I was first introduced to Our Growing Edge over a year ago and it has always been a great source of inspiration due to the variety of themes set by other bloggers. This month’s theme is ‘family favourites’, which certainly gave me some food for thought.
Getting a whole family to agree on a cake can sometimes be tricky. My parents love a variety of fruit cakes, but for me, you can’t beat a good slice of chocolate sponge with as much chocolate icing as possible. There is one recipe though that we all love – Granny Val’s frangipane tarts.
Technically the recipe she uses belongs to Mary Berry, but to us it will always be Granny Val’s. She is the only one that makes them and they’re always on the table at family get-togethers. With this theme in mind, I thought it was a great time to learn a recipe that I know my family would love.
Before making them, I Googled the recipe and strangely enough I couldn’t find one. All the Mary Berry recipes were for large cakes not mini ones. So I found a different one and decided I would challenge myself by baking a batch and seeing how close I thought it came to Granny Val’s.
Batch 1: Batch one actually came pretty close. You can’t tell from the photo, but they just needed less jam, less vanilla essence and (according to my mum) a hotter temperature – despite the fact that I followed the instructions on the recipe.
Batch 2: Batch two was a disaster. As they were in the oven, the jam was bubbling up over the top making them very hard to get out of the baking tins, which resulted in some split tarts. Plus the pastry bases were concaved. The taste however was much improved. The jam to sponge ratio was much better, but the vanilla essence was still wrong.
Batch 3: I decided to mix it up for batch three. I used a cupcake baking tray rather than a muffin tray and instead of vanilla essence, I used French almond. Success! The jam to sponge ratio was the best I had ever made it. The almond flavouring was definitely right as it blended in nicely and the pastry bottoms were the best they had ever been too! They kept their shape and were coloured to perfection (perhaps my mum was right about the hotter temperature).
For batch three, I also did some with raspberry jam and topped the tart with almond icing and freeze dried raspberry pieces. A lovely alternative if you’re not a fan of apricot and almonds.
Even though batch three was definitely the best, I must admit that I still can’t make them quite like Granny Val, but I’m very close. If you too would like to give them a go then the recipe is below. Happy Baking!
Mini Frangipane Tarts – makes 15
For the pastry:
175g plain flour
75g butter (I used Flora Freedom)
25g icing sugar
1 large egg
For the filling:
100g butter (I used Flora Freedom)
100g caster sugar
2 large eggs
100g ground almonds
To make the pastry, crumb the flour, butter and icing sugar with your hands until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs
Add the egg and mix until the dough comes together
Roll out your pastry and using a fluted cutter, cut out the pastry bases
Line your cupcake tin with the pastry
Preheat your oven to 180°C
Spoon a heaped teaspoon of apricot jam into each tart (or raspberry or any flavour you like for that matter)
In a bowl beat together the eggs
Then in a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugar and then gradually add in the beaten egg mixture
Next, fold in the ground almonds
Carefully spoon the mixture over the jam
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes and sprinkle flaked almonds over the top and return to the oven for a further 10 – 15 minutes until golden brown and set
Keep in an airtight container for a week