Saturday, April 6, 2013

A-Z blogging challenge:
F is for Frangipane


I remember the first time I tasted frangipane (around 1988-89). My reaction was pretty straightforward: What is this heavenly mixture, and where can I get more? I was working at a local deli/bakery, and one of the owners looked at me as if I must have just ridden into town on the back of the proverbial turnip wagon. Seriously, you've never tasted this before? Now, he didn't actually call it frangipane, but he did identify it as a very common pastry filling, sometimes combined with fruit. (In this case, it was embedded in a puff pastry pretzel. Oh, sweet memories...)

Since then, I have eaten, made and experimented with frangipane, many times. A few variations/tweaks from epicurious.com over the years, and it's practically tattooed on my brain. I simply adore the very basic combination of eggs, butter, sugar and nuts (most commonly: almonds). Maybe a little vanilla or almond extract. That's it. Easy as can be, and flavorful.

1 cup blanched almonds
1/4 cup granulated sugar
5 Tbsp. butter
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla or almond extract

Grind almonds finely in food processor, pulsing to get fine, but not too fine. Add other ingredients and process to combine.

If using a pastry shell, have that prepared and chilled. I have had great luck just putting fruit and frangipane in ramekins and baking sans pastry--also, it's gluten-free that way, if that's important. (Again, the options are endless.)

When ready to bake the frangipane, preheat oven to 350 F. If using multiple small baking dishes, place them on a cookie sheet to make it easier to get them into and out of the oven. Bake 20-35 minutes, depending on baking dish (frangipane will bake faster in shallower dishes than deeper ones), until the top is golden and has puffed just slightly.

Let cool for at least 10 minutes. Store leftovers in refrigerator for up to a week.

Makes 2 generous servings or 4 smaller ones, or a dozen tart-size.




Summer berries with frangipane (top)
Fresh apricot frangipane tarts (bottom)

I consider it a sign--providential, coincidental, serendipitous, whatever you want to call it--that my very favorite flower in the world, plumeria:


...is also known as frangipani. Not exactly the same, but very close...



What's this A-Z business about? Check out my kick-off post. And stay tuned for the random joy and nonsense I concoct during the month of April!




16 comments:

  1. What a great alternative to pastry or crumb topping. I'll have to try it! Thanks for sharing!

    Grace,
    Donna
    www.fullmeasureofjoy.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love your blog title. I love my sweet tea, have it everyday! I followed you GFC. Blogging A to Z.
    A MOM'S POINT OF VIEW
    http://www.AMomsPointOfView.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love sweet tea too, though most people automatically assume I'm from the South because of the blog title. I was actually raised in Canada (where iced tea comes sweetened, too).

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  3. I knew the flower, but not the sweets. Sounds like something worth trying.

    Thanks for checking out my AtoZ.
    Rhonda @Laugh-Quotes.com
    AtoZ #42

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    Replies
    1. I almost guarantee you'll like it. Almost!

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  4. Oh Sher, how you tempt and try my with your foodisms. MMMMMMMmmmmmmmMMMMM. (*Channel What About Bob here.)I WOULD make this, but it would be soooooo much easier to just drive over and you could make it for me...or we could go in search of some in WW, OR you could just come here and we could go on a frangipane scavenger hunt in PDX!!!!! :)

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  5. This does sound like a great alternative. I think I better try this. Looks quite heavenly.

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  6. I feel like I just got off the turnip truck sometimes. The first time I'd ever seen a ramekin was on a recent trip to Dubai where the hotel offered delicious oatmeal or hummus in the little dishes. Thanks for the recipe!

    F is for the f-word

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's funny how we can be in our own little food worlds, and then a window opens, and some new idea pours through! Ha. Maybe it's just me who sees food revelations in such a mystical way...

      Thanks for coming by!

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  7. I don't think I've ever heard that title for them but I believe I have tried them. Now, I am very hungry. I'm going to have to wipe the drool off my keyboard.

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    Replies
    1. Usually they're just called a "fruit tart" or "almond pretzel" something really under-the-radar... now you can pull out your frangipane knowledge next time you're at the bakery!

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  8. F: Yum. That's all I gotta say. Yum.

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    Replies
    1. It travels well. That's all I gotta say. :)

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