The first time I heard about a frangipane tart, I was completely confused because I thought it was a tart made with frangipani (plumeria) flowers! Instead, imagine my surprise when I found out that it was a sweet, almond based filling for apie. Well, technically, I didn’t hear about it until I found a chocolate and almond frangipane cookie which involved mixing almond with icing sugar and egg white, sticking it in the oven and then dipping the cooled result in melted chocolate. Guess what. That was an amazing cookie, and ridiculously light and ladylike in a “proper lady having tea” sort of way. So when the GBBO decided to do frangipane tarts for pastry week (2015), then I knew I just had to get my hands around some almond flour to make an amazing gluten and dairy free frangipane.
I was sitting and wondering what flavour would be awesome for this, then Duerr’s sent me two bottles of their preserves – one of their scrumptious apricot jams and one of their fantabulous chunky ginger preserves. That sparked the idea in my head – an apricot and ginger frangipane….gluten and dairy free, light, fluffy and absolutely delicious. Then I found a new (for me?) dairy free butter option – Stork products! Awesome dairy free spreads and butters for baking or just eating. Finally, the amazing Kaleidoscope sent me one of their Katie Alice Highland Fling Heart Shaped Pie Dish and Funnel (the funnel of which I have no clue how to use, but I believe it’s to allow steam out of a covered pie…right?). It was almost as if the universe was insisting that I make this apricot and ginger frangipane tart….and the fact that my dentist had problems finding the root of my tooth for my scheduled double root canal meant that I was actually up to baking when I was actually not expecting to be! So thanks to all these amazing brands for supplying me with the tools and means to make a frangipane and to the universe for gently encouraging me to make it – because I think my life would not have been complete if I never even attempted to make it (it’s that yummy and scrumptious)!
Even though all of this happened and even though I decided to definitely make the frangipane tart, I was still curious as to the origin and true meaning of a frangipane….so, as usual, I did a little
The history of the frangipane pie is a bit confusing – some say that the taste of it is supposed to be the equivalent of the smell of a frangipani flower – popularised by the perfumier to Louis XIII of France. I would not describe the taste of the frangipane as perfumey or flowery, however, although it is quite delicate….
Other sources claim that the frangipane dates back to a confectionary book from 1756 which stated that a frangipane was a custard scented with almonds. Yet another source connects it to the Italian nobleman, Muzio Frangipane who introduced almond scented gloves in the 18th century. Interestingly enough, Frangipane means “to break bread” or “break the bread” in Italian….”pane” being Italian for bread and “frangi” is believed to be surname of St. Francis.
Yet another claims that, in 1226, the frangipane is the type of sweet that the noblewoman Jacopa de Settesoli brought to St. Francis of Assisi when he was on his deathbed. Another associates the frangipane with the religious celebration of the Epiphany. The traditional round cake for the Epiphany is called a King Cake and is made of frangipane layers. The cake is usually decorated with stars, a crown, flowers and includes a special bean hidden inside the cake. It’s sliced to be distributed by le petit rio (the little king) and the child who gets the bean is crowned “king” or “queen” for the following year….but which came first, the King Cake or the Frangipane?
So…in other words, choose which you would like to believe….or we can go into food history and trace it back properly, but I’m not sure I’m that interested when there’s a yummy apricot and ginger frangipane tart sitting in my fridge just begging to be consumed with a lovely cup of tea…..
This post is part of the Great Blogger Bake Off 2015 and is inspired by the Great British Bake Off 2015, Week 6 – Pastry!
If you liked this recipe, please also check out my othey bakes for 2015!
I am also linking up with another bake off group this week in an attempt to win some lovely Silver Mushroom goodies for my kitchen.
Click on the badge below for the link to that page – some awesome stuff there I tell you!