This is a lovely almond filled tart, a traditional French sweet treat. The base is pastry, layered with jam, then topped with a thick almond custard like cream. I added some cherries to the frangipane for texture and tartness.
“Frangipane is a filling made from or flavoured with almonds.This filling can be used in a variety of ways including cakes, tarts and other assorted pastries…Originally designated as a custard tart flavoured by almonds or pistchios it came later to designate a filling that could be used in a variety of confections and baked goods…It is normally made of butter, sugar eggs and ground almonds.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frangipane
My version uses a shortcake pastry base, to give a little more substance to the base. I cooked the tart in a springform tin. I think it might have better to cook the mixture in a traditional tart mold or tin. My cake tin version was quite deep, resulting in tart that took a long time to cook in the middle and overcooked a little on the base and sides.
Shortcake Pastry Base
70g unsalted butter
70g castor sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
125g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
3 tbls cherry jam*
225g butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla paste
225g caster sugar
5 free range eggs
225g ground almonds
Handful of whole cherries, plus more to decorate
For the shortcake, beat the butter and castor sugar until thick and creamy. Add the egg and mix well. Add the flour, almond meal and baking powder, then stir until combined.
Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly to just bring the mixture together. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C.
On a work surface lightly dusted with flour, roll out the pastry to about 3mm thick. Carefully line a 23cm springform tin with the pastry, pressing the pastry into the edges of the tin.
Spread the jam over the base of the tart, then place in the fridge to rest for 10 minutes.
To make the frangipane, beat the butter, vanilla paste and sugar together in a bowl until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, until all of the eggs have been fully incorporated into the mixture. Fold in the ground almonds carefully by hand.
Top the pastry base with the almond mixture and smooth to the edges. Placer some halved fresh cherries on top of the mixture, pushing them gently into the mixture. They should still be partially visible. Bake the tart in the preheated oven for 40 45 minutes, or until the filling has risen, is cooked through and the surface is pale golden brown.
* I made a simple cherry jam by placing 6 or tablespoons of morello bottled cherries with their juices in a saucepan with 3 tablespoons of sugar. Bring to the boil and cook till the cherries are jammy and the liquid is reduced.