How to Make Frangipane Tarts

May 30, 2014

Every other Friday, Yossy Arefi from Apt. 2B Baking Co. shares dessert projects that demand a little extra time and effort. Because your weekends should always be sweet.

Today: Make a crust and some filling, top it with your favorite seasonal fruit, and you've got fancy-looking frangipane tarts. 

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Frangipane tarts are one of those classic French desserts that sound super fancy, but are actually pretty simple to make at home, and you can adapt them to any season. To keep things extra easy, I like to start with a simple tart dough that can be pressed into the pan (or pans, if tartlets are your thing), then I fill the pre-baked tart shell with rich frangipane cream made from ground almonds held together with a bit of butter, eggs, and sugar.

When it bakes, the frangipane puffs up and turns golden brown, enveloping whatever type of fruit you’ve decided to top it with. Dust the whole thing with a shower of powdered sugar, and you’ve got a gorgeous and super impressive dessert.

Because frangipane is fairly neutral in flavor, you can top these tarts with just about any fruit you like. In the spring, strawberries or little bits of poached rhubarb would be nice; in the summer try berries, sliced plums, peaches, or half of a small apricot; and in the fall and winter, feel free to use thinly sliced apples or poached pears or quince. You can even substitute pistachios, hazelnuts, or cashews for the almonds if you're feeling especially fancy. 

For the Crust

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup confectioner's sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
9 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons cold water

In the bowl of a food processor (or using a pastry blender), combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the butter is the size of small peas. Add the yolk and pulse until it is evenly distributed. Pulse in the cold water until the dough starts to hold together.

Lightly butter your tart pan or pans and gently press the dough into the pan. Make sure to evenly coat the bottom and sides. You may have a bit of extra dough; save it just in case you have to repair any cracks later on. Freeze the tart shell(s) for 30 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 375° F and bake the tart shell -- no need for pie weights -- until it is lightly golden. If the shell puffs up while baking, carefully use an offset spatula to gently press it back into the pan. Use your leftover dough to repair any cracks that may have formed during baking. Cool the shell on a rack while you prepare the rest of the tart.

For the Frangipane and Garnish

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, soft
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup ground almonds (blanched or unblanched)
1 egg, plus one egg white
2 teaspoons flour
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pinch salt
Berries or sliced fruit, for garnish
Powdered sugar, to finish

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the butter and sugar and pulse until smooth. Add the almonds and blend until well combined. Then add the flour and cornstarch, followed by the egg and egg white, and finally the vanilla extract and salt. Mix until just combined.


When you're ready to assemble and bake your tart(s), preheat the oven to 350° F. Spread the frangipane into the cooled tart shell or shells; it should come up just below the edge. Depending on the height of your tart shells, you may have a couple of spoonfuls of frangipane left over. Decorate the top of each tartlet or tart with a couple of berries or slices of plum arranged in a decorative pattern.

Place the tart or tartlets on a baking sheet and bake until the crust and frangipane are golden and set, 20 to 30 minutes for tartlets and 45 to 50 minutes for a large tart. Cool on a wire rack and dust with confectioner's sugar just before serving.

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here. 

Photos by Yossy Arefi

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Yossy Arefi is a photographer and stylist with a passion for food. During her stint working in restaurant kitchens, Yossy started the blog Apt. 2B Baking Co. where, with her trusty Pentax film camera, she photographs and writes about seasonal desserts and preserves. She currently lives in Brooklyn but will always love her native city of Seattle. Follow her work at apt2bbakingco.blogspot.com & yossyarefi.com.


labradors December 6, 2015
Do these have to be refrigerated, or are they shelf stable?
Julio August 9, 2015
Your photos are awsome. Are you still using your trusty Pentax film camera?
JamieB July 16, 2015
Do you think I could make these as true mini tarts, not the bigger tartlets?
Mimi H. July 29, 2014
How large a tart can be made with this recipe?
Cinnamin June 17, 2014
Aaah, the tartles look gorgeous! I got into tart baking very recently, and the first one I made was a fig frangipane tart. The dough recipe I used is pretty much the same. However for the frangipane I've used just a single egg- I shall add in the extra egg white next time and I'm sure it will puff things up even more! Only problem with frangipane is, I end up eating so much of it before it goes into the tart shell! (Never been one to shy away from raw eggs when it comes to baked goods.)
Bernadette June 2, 2014
Hi there, whenever I've seen these tartlets in a gourmet shop, the fruit is fresh, not cooked. Can you do that with these? Just cook the tart and filling, and add the fruit later?
Yossy A. June 2, 2014
Yes you can, but it probably won't "stick" to the frangipane. A lot of times those tarts in fancy shops are made in a blind baked tart shell filled with pastry cream (or other custard) and topped with fresh fruit, which are totally delicious.
D. C. June 1, 2014
I make frangipane tarts all the time using almond paste, sugar, flour, and egg to make the frangipane. Skip the pastry outside and use any fruit -- it's quick, easy, and pretty. Top with creme fraiche mixed with egg yolk and sugar (or use heavy cream & a couple of T of flour) before baking.
Yossy A. June 2, 2014
that sounds delicious!
Erin J. June 1, 2014
Robin M. May 31, 2014
Think I'll make those later tonight!
Hannah N. May 31, 2014
These are the most beautiful photos!
Lyn November 15, 2014
Catherine L. May 30, 2014
Kate V. May 30, 2014
Absolutely perfect to take along to a supper party tomorrow! thank you - this blog has rescued me from more recipe panics than I care to admit to!