Since I am on a woozy woo kick, I thought I would share this recipe that I would never have created if I didn't have my favorite gadget. Thus far, I have resisted putting up recipes that don't have a story attached because I think that a simple recipe should have a picture with it, which means I have to make it and take a picture....but that isn't really happening much, given I am constantly on a diet and I am horrible at taking pictures. So, what the hell. A recipe without picture. Just use your imagination.
We were living in London and having some guests over for lunch. I happened to a lot of whole blanched almonds lying around which I wanted to use up. So, I invented this dessert, which I am particularly proud of. It is easy to make, looks fantastic and tastes even better. Don't leave out the lemon zest in the filling...it adds a bit of umph and also uses my other favorite gadget, which is my lemon zester. For you Americans, I am sorry about the metric measurements, but I was living in England at the time...it is easy enough to convert. Most cookbooks have conversion tables at the back or you can simple type it into Google (i.e 500 grams to ounces).
500 grams puff pastry
3 to 4 Granny Smith apples
85 grams whole blanched almonds
42 grams (3 tblsp) butter at room temperature
18 grams (2 tblsp) flour
1 large egg
about 85 grams powdered sugar to taste
zest of one lemon
cinnamon to taste
For the Frangipane Filling: Grind almonds in woozy woo or food processor until fine. Add powdered sugar to taste until sweet, but not overly so. Add flour, egg, and lemon zest. Whiz it up. Should be a spreadable consistency, slightly runny.
For the Tart: Roll out the pastry to a rectangle. Cut strips off each side (or fold over sides), about 1/2 inches wide, and stick back onto rectangle to form an edging. You can use a beaten egg as glue. Spread tart base with frangipane filling. Peel and core apples, and slice thinly (each apple should yield about 16 slices, i.e cut apple into quarters and then cut again into 4 slices). Arrange apple slices over filling. Try to make the slices look pretty. I usually arrange them in long columns. Sprinkle the apples with a bit of cinnamon and sugar. Bake at between 180 to 200 Celcius (350 to 400 F) for about 40 minutes until pastry is golden brown and apples are tender. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature with icecream or whipped cream.
I can imagine that this tart would also be wonderful with many other kinds of fruit: pears, blueberries, and peaches come to mind. You could also do a tart with just the frangipane, in which case I would double up on the amount of filling and then sprinkle the top with sliced almonds and cinnamon.