky pastry crust. Perfect on a sunny Spring evening. 
Strawberry Frangipane Tartlets
For the pastry crust:
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup powdered sugar
pinch of salt
1/4 cup cold butter(I stick mine in the freezer while gathering the other ingredients), cubed
cold water by the teaspoon

Combine flour, sugar, salt, and butter in a food processor. Pulse until the pieces of butter are about the size of a pea. If it's not coming together add cold water by the teaspoon until it forms a loose dough(All of this can be done by hand...some of us don't have the luxury of a food processor ahem, like me). Pour out onto a clean counter and pull the dough together into a disk. Cover in plastic wrap and chill in the freezer for about 15 minutes.
Once the dough is chilled, divide it into 3 equal parts among your mini tart pans(mine are about 3 inches in diameter). Press the dough up the sides forming a thin even layer about a quarter inch thick(you can roll it if you want then place it in your pans). Put them back in the freezer until you've made your frangipane.  

For the Frangipane: by Rebecca Franklin
1/2 cup almond meal(I buy mine at Trader Joe's in the baking section)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
3 tablespoons butter, softened
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon flour

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until a smooth paste forms. 
Take your unbaked tart shells out of the freezer and divide the frangipane evenly among them(you may have some leftover, I just stick it in the freezer). Bake at 425 degrees for 15-18 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown. 
Allow to cool 10-15 minutes. 

Assemble the tartlets:
If you want to recreate the strawberry design I did, just slice 6 strawberries in half then cut each of those halves in half(ie. each strawberry will produce 4 slices). Lay 4 of the larger center slices down pointing outward then top with 4 of the smaller outer slices. Place one full strawberry on top and prepare to indulge. Feel free to serve with a dollop of fresh whipped cream or some vanilla ice cream on the side. 

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