Any dried or cooked fruit will work beautifully in this frangipane tart.
250ml apple juice
12 halved fresh dates, seeded
150g plum jam icing sugar, to dust
300ml thickened cream, whipped to serve
For the pastry
250g plain flour
70g unsalted butter, softened
pinch of sea salt
90g icing sugar, sifted
2 egg yolks
For the frangipane filling
125g unsalted butter, softened
125g icing sugar, sifted
125g almond meal
25g plain flour
1. To make the pastry, place the flour, butter, sea salt and icing sugar in a food processor and process for 20 seconds until fine breadcrumb consistency. Add the milk and egg yolks and process for 20-30 seconds into a dough.
2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured bench and knead gently for a few moments. Form into a ball, place in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
3. Lightly butter and flour a 24cm-diameter x 2.5cm round flan tin. Roll out pastry on a floured bench until about 3mm thick. Cut out a circle 5cm wider than tart case. Gently ease pastry into case, pushing the sides in gently. Allow to rest in fridge for 30 minutes.
4. Preheat oven to 180C. Cut off any excess pastry and prick the base a few times with a fork. Line tart case with baking paper, add raw rice and bake blind for 20-25 minutes. Remove rice and baking paper and return pastry case to oven and bake for 5-10 minutes, until base has dried out.
5. Combine the apple juice and brandy in a saucepan, bring to the boil, then add dates and simmer, uncovered, for 2 minutes. Drain dates and set aside. Drain and reserve the liquid, setting aside 25ml for frangipane, then reduce remaining liquid in pan over medium high heat until syrupy, about 6 minutes. Set aside to cool.
6. To make frangipane filling, use an electric mixer to beat the butter in a large bowl until light and creamy. Add the sugar and mix until well combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Gently stir in the almond meal, flour and 25ml reserved apple-brandy mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
7. Preheat oven to 180C. Spread the plum jam over the base of the tart shell, top with the drained dates and gently spoon enough of the filling over the jam and dates to cover. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Cool until just warm, dust with icing sugar.
8. Serve the tart with the whipped cream, drizzled with reduced apple-brandy mixture.
If you like this recipe, try Neil Perry's prune and armagnac tart.