This classic tart has a filling of frangipane (an almond-flavored cream) enclosed between two layers of puff pastry. The tart was named for the French town in which it was created. It is one of my favorite French pastries! Almond-lovers will be wowed by this tart. From the golden-brown sheen of its decorative top to the intoxicating almond aroma emanating from its frangipane center - this cake just might become your new favorite! Rating: 5 out of 5.
Pithivier: adapted from Martha Stewart - Baking Handbook
- ⅔ cup ground almonds
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into ½-inch pieces
- 2 large eggs
- 1 pound puff pastry
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- To make the frangipane: In a food processor, pulse ground almonds, flour, sugar, and salt until fine crumbs form. With the machine running, add the butter and 1 egg, processing until mixture is smooth. Refrigerate frangipane until chilled, about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, on a lightly floured work surface, roll out puff pastry dough to an 18-by-11-inch rectangle, about ⅛ inch thick. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate until chilled, about 10 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining egg with the heavy cream; set egg wash aside.
- Transfer dough to a lightly floured piece of parchement paper. Using a 9-inch cake pan as a guide, cut out two 9-inch rounds with a sharp knife. With a floured 1-inch cookie cutter, cut out a hole out of the center of one of the rounds. Reserve remaining dough for another use.
- Spoon or pipe the chilled frangipane evenly over the center of the uncut round, leaving a 1-inch border. Working quickly, lightly brush egg wash over the dough surrounding the frangipane. Cover with the other round of dough, lining up the edges. Press the edges together firmly to seal, and trim with a sharp pairing knife. With the knife, score the top of the pastry, making curved lines from the hole in the center out toward the edges, to resemble a pinwheel. Place the filled tart in the refrigerator until firm, about 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375F. Brush the top of the tart with egg eash, being careful not to let any drip over cut edges, as it will prevent even puffing. Bake for 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature 350F; cover edge of pastry with foil to prevent it from burning. Bake until center is well browned, about 30 minutes more. Remove from oven, and slide onto a wire rack to cool. Serve at room temperature.