Madeleine Pierard's Rhubarb Frangipane Tart with Vanilla Bean and Lemon Glaze
Updated: Jul 1
I've been spending lockdown trying to quell my grief by putting all my energy in to a food blog at www.diva-kitchen.com. It's no secret that I'm obsessed with food and cooking! I have quite a few recipes from my childhood on my blog, but the one that I'm most excited about is this tart. Rhubarb is one of my favourite fruits and has been since I was very tiny. Those ruby and green jewelled sticks of deliciousness with their unique tart flavour... I love it in all its iterations, but I’ve always wanted to make it into a frangipane tart!
Makes one 23cm tart (with some leftover pastry in case you want to add some pastry shapes on top)
You'll need: a 23 cm tart/flan dish with a removable bottom
2 cups/300g plain flour
3 Tbsp icing sugar
150g cold butter, chopped
¼ cup/30g ground almonds
a pinch of salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
½ cup/100g icing sugar
1⅓ /150g ground almonds
2 Tbsp plain four
1½ Tbsps brandy
400g rhubarb, chopped or in batons/shapes
50g icing sugar
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
2 Tbsps water (30 mL)
First, make the pastry. In a food processor, mix the butter, flour, icing sugar, ground almonds and salt until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Then, with the motor running, slowly pour in the egg and process until the dough comes together and forms a beautiful, soft ball. Add a little more flour if it doesn't. Wrap the pastry and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour. Preheat the oven to 180°C (I use fan). Grease the flan tin well. Knead and roll 2/3 of the pastry on a lightly floured board to about 3-4mm thickness and ease it in to the pan, lifting gently off the board with the rolling pin. Using your fingers, work the pastry in to the sides and just patch with your fingers and and trim the edges with a sharp knife. Line the pastry shell with baking paper with enough around the sides to lift it out, and fill with ceramic baking beads or dried chickpeas. Bake for 10 minutes, then lift out the beads/beans and paper, return the shell to the oven and bake another 10-12 minutes until lightly golden. If any gaps have emerged after this, patch them with some raw pastry. Cool the shell totally before adding the almond cream/frangipane.
To make the frangipane, mix the butter and sugar with an electric beater (though I admit I do this in the food processor too) until light and creamy. Beat in the egg, and then mix in the ground almonds and brandy. Spoon all the filling in to the baked and cooled pastry shell and refrigerate again for about 30 minutes. This helps when you're arranging the fruit on top, and to keep the design when you bake it.
Arrange the chopped rhubarb on top of the flan (if you want to achieve the effect that I've employed, you need to cut the rhubarb in to 120° rhombuses. I used a knife to make a mark of 120° at the base of the wooden chopping board as a guide, then trimmed the round sides of the pieces of rhubarb gently so they sat more easily and were uniform in height, with the straightest sides at the top. Then I arranged them in groups of three to form hexagons according to size and colour on a board while the frangipane tart was still in the fridge, and then arranged them starting with the largest hexagon in the centre and working outwards).
Bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes until the frangipane that is peeping through is golden. While it's baking, bring the ingredients of the glaze to the boil in a small pot, stirring, then leave to simmer gently for about 8-10 minutes until it's reduced to more of a syrup. When you've removed the pie from the oven, leave it to cool a little, then gently brush on the glaze. Enjoy!!!!
This is beautiful served warm with a vanilla bean icecream or clotted cream. I haven't yet tried it cold, but I'm sure it would be lovely with a cup of coffee for morning tea the next morning, too!