The recipe for the filling calls for equal weights of butter and icing sugar mixture to be creamed, and the subsequent addition of eggs to the beating. It sounds silly, but I found the frangipane way too buttery, a bit too sweet and a bit too eggy. Silly, I know.
It's then the addition of almond meal, which is a new ingredient to me. It smells quite fragrant though I forget to have a taste before adding it all to the mixture. I continue to mix with a spoon, putting out of mind any thoughts about fat content and the like.
At least there's nuts and fruit - they're healthy. I try not to eat all the raspberries straight from the freezer pack, instead putting them in the base of the baked pastry case. Next time, I thik I would mix them through the frangipane filling instead. I cheated and used store-bought shortcrust pastry rather than making my own. Pastry and icing are long-time foes of mine.
Off topic, I think frozen raspberries make a lovely and healthy, albeit slightly expensive, snack for summer time or even winter as in this case. I think the remainder will go into pancakes, if not straight into my mouth.
I plop the frangipane filling into the pastry case in what looks a less than pretty sight. With no raspberries visible, it looks rather bland and unexciting. But it's not all about looks, is it? Especially when it comes to tarts.
A few more raspberries for the top
A few additional raspberries on top pretties up the picture and at this point I'm quite excited and can't wait to taste the creation. In what the recipe describes as 25 minutes in the oven turns out to be almost double that. I'm not sure if my tray is not as wide as a tart ring or if my oven is a little on the mild side, but it was a lengthily-watched oven and tart before the wobbling, jiggling centre disappeared.
This was not how I envisaged the tart in my mind. Aside from the 'too lazy to cut the corners (oxymoron?) from my square of shortcrust pastry for the round dish', I was thinking of red raspberries popping out the top of an evenly golden surface. Not quite, as the raspberries submersed themselves quicksand-style in the dark edged filling. Oh well.
I was a little scared to bring a knife to the tart, with visions of deflation or liquid insides on mind. There was quite a bit of moistness towards the centre of the tart, but the overall seemed adequately cooked. And in the most important test of all?
It was edible. I loved the slightly sour contrast of the cooked raspberries to the filling, although their very berry presence on the bottom made the pastry a little soggy. The flavour of the almond meal is a little overpowering in the first mouthful, gradually overtaken by butteriness and sweetness, with a final hit of egginess. No points for guessing the ingredients in this tart!
In the end, I think a short and sweet pastry would have made a difference, as it's a key part to enjoying a tart as opposed to a soggy pastry. I would explore other recipes for frangipane, remaining aware of the powerful flavour of almond meal as too the fact that many recipes call for excess amounts of butter. Tucking into another slice with a cup of tea, this tart has learnt a good lesson in tartiness.