Apricot & tahini pistachio frangipane tart – a crisp press-in pastry and a nutty, complex tahini frangipane studded with summer stonefruit. Jump to Recipe
We went to listen to Nigella speak for an hour last week – she happened to be in Auckland, and is one of those fascinating people for whom thousands will come just to hear them converse on stage. Like a concert but without the performing, in some ways. One thing she said particularly resonated. When asked what advice she would handout, in retrospect, to a 20 year old version of herself, she stated the (maybe cliched) “take risks”. Because, she went on to describe, everything in life is on a spectrum between complete and utter boredom at one end, and being absolutely terrified at the other. Both extremes would result in waking up each day in dread of the hours to come – monotony vs fear – so it is a fine balance to tread a path somewhere in the middle of the two. To keep it exciting. The issue is that no one can predict where that point in the middle lies, so it is a case of continuing to take risks, and try new things, and follow opportunities, until you find it. Not settling, however challenging that may be.
Maybe it resonated because I’m 21, though her advice applies to any age. I think it’s more likely because I’ve been sitting happily in my comfort zone with this blog over the past year or two – sticking with the basics of what I know how to do in terms of photography, design and social media. Though medical school is certainly a strictly-prescribed trajectory, the constant assessment, learning and exams keep the pressure on, and new patient interactions and challenges push me outside that comfortable space regularly.
The upshot is that I’m planning on changing a few things around here in order to step outside that. Getting more adventurous with photography is a big one – I’ve been wanting to try stop-motion video for over a year now, and have finally given it a crack! I was very inspired by my friend Betty Liu, a food blogger (and wedding photographer and medical student, I should add) from Boston who makes gorgeous food videos regularly. Her guides on Patreon have been massively helpful. I’m also working with a creative friend on developing a logo for The Brick Kitchen, and would like to work on improving my subscriber email. I’ve written these goals here partially in an effort to keep myself accountable, but also because I’d love for you to let me know if there is anything in particularly you’d like to see included or changed, or even just feedback on things you might want to see more or less of! Please do comment on the post below or send me an email or an instagram message – I’d love to hear from you.
Anyway: this apricot & tahini pistachio frangipane tart. It’s a tart to showcase summer stonefruit – here I’ve used cherries and apricots, but you could use any combination of stonefruit and berries. Rather than my usual almond frangipane, I’ve substituted in some tahini and ground pistachios for a more nutty and complex flavour, though you could change up the pistachios for any other nut you have on hand. The pastry is a press in pastry from The Fearless Baker – more like a shortbread cookie dough than a pie crust, and is satisfyingly crisp when combined with the soft frangipane and tender fruit. Because the frangipane takes a while to cook, the crust doesn’t have to be blind baked – just pop it in the freezer to harden while you make the filling. You could also easily change up the tins – use mini round tart tins, or a round pie tin – just make sure the total area is roughly the same.
Apricot & tahini pistachio frangipane tart - a crisp press-in pastry from The Fearless Baker and a nutty, complex tahini frangipane studded with summer stonefruit. Feel free to substitute in another nut instead of pistachios, and try out other tin sizes as long as the area is roughly the same.
- 113 g butter , softened
- 50 g caster sugar (1/4 cup)
- 1 large egg yolk
- 210 g (1 3/4cup) flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon water
- 70 g tahini (1/4 cup, all scraped out)
- 40 g butter , cubed
- 150 g caster sugar (2/3 cup)
- 80 g ground almonds (3/4 cup)
- 100 g ground pistachios (scant 2/3 cup whole shelled, ground in a blender or food processor. You can also substitute any other nut of your choice)
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- pinch of salt
- 4-5 ripe apricots or other stonefruit
- 8-12 cherries , or other berry or stonefruit
- icing sugar to dust
- greek yogurt or similar to serve
Grease a 4 x 14 inch (10 x 35cm) rectangular tart tin or similar sized pie or tart tins (you could also use small round tart tins here which I think would work well). Preheat the oven to 180°C.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with an electric hand beater, cream the butter and sugar together until smooth, few minutes.
Add the egg yolk and mix to fully combine.
Add the flour and salt and mix to just combine.
Add the tablespoon of water and mix until the dough is smooth, about another minute.
Tip the dough into the tart tin and press in an even layer into the base and sides of the tart pan.
Use a small knife to trim the edge of the dough flat to the tart tin, as seen in the video.
Freeze tart shell for at least 15 minutes while you make the filling.
In the same stand mixer, beat the tahini until smooth, 2 minutes. Gradually add the cubes of butter while mixing until fully combined.
Add the caster sugar and beat until blended, 2 minutes. There is no need to cream until light here as you do not need to add air to the frangipane.
Add the ground almonds, ground pistachios, eggs, vanilla and salt and mix to just combine.
Get the tart shell from the freezer and spoon in the frangipane filling, spreading it in an even layer.
Halve the apricots and cherries and distribute over the frangipane. Do not press them into the frangipane.
Bake for 45-50 minutes at 180°C or until the tart crust is browned and the frangipane is just set in the centre. Cool for half an hour or so before removing from the tin. Dust with icing sugar just before serving. Best eaten at room temperature, with greek yogurt or ice cream on the side.