This rhubarb frangipane tart has a buttery, flaky, shortcrust pastry shell filled with a chewy, rich, almond frangipane and a colorful, brightly flavored rhubarb topping. It's easy to put together and a wonderful way to showcase the taste and color of rhubarb.
There were several large stalks of rhubarb left over in the fridge after making my Strawberry Lime Rhubarb slab pie. I was looking for a straightforward way to take advantage of them. Once I settled on a tart, it came together quickly thanks to David Leite's excellent shortcrust pastry Pâte Sucrée recipe, which is an adaptation of a recipe from Joanne Chang of Flour Bakery in Boston. It's easy to mix up and handles well.
I added a generous amount of lemon zest to the frangipane filling in order to give it a bit more zip (I sound like my grandma) and lighten its richness. If you have a food processor, it's only a matter of measuring the ingredients and then processing them all at once to make a thick almond cream that pairs wonderfully with all types of fruit. I've become a huge fan of frangipane tarts given how easy it is to make the filling, and how varied the flavors can be.
FOR THE SHORTCRUST PASTRY
- Unsalted butter - Using unsalted butter allows you to control the total quantity of salt in the recipe. Salt content in salted butter varies from brand to brand. The butter should be cubed.
- Granulated sugar - To sweeten the dough and help it brown
- Kosher salt - for added flavor
- All purpose flour - to provide structure
- Egg yolk - as a binder to provide structure to the dough, as well as fat and flavor
FOR THE FRANGIPANE
- Almond flour - I like to use finely ground almond flour for a smooth frangipane. You can also use almond meal, which is more coarsely ground. You can use them interchangeably here, though almond meal will provide a somewhat more rustic texture.
- All purpose flour - A bit of flour adds structure to the filling so that it's a bit more firm.
- Granulated sugar - Sugar adds sweetness and helps keep the frangipane moist.
- Kosher salt - for added flavor.
- Lemon zest - One medium lemon should provide you with approximately 1 Tablespoon of lemon zest. Wash and dry your lemon first, and if possible, zest directly into the food processor so that you capture the essential oils as well.
- Vanilla extract - for added flavor.
- Eggs - Eggs provide moisture and structure to the frangipane, along with fat and flavor.
- Unsalted butter - It should be at room temperature so that it combines easily with the other ingredients.
FOR THE RHUBARB TOPPING
- Rhubarb - Try to select uniform, somewhat thinner rhubarb that is as brightly colored as possible. It's the focal point of the tart, so you want it to be vibrant!
- Strawberry jam - The cooked rhubarb is brushed with a bit of jam to keep it moist and shiny. You can substitute another jam, such as apricot, if needed. Honey thinned with a bit of water would also work.
- Water - If needed, to thin jam or honey for brushing
- Powdered Sugar - Optional, for decoration
- Almond Flour - If you are not able to source almond flour, you can substitute with almond meal, which is more coarsely ground. The texture will be slightly more rustic. Some people prefer it!
- Lemon zest - Lemon zest is added to the frangipane filling to provide additional flavor. Feel free to substitute with orange zest or even lime zest. (I made a strawberry lime rhubarb slab pie, and it's delicious.) Some recipes for frangipane call for almond extract. If you love almond flavor and want an extra boost of it, omit the zest and add ¼ teaspoon almond extract to the frangipane.
I love frangipane tarts as they're so versatile. You could easily vary this recipe by keeping the shortcrust pastry and almond cream filling but swapping out the rhubarb for a different fruit topping.
- Plum frangipane tart: Add a bit of cinnamon (½ tsp) and cardamom (⅛ tsp) to the frangipane. Thinly slice plums and layer them on the filling. Sprinkle with a bit of coarse golden Turbinado sugar prior to baking for a bit of caramel flavor and texture.
- Raspberry frangipane tart: Place whole raspberries in concentric circles on top of your filling. Sprinkle with some sliced almonds. After baking, dust with a bit of powdered sugar for a beautiful presentation.
- Pear frangipane tart - I created this Pear Hazelnut Frangipane Tart, or you could use the standard shortcrust pastry and almond frangipane filling here, then prepare the pear topping similarly.
A 9 inch tart pan with a removable bottom (affiliate link) is a key to making this recipe.
I use a small offset spatula to smoothly spread the frangipane filling. It's an indispensable tool for frosting cakes and spreading batters and ganache.
After baking, wrap leftover cooled tart in plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
To freeze your baked frangipane tart, first make sure it is fully cooled. Wrap in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Place in refrigerator to defrost overnight, and bring to room temperature prior to serving.
Make in Advance
You can mix up the pate sucrée dough for the tart shell a day or two in advance. Unbaked and well wrapped, it will keep in the fridge for up to five days, and up to two weeks in the freezer.
You could divide your kitchen time even further by making the frangipane in advance, if you desire. According to Saveur, frangipane can be made up to two days in advance if stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
As for the rhubarb, that's more of a last-minute item. Cut it just before you place it on the frangipane filling so that it remains fresh and doesn't have the chance to wither or brown.
Tart Dough - When blind baking the tart, I like to line the dough with parchment paper and fill it with dry beans rather than investing in pie weights. I keep the beans in my pantry in a quart mason jar and use them over and over again. Just be sure to let them cool completely before placing them back in the mason jar to avoid condensation and mold. Before adding the pie weights or dried beans, crumple the parchment paper into a tight ball and then smooth it flat again. This helps it adapt to the shape of the pan more easily.
Frangipane - I've chosen to mix the frangipane ingredients in my food processor. If you don't have one, you can use a stand mixer. If you use a stand mixer, first cream the butter and sugar together, then add the remaining ingredients one at a time, mixing well between each addition.
Frangipane Tart vs. Bakewell Tart
Is this the same as a rhubarb Bakewell tart?
It's slightly different, though quite similar! The traditional Bakewell tart originated in the town of Bakewell, in the Derbyshire area of England. It consists of a shortcrust pastry shell with a layer of jam, almond frangipane and sliced almonds.
Rhubarb Frangipane TartPrint Recipe Pin Recipe
- 113 grams (½ cup, 4 ounces) unsalted butter, cubed
- 50 grams (¼ cup) granulated sugar
- 2 grams (½ teaspoon) kosher salt
- 120 grams (1 cup) all purpose flour
- 1 egg yolk
- 120 grams (1¼ cups) almond flour
- 30 grams (¼ cup) all purpose flour
- 150 grams (¾ cup) granulated sugar
- 1 gram (¼ teaspoon) Kosher salt
- 1 Tablespoon lemon zest (from 1 medium lemon)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 45 grams (3 Tablespoons, 1½ ounces) butter, cubed
- 366 grams, (3 cups, 13 ounces) rhubarb, sliced on the bias (I used three large thick stalks)
- 82 grams (¼ cup) strawberry jam (or another fruit jam such as apricot)
- 1 teaspoon water, if needed, to thin jam for brushing
- 30 grams (¼ cup) powdered sugar (optional)
- Into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter, sugar and salt. Mix well to combine, and continue beating on medium high until mixture is pale and fluffy, about two minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add the flour and mix until just combined. It will be coarse and grainy.
- Add the egg yolk and mix for about 30 seconds. The dough should start to pull together into a ball.
- Flatten the dough into a disc shape. Roll the dough out between two sheets of parchment paper to a 10 inch diameter circle. Slide parchment covered dough onto an upside down baking sheet and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Remove dough from fridge and place on a flat work surface. Peel the top layer of parchment off the dough. Replace the parchment, flip the dough over, and peel the second layer off. Discard it.
- Once dough is slightly malleable, carefully center and place rolled out dough on 9 inch tart pan. Gently press the dough down into the pan and up the sides, ensuring that no empty space remains between the dough and the pan. If any cracks or tears occur, patch with extra dough scraps. Trim the excess dough with a knife held parallel to your work surface to ensure the tart shell has a clean edge. Cover tart pan with plastic wrap and return to the refrigerator to chill while oven preheats.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 C, Gas number 6). Remove tart pan from refrigerator and cover the dough with a piece of parchment paper. Fill with pie weights or dried beans (I use and reuse the latter) to keep the dough from bubbling up. Bake for 6 minutes and then carefully lift the weight-filled parchment from the pan. Return to the oven to bake an additional 6 minutes. Place on a baking rack to cool.
- In the bowl of a food processor, add the almond flour, flour, sugar, salt, lemon zest, vanilla and egg. Scatter the butter over the top.
- Process until well mixed. You may need to stop the processor to scrape down the walls partway through.
- Pour filling into cooled tart shell. Use an offset spatula to smooth the filling evenly around the entire shell.
- Preheat oven to 350 F (177 C, Gas number 4) and place rack in the middle of the oven.
- Cut the rhubarb on the bias into long thin slices. (Instead of simply cutting straight across the stalk at a 90 degree angle, turn your knife 45 degrees so that it makes a diagonal cut.) Continue cutting along same angle with remaining rhubarb. This creates longer, thinner slices.
- Place the rhubarb stalks onto the frangipane filling in a decorative pattern, pressing down gently. For this tart, I used four rhubarb slices for each square to make a square basket parquet pattern, also known as parquet mosaique. If you do a Google image search for visuals of either of these terms and also look at the photos I've included here, you'll get a sense of the pattern.
- As your pattern nears the edges of the tart, trim the rhubarb slices to fit the remaining space on top of the frangipane filling so that the rhubarb stays within the tart border.
- Using a pastry brush, gently brush strawberry jam onto the rhubarb slices. If the jam is too thick to apply easily, add a teaspoon of water and stir well to create a thinner jam.
- Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until tart edge is golden brown and frangipane filling is set and no longer moist and shiny. Set on a baking rack to cool somewhat. Immediately before serving, dust with powdered sugar (optional) by placing the powdered sugar in a small sieve and tapping it (lightly!) with your hand as you move it over the tart.
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More Rhubarb Recipes
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