Saturday, 2 July 2016

Apricot & Orange Frangipane Tarts

These individual tarts, decorated with a pastry plait, are delicious with a clear almond flavour which is complemented by the addition of apricots and orange.   Although generously sized, they are the perfect afternoon treat when served with your favourite drink. 

The flavours of this Apricot and Orange Frangipane Tart work very well together and make a lovely alternative to the classically used pears.

In recent weeks I've become mesmerised by images of beautiful pastry designs which adorn the tops of pies and tarts over on Instagram.   We're not just talking about the classic basket weave here, which in itself is very effective, but rather flowers, cutouts and other such intricate designs.

So being a huge fan of making my own pastry I promised myself that my next appropriate bake would be finished with some sort of pastry decoration.  The desicion was what to make, but having an open bag of ground almonds in the cupboard which was rapidly approaching its best before date Mr E & I decided to make some frangipane tarts.

How to make a frangipane tart with apricot and oranges.

Frangipane is the classic almond mixture used in bakewell tarts which lends itself nicely to having fruit added to the bake.  Although pears are often used to accompany frangipane, as with our Pear & Blackberry Frangipane Tart which we made last autumn, I decided to ring the changes a little here.  I chose to use both apricots and oranges having learnt that both complement almonds beautifully.

This recipe for an apricot and orange frangipane tart results in a delicious bake which is perfet as a mid afternoon treat.

A thin layer of Homemade Orange Curd sits beneath the almondy frangipane, which also contains some orange zest, whilst an apricot can be seen just peeking out from the top of the tart.  Although fresh apricots are now gracing our supermarket shelves, I decided to use, perhaps controversially, a tin of breakfast apricots for these Apricot & Orange Frangipane Tarts.  Not only are they ready stoned, but they were also beautifully ripe and a lovely size to sit within these individual tarts.  Some of these tarts were sprinkled with flaked almonds too, and I have to admit I do prefer the aesthetics of those compared to the ones without the flaked almonds.

Decorated with pastry plaits (braids) these individual apricot and orange frangipane tarts are not only pretty but also incredibly delicious

Returning to the pastry.  Rather than making the pastry decoration overly intricate I decided to edge the tarts with a simple plait (braid) made from the off cuts of the sweet pastry, often referred as pate sucree by professional chefs.  Although it doesn't have the same impact as those I've seen over on Instagram it still gives a pretty finish.  Of course the three strand plait (braid) is simply there to indulge my love of pastry and certainly isn't a necessary element to the bake, but it does add to that 'eat me' invitation sent out by the tarts themselves.  The pastry plait / braid really isn't difficult to make.  Once the tart cases were lined the off-cuts were re-rolled into a long oblong which was then sliced into narrow strips.  These were then gently plaited (braided), trying to avoid stretching the pastry, and then set aside to rest whilst the other elements of the tart were made. 

Recipe for Individual Apricot & Orange Frangipane Tarts

These generously sized individual Apricot & Orange Frangipane Tarts with the beautiful crisp flavoursome pastry were absolutely delicious, and made a wonderful change to the flavours classically used.  The three elements of almond, apricot and orange worked really well together, and although the predominant flavour was almond, as you'd expect from a frangipane, the orange flavour could still be detected in the background.  As anticipated the layer of orange curd sandwiched between the pastry and frangipane sponge couldn't be seen but the flavour was still detected.

The tarts were shared amongst local family, my parents have already requested another batch to be made as did my uncle.  Mr E, who is a little unusual in liking whole almonds but not frangipane, tried a bite and proceeded to eat the whole portion.  He commented that, for him, the orange element helped to make the almond flavour less strong.

How to make Individual frangipane tarts flavoured with apricot and orange.

These individual Apricot and Orange Frangipane Tarts, decorated with a pastry plait (braid), are delicious with a clear almond flavour which is complemented by the addition of the two fruits.   Although generously sized, they are the perfect afternoon treat when served with your favourite drink. 

So, let's get to it and bake!

Apricot & Orange Frangipane Tart     Yum

Recipe for making Apricot and Orange Frangipane Tarts

Yield: 6 x 12cm tart
Serves: 6 people generously
Difficulty: Moderate
Freezable: Sorry, untested
Time: about 40 minutes hands on; about 39 - 44 minutes total bake time; plus cooling time

You will need:

6 x 12cm Flan Tins, with fluted sides with a loose bottom (see note a)
Baking Tray(s)
Cling Film
Rolling Pin
Greaseproof Paper
Baking Beans (or uncooked rice or pasta)
hand held Electric Beaters or Wooden Spoon
Small Sharp Knife
1 x disposable Piping Bag
Pastry Brush

For the Sweet Pasty (Pate Sucree)

275g Plain Flour
100g Unsalted Butter, chilled & diced
100g Icing Sugar
2 large Egg, lightly beaten
500g Shop Bought Sweet Pastry

For the Frangipane

150g Unsalted Butter, softened
75g Golden Caster Sugar
75g Caster Sugar
1 Orange, zest of
3 large Eggs, lightly beaten
1.5 capful of Almond Extract
150g Ground Almonds
2-3 handfuls of Flaked almonds (optional)


For the Fruit

6 stoned apricots, I used a tin of  Princes breakfast apricots
6-9 tsp Orange Curd, shop bought or homemade

To finish the pastry plait / braid

1 egg, beaten

To decorate

1 tbsp Icing Sugar

How to make them:

1.  Make the pastry.   Place the flour, icing sugar and cubed chilled butter into a good sized bowl.  Rub the butter into the flour between your thumb and finger tips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.   Make a well in the centre of the breadcrumbs and add the beaten eggs.  Using a rounded pallet knife, or the back of a table knife, cut through the mixture to make a dough.  You may need to add a little cold water (perhaps 1 or 2 teaspoons) to fully bring the mixture together.  Tip the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and lightly knead the dough for 10 seconds.  Shape the pastry into a ball and flatten into a disc.  Wrap in cling film and place into the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes, (see note b).

2.  Line the tart cases.  Remove the pastry from the fridge and divide into 6 pieces of roughly equal size.  Place one portion onto a lightly floured work work surface, lightly covering the remaining 5 which have been set aside. Roll the pastry out until it is about 2mm thick.  Wrap the pastry around the rolling pin, lift it up (using the pin) and place into the flan tin.  Gently tease the pastry into the case so that it sits into the edges well and picks up the shape of the fluted sides.  If the pastry tears, patch it with surplus pastry.  Avoid strectching the pastry.  Line the remaining tart cases in the same way.

3.  Trim away the excess pastry.  Use a pair of clean scissors to trim away the bulk of the excess pastry which over hangs the sides of the tart cases.   Don't worry about making it neat as the pastry will be trimmed neatly after it has been blind baked.  Put the off cuts aside as these will be used to plait the pastry.  Use a fork to gently prick the pastry base.  Place into the fridge to chill for at least 10 - 15 minutes.

4.  Pre-heat the oven to 190c / 170 fan / Gas 5.  Place a baking tray onto the middle shelf which is large enough to house the tart cases.

5.  Prepare to blind bake the pastry.  Remove the lined tart tins from the fridge.   Cut 6 squares of grease proof paper large enough to cover the base and sides tart cases.  Scrunch up a piece and open it out.  Gently lay it on top of the pastry, easing it into the edges.  Weigh the paper down with baking beans or uncooked rice or pasta.  Repeat with the remaining 5 cases.

6.  Blind bake the pastry.  Place the cases into the oven (on the heated baking tray(s)) and cook for 14 minutes.  After 10 minutes, you may need to rotate the cases.  Remove from the oven and lift out the greaseproof paper which holds the baking beans / rice.  Allow the pastry cases to cool.  Keep the baking tray in the oven.

7.  Meanwhile, make the pastry plaits / braids (optional).  Gather together the off cuts of pastry into one clump.   Re-roll it into a neat oblong around 50cm long and about 2mm thick.  With a small sharp knife trim the pastry to neaten the two long edges.  Remove the off-cuts.  Cut long strips of pastry measuring around 1cm wide and retaining the 50cm length.  Aim to have in excess of 18 strips as the extras will be useful in case of any tears to the pastry strips.  Gently lift 3 strips of pastry, one at a time, and lay them on a flat work surface alongside each other.  Attach the far ends of the pastry together.  Gently plait the strands, aiming not to stretch them.  Gently lift the right hand strip of pastry over the centre strip so that it now lays in the centre.  Gently lift the left hand strip of pastry over the centre strip so that it now occupies the centre position.  Repeat until the full length of the pastry is plaited.   Press the finishing ends of the pastry together to secure.  Use a knife to neaten the end of the pastry.  Set aside to somewhere cool and repeat to make five more plaits.        

8.  Reduce the oven temperature to 180c / 160 Fan / Gas 4.

9. Trim the pastry cases.   Use a small sharp knife to trim the excess cooked pastry from the pastry cases.  Hold the knife horizontally.  Slowly and carefully trim away the excess so that the top of the pastry case is flush with the metal housing.
10.  Make the frangipane.   Put the softened butter, sugars and orange zest into a bowl and beat either with an electric hand held beater or wooden spoon, until the mixture is pale and fluffy.  Add the almond extract to the lightly beaten eggs and mix.  Add the egg mixture to the beaten butter and sugar a third at a time, beating well after each addition.   Sieve the ground almonds into the mixture.  Fold the almonds in gently using a spatula or large metal spoon.

11.  Prepare the fruit.  Empty the can of breakfast apricots into a bowl.  Select 6 nice fruits which have been stoned but are still whole.  Rinse these under water to remove the syrup.  Dry them on with a sheet of kitchen roll.  Set them aside. 

12.  Start filling the pastry flan.  Once the pastry has cooled, place 1 - 1.5 tsp of orange curd onto base of each pastry case. Use the underside of a teaspoon to spread it out.  Fill a piping bag (no nozzle required) with the frangipane mixture and pipe over the curd (this will prevent the curd from being disturbed).  Use another teaspoon to gently smooth out the frangipane if necessary.  Avoid over filling the cases with frangipane as it will puff up and rise a little as it bakes (if you feel it is over full remove some with a teaspoon).

13.  Apply the pastry decoration (optional).  Gently lift a strip of the plaited pastry. Lay the neatest end of the pastry onto the frangipane, butting upto the pastry shell.  Slowly rotate the pastry case around whilst continuing to lay the pastry down into a neat circle.  Trim off the excess pastry with a pair of scissors.   With a pastry brush lightly apply a little beaten egg to the plait, avoid getting it down the side of the pastry case which is likely to result in the tart sticking to the metal case during the make and therefore making it harder to remove.

14.  Finish filling the flan cases.  Place one of the prepared apricots into the centre of each tart.  Avoid pushing it down into the frangipane.  Scatter the frangipane with a few flaked almonds (optional).

15.  Bake the frangipane.  Place the tart cases into the oven (on the preheated baking tray) and bake for 25 - 30 minutes.  Check the tarts after 20 minutes of baking, you may need to rotate the tarts at this point.  The tarts are ready when the sponge is golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre come out clean.  Remove from the oven and set aside on a cooling rack to cool.

16.  Remove from the tart cases.  After 4 or 5 minutes of cooling remove the tarts from their cases and return them to the cooling rack to finish cooling.

17.  Dust with icing sugar.  Once the tarts are fully cool, you may want to dust them with a little icing sugar.

Enjoy served as they are or with some fresh cream.  Beautiful warm or cold.


a)  Rather than using the 12cm tart tins, the bake would work equally well made both larger or smaller, though you will need to adjust the baking duration.
b)  The pastry can be made a day or two ahead of time and kept wrapped in the fridge until required.  You may need to remove it from the fridge 10 minutes or so before rolling if it is overly firm.
c) Personally I find rolling the individual portions of pastry far easier than handling and turning a large sheet of pastry. 
d)  Depending upon the size of your baking tray and your choice of tart tins you may need to batch bake the frangipane tarts, as I did.
e)  The heated baking tray makes it a lot easier to remove the tarts from the oven without having to handle the actual tart case.
f) When handling the pastry try not to add too much flour to the work bench.  Also avoid stretching the pastry strips when plaiting / braiding them.  

Pin it for later

This recipe for Individual Apricot and Orange Frangipane Tarts resulted in a delicious afternoon treat.  The tarts were decorated with a pastry plait / braid around their edge.

This post has been shared with:

Tasty Tuesday hosted this week by Le Coin de Mel on beheld of Vicki over at Honest Mum. 
 Bake of the Week co-hosted by sarah at Maison Cupcake and Helen at Casa Costello (this week hosted by Sarah).

Treat Petite co-hosted by Kat at The Baking Explorer and The Cakeyboi.  There is no theme this month, anything goes.

CookBlogShare Link up your recipe of the week


  1. Wow these look amazing, pinned ready for my next dinner party - I love a frangipane!! Alice xx

    1. :-) Thank you Alice, I hope you enjoy them as much as we did. I'd love it if you could tweet me a picture of them & let me know how you got on with them :-)
      Thanks for your lovely comment, and of course for pinning,
      Angela x

  2. These looks so pretty and I bet they taste amazing!! I do love frangipane :-) Instagram is great for ideas isn't it? Eb x

    1. Oh heck yes, they certainly did taste amazing Eb. I really wsn't expecting the apricot, orange & almond to get on quite as well as they did. Instagram is absolutely brilliant, they're so many great ideas on there.
      Thanks for your lovely comment Eb,
      Angela x

  3. These look devine :-) Love the sound of the orange curd. Thanks for linking to #CookBlogShare

    1. Thank you Hayley :-), the orange curd gave a lovely background flavour and worked amazingly well with the almonds and apricot. Thanks for popping by,
      Angela x

  4. I think these look extremely pretty Angela! I made raspberry frangipane tarts recently - they were so good and I love the sound of yours as an alternative. #CookBlogShare

    1. Aw thank you Mandy :-) Raspberry frangipane tarts sound lovely I shall have to pop over,
      Thanks for popping by Mandy,
      Angela x

  5. These look gorgeous - so pretty with the almonds & pastry plait on top! #cookblogshare

    1. Thank you so much Midge :-)
      Thanks for popping by,
      Angela x

  6. These are beautiful and the pastry decoration is amazing! I am also really impressed by the decorations I see on various tarts and pies online - I haven't tried it myself though so I am thoroughly impressed!

    1. There are so many delicious pastry decorations out on the net aren't there? I have to say it really wasn't difficult at all, as long as you know how to do a three strand plait of course ;-) The only thing I would say though, if you do try a pastry decoration, would be to halndle the pastry ultra gently to avoid stretching it.
      Thanks for you lovely comment Corina,
      Angela x

  7. What beautiful tarts. The decorative pleated edge is so effective and I love the sunshiney apricot centre. The flavour combinations sound delicious as well.

    1. Aw thank you Jo :-) The flavour combination worked really well together,
      thanks for popping by and commenting,
      Angela x

  8. I've been loving all of the fancy pastry work that's been around recently too, your tarts look so pretty with the plait around the edge! And they sound delicious. Thank you for linking up with Treat Petite.

    1. Some of the pretty pastry designs are absolutely amazing aren't they?
      Thanks for popping by and of course for hosting,
      Angela x

  9. I love a bit of frangipane. Throw in some apricots and I'm in my happy place! I've just pinned it.

    1. I'm with you there Mel, frangipane and apricot.....they were absolutely delicious. Thanks for pinning.
      Angela x


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