I feel as though we are in this lull, sitting between seasons at the moment. At some stores on certain days, leeks are in abundance. A week later, there is one scraggly leek left and it costs $3. Nectarines and peaches are popping up but they average $15 a kilo! Mango season has also just kicked off and, in annual Queensland tradition, the first box has sold for $70,000 for charity. God, I hate mangoes so much. You'll never find a mango recipe on here, sorry! (Kind of.)
Anyway, you will find plenty of berry recipes. And luckily, I have found plenty of mulberries! I used my first carton for mulberry soufflés, froze the second and made this lovely frangipane tart with the third. Until I visited Jamie Oliver's Fifteen in London three years ago, I didn't really know what a 'frangipane' tart was. I've since learnt that frangipane essentially refers to the almond filling, based on almond meal or flavoured with essence. It's a subtle almond flavour, though, almost like a macaron.
A frangipane tart makes for a wonderful spring/summer recipe. It's a light, fresh and totally delicious dessert. As if my first bite hadn't confirmed this, my brother, who is not as well-endowed as I am in the sweet-tooth department, had second helpings. I look forward to fighting him for the last piece.
What you'll need:
1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup almond meal
1/3 cup icing sugar
125g butter, chopped
1 egg yolk
100g butter, chopped
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 cup almond meal
1/4 cup plain flour
Caster sugar, extra
What to do:
Place all ingredients for the pastry in a food processor and process until the mixture forms a ball. Shape into a disc, wrap with cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180C and grease a 22cm tart pan with butter. Lightly flour a clean work surface with plain flour. Use a rolling pin to roll the pastry out to a 3mm-thick round. Line the base and sides of the pan with the pastry, pressing into any crevices. The sides should be around 4cm high, so trim any excess pastry away.
Line the pastry with baking paper and fill with pastry weights or uncooked rice. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the paper and weights and bake for a further 10 minutes or until golden. Allow shell to cool slightly while you make the frangipane.
Use an electric mixer to beat the butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until combined. Stir in the almond meal and plain flour.
Chop up 5-6 large mulberries and stir them through the frangipane mixture. Pour this mixture into the tart shell and smooth it out. Slice the other mulberries in half lengthways and press them into the frangipane. Sprinkle generously with caster sugar. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden on top.
Allow to cool slightly and enjoy with a dollop of mascarpone!