Very few scents evoke such vivid memories that instantly transport you to where you long to be. From the first hint of toasted coconut wafting through the air and I am on the beach…lungs devouring the salty air and the water slowly inching closer to feet that find a bit of solace buried into the cool, gleaming, glittery sand. Today finds my heart on a Florida beach and my hands baking a bit of summer, this perfectly bright and seasonally summer Mango Key Lime Pie with a Speculoos Coconut Cookie Crust.
I have a secret to share: I have never had rhubarb and the extent of my rhubarb experience has been limited to the jingle on A Prairie Home Companion… “Bepob-a-rebop rhubarb pie.” I am fully aware that mastery of a NPR radio show jingle does not make one an expert on rhubarb. So when I was met with a kaleidoscope of stunning pink, red and green hues on perfect seasonal stalks of fresh rhubarb, I knew it was about time that I discovered rhubarb and baked into something beautiful. The pâte sucrée tart shell layered with tangerine macerated rhubarb that is nestled in luscious frangipane with an equally delicious history, was the manifestation of this inspiration.
Frangipane, also know as frangipani in Italian and crème frangipane in French, is as rich and velvety as it sounds. It is an almond pastry cream that is used as a filling in tarts, cakes and assorted pastries. It is comprised of creamed butter and sugar, with eggs and finely ground almonds added in. The term can be used to refer to both the almond cream itself or the pastry that is filled with it.
There is something ethereal about a perfectly baked tart that conjures images of the quintessential Parisian Pâtisserie. This is a most pleasing pâte sucrée recipe, which is the foundation of the sweet tart. What you choose to fill and decorate this tart shell with is only limited by your inspired imagination.