Remember that pie crust from a few days back? Maybe you even got excited and made a batch, and you’ve been wondering what to wrap it around?
Can I suggest a fresh blackberry sauce, some tart, crisp apples, and a bit of frangipane you had the foresight to freeze after you made those fresh fig and frangipane danishes? (Don’t worry too much if you gobbled up all your frangipane– I’ll include the recipe below and you can whip up another batch in a few quick minutes.) For me, this tart was a symbolic act: goodbye, summer (blackberries) and welcome, autumn (apples). I’m ready.
To start with, you’ll want to blind bake your pie crust, or partially bake it before adding any filling to it. The blackberry sauce and frangipane both have enough liquid in them that they’ll turn an unbaked pie crust into mush, which is not the effect we’re looking for.
So you’ll roll your crust out and drape it over a pie plate or fluted, loose-bottomed tart pan– I used a pie plate simply because we haven’t invested in a tart pan yet. We’ll get to it eventually; it just somehow didn’t make top priority in our first two months in the new apartment.
You’ll then trim off just a bit of the overhanging edges to keep them from touching the oven rack. You want quite a bit still hanging over to keep the crust from shrinking down in the blind baking process. Then you’ll pierce the bottom of the crust all over with a fork (this keeps it from puffing up too much)…
Line it with baking parchment (crumpling it up helps it to shape to the circular pie plate better) and weigh it down with baking beans if you’re fancy, or actual dried beans (I used chickpeas) if you’re not…
And pop it in the oven at 200°C (400°F) for about 15 minutes, or until the edges of the crust are beginning to brown. Remove the baking parchment and beans, and bake for another 5 minutes, until the base is just beginning to turn a nice golden brown and look a little dry.
Finally, you’ll use a sharp knife to trim the edges off. If you’re using a fluted tart pan, this will give you a gorgeous, clean finish. If you’re using a pie plate, go ahead and get comfortable with the word “rustic”.
By the way, those trimmed-off edges? Crispy, buttery, delectable pie crust snacks. I ate them all, and I’m not ashamed to tell you so.
Now for the filling. I added a little extra cornflour (corn starch, for the Americans) to a batch of homemade blackberry sauce and whisked until combined. If you’re making the sauce from scratch for this recipe, just follow the recipe below for a slightly thicker-than-normal sauce texture. If you’re using a pre-made sauce, you’ll want to add a thickener to keep the moisture from soaking the crust.
The blackberry sauce will go into the golden-brown pie crust and get dotted with frangipane…
And then a few gorgeous autumn dessert apples will get peeled and sliced up in even, thin slices…
And arranged in some sort of artistic manner on top of your blackberry-frangipane combination.
They’ll get brushed with a warm mixture of butter, lemon juice, and sugar, and then you’ll pop the whole thing into the oven until it is bubbling and caramelized.
Gobble fresh from the oven if you can’t wait, but be prepared for it to still be a bit runny. I found that it was even better later on that evening, once it had time to set up and could hold its shape nicely.
Go on, get a scarf and a book and a slice of this, and enjoy the changing seasons.
Blackberry & Apple Frangipane Tart
Makes 1 9-inch tart
1/3 recipe Pie Crust
For the blackberry sauce:
8oz (225g) blackberries, rinsed
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
Splash of water
1/4 cup (50g) caster sugar
1 1/2 tsp cornflour +1 tsp cool water
For the frangipane:
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp (75g) ground almonds
1/3 cup +1 tbsp (75g) caster sugar
2 tbsp flour
1/3 cup (75g) unsalted butter, cubed
1 large or 2 small eggs (75g)
1/4 tsp almond extract
For the apples:
3 dessert apples, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tbsp (30g) butter
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup (50g) caster sugar
- Blind bake the pie crust: roll the pastry out and use it to carefully line a pie plate or tart pan, allowing the edges to hang over slightly. Pierce the base with a fork, line the crust with baking parchment weighed down with baking beans or dried chickpeas, and bake at 200°C (400°F) for 15 minutes, until edges of crust are beginning to brown. Remove baking parchment and beans and bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until base of crust is turning golden brown and drying out.
- Make the blackberry sauce: in a small saucepan, combine blackberries, lemon juice, water, and sugar and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Strain mixture through a fine sieve to remove all seeds. Return to pan and bring back to a simmer. Whisk cornflour and cool water together to combine, and then whisk into blackberry mixture. Simmer until mixture thickens, then cool.
- Make the frangipane: in the bowl of a food processor, pulse almonds, sugar, and flour together to combine. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add eggs and almond extract and process until thoroughly mixed.
- Make the sauce for the apples: in a small saucepan, melt butter, lemon juice, and caster sugar over low heat, whisking until butter is melted and sugar is completely dissolved.
- Assemble the tart: spread blackberry sauce into pre-baked pie crust. Dot evenly with frangipane. Arrange apple slices attractively on top of this mixture, nestling them into the frangipane slightly. Brush apples thoroughly with melted butter and sugar mixture.
- Bake the tart at 200°C (400°F) for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 175°C (350°F) and bake for a further 25-30 minutes, until filling is bubbling and frangipane has set.