If there's one thing I've learnt, its not to bake on Monday's. This week's bake along entry was without a doubt, the most emotional of them all.
I'll set the scene. A freshly baked frangipane perches on the top of the stove to cool, a pan of eggs bubbling away next to it. You turn your eye for just a second and before you know it, the eggs have boiled so aggressively the frangipane is knocked, sails through the air and lands on the floor with a thud. Yelp.
We've all done it before and its utterly soul destroying. All that hard work, undone in just a matter of seconds. Baking karma says this is because I completely cheated and used a pre-made and half baked pastry case.
I've learnt my lesson. And my second attempt came out just fine, using this Waitrose recipe.
Apple pie number 1, you were splendid...if only for a short time.
Here's a few little pointers for making the best frangipane and sweet pastry here:
- a frangipane is a versatile dessert, a crisp pastry case, rich almond filling that puffs and envelopes a fruit filling. Choose seasonal berries, apple, rhubarb, peaches or pears for a dessert that will take you through the year, from season to season.
- to make frangipane, you usually start off in the same way as making a cake. Beat butter and sugar together, add eggs and then fold in the dry ingredients. For a more moist, dense filling, save the butter for last and whisk in hot and melted to the rest of the ingredients.
- instead of almonds, try pistachio, cashew or any nuts of your choice.
- add vanilla extract and some citrus zest to lift the frangipane a little, avoids being too bitter.
- if your fruit of choice is particularly wet, ensure to dry with kitchen paper and add at the last minute to avoid a soggy bottom.
- Mary also favours lining the base of the pastry with some ground almonds, before adding the filling to also avoid soggy bottoms.
- frangipanes are perfect to make in advance, wrap well and pop in the freezer for later (will last up to one month).
Take a look at how I got on with the rest of the challenges: