Daylesford Spelt Frangipane Tart with Cherry Compote

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I made this last weekend for the Daylesford Summer Festival for my cooking demonstration at their farm in Gloucestershire.  I make a version of this depending on which fruit is in season for my dinner party jobs and it’s always such a winner.  It has 3 stages and can be done the day before and dusted with icing sugar and the compote à la minute.  This spelt pastry can be made in advance and it freezes well.  The whole thing was devoured in seconds!!

Serves 10-12

Ingredients:

For the pastry:

230g spelt flour

90g unrefined icing sugar

Zest of half a lemon

130g unsalted cold butter, cut into cubes

1 large egg yolk

pinch of sea salt

For the frangipane

150g butter, unsalted

150g caster sugar, unrefined

3 medium eggs, lightly beaten

200g almond flour/ground almond

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp almond extract

For the compote:

350g dark cherries, pitted and halved

1 vanilla pod

1 tbsp Amaretto liquor

Few drops lemon juice

40g unrefined caster sugar

Creme fraîche for serving and icing sugar for dusting

Place the flour and icing sugar into a mixer with the paddle attachment and set to a medium speed to combine.  Slowly add the cubes of butter until all is incorporated.  Continue beating until the mixtures starts to look a little crumby which will take about 5 minutes.  Add in the egg yolk, salt and continue mixing for another couple of minutes and the dough will start to come together.  If it is taking a while add 1 tablespoon of cold water which should help bring it together.  Once the dough has come together into a ball, wrap tightly with clingfilm and place in the fridge for about 1-2 hours or overnight to rest.

Next, lightly butter a 11 inch loose-bottom tart dish and then place the dish into the fridge to cool.  Now use a grater to grate the pastry which is better than rolling because you end up handling the dough less.  Now get the tart dish and evenly pat the dough into the dish to create a thin but even layer (roughly 1/2-1cm thick).  Make sure to pay attention and make the edges neat.  Place a sheet of baking parchment on top of the pastry and pour in some dried rice or baking beans if you have them.  Place into a 170 degree preheated oven for 12 minutes before carefully removing the beans and paper and baking for another 10 minutes or so.  Remove when the pastry is lightly golden brown and is a little hard when you tap the top. 

While the tart case is baking you can begin on the filling.

Add the soft butter and caster sugar into a mixer and cream together for about 3 minutes until light and fluffy.  Add in the vanilla extract.  Continue beating the creamed butter and slowly add a little of the beaten eggs followed by a little of the ground almonds.  Continue slowly adding a little of the wet and dry ingredients until all is incorporated.  You should now have a nice smooth batter and use a spatula to scrape into the baked tart case.  Bake for about 35-40 minutes or until a golden top has formed.  The cake should be a little firm and springy to touch  Leave to cool and then carefully remove from the tin and on to a flat plate.  

While the tart bakes you can prepare the cherry compote.  Add all of the ingredients for the compote into a saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer for about 12 minutes.   Drain the cherries from the mix and simmer the leftover juice to reduce and thicken for another 5 minutes.  Add this to the cherries and leave to cool completely.

Dust tart over with icing sugar, drizzle over the cherries and serve with a dollop of crème fraîche

Nina Parker