Pistachio Frangipane Tart with White Chocolate Creme Anglaise

The pistachio frangipane tart is one of a number of different types in this field. The white chocolate crème anglaise adds much needed liquid to what would be a dry tart as well as to the flavour and provides additional sweetness. It was Monica Galetti’s challenge in series 9, first episode and proved to be tricky. Only 25 minutes was allowed.

The crème anglaise is generally established as a thin custard sauce and the recipe elsewhere would make an appropriate amount for this dish. The white chocolate version is given below because it is slightly different to the typical type.

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Equipment:

Ingredients:

For the sweet pastry:

  • 250 g plain or all-purpose flour which is sifted
  • 125 g unsalted butterdiced
  • 88 g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 25g of ground almonds
  • 12 tablespoon milk

For the pistachio frangipane filling:

  • 125 g unsalted buttersoftened and cubed
  • 125 g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 tablespoons plain flour
  • 150g ground almonds
  • 125 g pistachios, whole when shelled
  • 5 tablespoons raspberry jam
  • Dress the plate around the tart with a few whole fresh raspberries. 

Preparation:

  1. To make the sweet pastry, place the butter and sugar in a mixer and cream together. Mix in the egg, then slowly add the flour and ground almonds, mixing slowly until it comes together into a thick crumb but do not over mix.
  2. Tip out onto a work surface and lightly bring together into a dough with your hands. Wrap the pastry in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for 1 hour.

To make the filling:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced.
  2. Grind the pistachio kernels in an electric blender or a grinder to make a powder. The nuts cannot be blitzed for too long otherwise the oils are released. These oils will split the mix otherwise. Only a couple of seconds is needed for this job to generate a flour.
  3. Using an electric mixer or wooden spoon, beat the butter, sugar and vanilla until pale and creamy in a large mixing bowl. Using the hand mixing actually helps reduce the risk of splitting later on.
  4. Add the egg. Beat until combined. Sift the flour over the butter mixture. Add the ground pistachio. Use a wooden spoon and keep beating in to combine.

To make the sweet pastry tart:

  1. Roll out the dough mixture to create a thin layer. Overlay the tart case or cases with the dough and mould into the base and rim.
  2. Fill the tart base with some jam and perhaps add a few cut cherries or raspberries to add some extra fruit wow!
  3. Pipe the frangipane mix onto the surface of the tart but within the boundaries of the tart case.
  4. Cook in the oven for 15  to 18 minutes at 180°C or until it looks like it has baked through.

The White Chocolate Creme Anglaise

Ingredients:

  • 250ml heavy (double) cream
  • 100ml of full-fat milk to help with thinning the sauce if required
  • 4 ounces White Chocolate cut into small pieces
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 10ml or 1 tablespoon of pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp. white sugar

Preparation:

  1. To a small, heavy bottomed saucepan (preferably stainless steel), add the cream and milk. Heat gently until bubbles form at the edges of the cream which is effectively being scalded.
  2. While this cream is heating, whisk together egg yolks, vanilla extract and sugar until smooth.
  3. Slowly pour about a ½ cup (2-3 oz.) of this hot cream mixture into the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly. The mixture should now be a very pale yellow colour if that.  The milk to egg ratio is very important here to avoid splitting.
  4. Gradually add the egg yolk mixture back into the remaining milk mixture, whisking constantly. Add the white chocolate here so that it just melts and does not form lumps.
  5. Continue to simmer, stirring constantly, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. DO NOT ALLOW TO BOIL as it will scramble the mixture.  It should be thick enough to be poured into a jug and ready for serving. It can of course be poured onto the tart and the whole tart dressed with a few raspberries.
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