When looking for ideas for a recipe the French always check what is in season at the local markets because the ingredients will have the best flavour. We have beautiful Yellow cling peaches in season in the Cape right now. You can tell their ripeness by their smell and feel gentle (not crisp) to the touch. This weekend I had to take along a desert for an outdoor lunch to celebrate the arrival of my sister from chilly England. Therefore the best choice for ingredients was peaches, after discussions with Nicky we combined a traditional frangipane tart recipe with some Armagnac. This rustic style brandy from Bas Armagnac, south of Bordeaux, brings out an extra layer of flavour to the frangipane. It’s easy to make and to transport to another venue, which is always a point to keep in mind. I have had some messy experiences with lemon curd spreading all over me and my car. This delicious tart can be served hot or cold accompanied by ice cream or crème fraiche. I recommend pairing with a chilled glass of Lanson Ivory demi-sec champagne. This champagne is slightly less acidic than a brut champagne and brings out the flavour in the fruit.
Ingredients for 8 guests
• 150g Butter
• 150g raw almonds (with or without skins)
• 150g castor sugar plus 2 tablespoons to sprinkle over top of tart
• 2 eggs
• 4 peaches washed (or 4nectarines/8plums/8apricots)
• 1 tablespoon Armagnac
• Puff pastry (1 roll frozen)
1. Defrost pastry
2. Preheat oven 175 – 180degrees C
3. Blend the almonds with a kitchen blender or place them between 2 layers of waxed paper and use a rolling pin to smash them into smaller pieces). The pieces should be quite small. Place in a large bowl.
4. Put butter in blender and blend until smooth
5. Add sugar and blend
6. Add one egg and blend in until creamed
7. Add 2nd egg and blend until creamed in
8. Add the butter mixture to the blended almonds and stir in until fully mixed
9. Add teaspoon Armagnac and stir in
10. Spread the layer of pastry across a non-stick baking tray forming a large rectangle (you don’t have to roll it)
11. Spread mixture across top of pastry leaving about an inch of pastry edge all round
12. Cut each peach in half (don’t peel), twist the two halves apart.
13. Remove the peach stone
14. Thinly slice peaches (about 1cm wide)
15. Layer peach slices over the butter mixture in long strips the length of the mixture, overlap each strip to fully cover mixture. If you are short of time you could just place half peaches on top of mixture (you will need extra peaches)
16. Pull up edges of pastry all around mixture to form an edge
17. Sprinkle castor sugar lightly over all the peaches and pastry edge.
18. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until golden
This delicious tart can be served hot or cold accompanied by ice cream or crème fraiche. I recommend pairing with a chilled glass of Lanson demi-sec champagne. This champagne is slightly less acidic than a brut champagne and brings out the flavour in the fruit.