Almond Blueberry Frangipane Tart with Lavander Shortbread Crust

A few years ago when I was visiting France, I remember enjoying a delicious pear frangipane tart, just sweet enough, as well as beautiful.  The pâtisseries there are filled with rows of these gorgeous baked goods, and I was looking through some of my photos recently (which included one of the tart), thinking that I should try making one.  I am not one to follow traditional recipes however, as delicious as they are, so I put my own spin on it. 

I have to admit, after winter, I am pretty tired of apple and pear desserts as much as I love them.  I am craving berries, and the sweet fruits of spring and summer.  Which is why I decided to use the lavander scented blueberry jam that I had recently made in my frangipane tart instead of sliced pears. 

I kept the frangipane pretty similar, but covered the top of it with lovely toasty sliced almonds for crunch and even more almond flavor.  I placed the filling into a lavander scented shortbread crust, because I love the combination of lavander, almond and blueberries!  It was lovely!  As beautiful as anything you would find in a French pâtisserie!  The frangipane had a light almond flavor, and the blueberries a tart sweet jammy quality that married well with it.  The lavander flowers in the crust contributed a lovely floral note to the buttery crust. 

As much as I wish I had the money to go back and visit France, it is nice knowing I can create Tarts as good as the ones I enjoyed there without taking a plane trip.  Here is the recipe if you would like to experience this tart for youself! 

Almond Blueberry Frangipane Tart with Lavander Shortbread Crust
Makes one 10 inch tart

Frangipane (Almond Cream):
1/2 cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons organic butter
2 large organic eggs
12 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup almond flour
2 tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour

1 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup powdered sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp dried lavander flowers
10 Tbsp organic butter
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp pure almond extract
2-4 Tbsp water plus more if needed
1 cup Lavander scented blueberry jam* (or storebought)
1 cup sliced almonds

2 Tbsp granulated sugar

1 Tbsp honey, warmed

To assemble tart, spread the jam on the bottom of the crust, spread frangipane over the berries, and sprinkle almonds over the top.  Sprinkle with about 2 tablespoons of sugar and bake the tart for 25-30 minutes or until the top is lightly brown, nuts are toasted and frangipane is cooked through.   Drizzle with honey, and cool completely on wire rack before serving.

To make frangipane, a medium bowl, with a hand mixer, cream the sugar and butter.  Beat in the egg and vanilla extract until smooth.  Add the almond meal and flour and beat until it forms a smooth paste.  Transfer to a small bowl, cover and refrigerate. 
To make crust, in a bowl, combine flour, powdered sugar, and salt. Cut in butter with pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add orange zest, vanilla and almond extracts, as well as water and mix together with hands until dough comes together, adding more water if necessary to form a cohesive dough ball. Press the crust into a 10 1/2 inch tart pan with removable bottom, into the bottom, and up the sides of the pan, and place in the freezer. Freeze 30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat oven to 375 and place the rack in the center of the oven.

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