This vegan apricot frangipane tart is a crowd pleasing eye candy style dessert. A tasty almond & apricot tart (frangipane) that is perfect for a dinner party. It serves 12, so if you have a big table – this is the one!
This recipe is an amalgam based on several online recipes but substantially improved from a health perspective. I find most cake recipes on & off-line are simply too sweet. Also they nearly always use 100% white flour which is another negative. This recipe benefits from a reduced sugar content and is mostly wholemeal flour. It is therefore much healthier. Granted cakes aren’t very healthy, but if you’re going to eat them – at least make them as healthy as possible.
However, despite the alterations like substituting wholemeal flours, and reducing the sugar, it is still extremely tasty and attractive to the eye. Plus there are no compromises on ingredients – it is made to a taste as opposed to a price.
Getting pastry – especially wholemeal – into a pastry case is a really tricky process. So I have used a cunning trick to make it much easier. You will need a loose bottom tin for this – but they are always the best kind to have anyway. They also make getting the finished tart out so much easier!
Almonds are expensive – there’s just no getting round it – but the taste is worth it. Also, don’t use a cheap jam – it’s just not worth it. I’ve been generous with the jam too – again it’s not worth skimping on it.
True the recipe is a bit fiddly but it’s not too difficult if you follow the instructions methodically, step by step. Serving this vegan apricot frangipane tart with vanilla soya ice cream and some soya cream is totally decadent true, but worth every calorie.
It keeps very well too, but keep it in a cool place rather than the fridge, and make sure to cover it, it will last between 3 to 5 days.
Vegan Apricot Frangipane Tart
- 1 Digital scales zeroable/tareable
- 2 bowls or one if you re-use the pastry bowl - not need to wash it TBH
- 1 electric whisk useful but not essential
- 1 saucepan - medium
- 1 pastry cutting wheel useful but not essential - you can use a knife instead
- 1 Rolling Pin
- 1 pallet knife
- 1 25cm fluted loose bottom tart case high sided is best - 3cm approx
- 1 stick blender not essential but much easier - you can use a fork but it takes much longer!
- 135 g wholemeal flour – can be S/R as it's finer
- 65 g white flour – can be S/R
- 50 g ground almonds or almond flour almond flour is finer
- 25 g golden icing sugar
- ¼ teasp salt
- 150 g block vegan butter. Flora Vegan Block is good.
- 1 Tbsp chilled water some folk use vodka or gin
- 200 g ground almonds
- 60 g whole meal S/R flour
- 40 g cornflour or corn starch
- 1 teaspoons baking powder
- 80 g caster sugar reduced to 80 from 90.
- 160 g vegan block butter Flora is good
- 120 g unsweetened plant milk oat is best – but any will do
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 250 g apricot jam in total keep back 50g for the glaze
- 411 g tin of apricot halves in juice (240g drained weight) not syrup - this is the weight of juice + apricots
- 15 g flaked almonds use what you think looks good.
- 50 g of the pureed apricot jam.
Making the Pastry
- Weigh the 2 flours, ground almonds, icing sugar directly into a good-sized bowl – zeroing the scale each time. Add the salt and mix well.
- Add the chilled, vegan butter as cubes, then use a pair of large table knives (one in each hand like scissors) to cut the fat into the flour. When it’s in very small pieces, you can finish off by rubbing it in using just your fingertips you’re looking for the mixture to resemble fine breadcrumbs with no lumps of butter remaining. You can also do it in a food processor - pulse blitz it, but don't overdo it.
- Add the cold water (or spirit if using) and mix with a pallet knife to combine. It should come together into a ball fairly easily – it may need just a little more water, but it’s best to avoid this if you can. Form the pastry into a disc – but don't knead it. Place on a piece of grease-proof paper, and cover with a suitably sized bowl. Then refrigerate for about 30 minutes until firm enough to roll out. Don’t leave it too long though or it will become too hard.
- Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured cool surface until you have a circle 3cm bigger than the base of a 25cm fluted round tart tin. A loose base tin is best.
- If you have a loose base, remove the base, grease it and place a same sized parchment paper circle on it. Place it in the centre & on top of the pastry, and then cut round it.
- Carefully remove the edge pieces and free the pastry from the surface using the pallet knife and some flour - so you can slide the base under the pastry circle. This is the most fool proof way. Position the pastry so it perfectly covers the base, then return it to the tart casing.
- Take the edge pieces and run them round the edge - so they join the pastry base – they will be more than long enough. Press the pastry into the flutes/corners then cut off the top with the pallet knife.
- If you can’t do it this way because you don't have a loose base tart case, you’ll have to attempt to get the pastry into the tin without it breaking or getting mangled – that is a very tricky way to do it.
- Prick the base of the pastry all over with a dining fork then place it in the freezer for 20 minutes until solid. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan.
- Line the pastry case with a baking parchment circle, then fill sufficiently with ceramic baking beans to keep the sides in place.
- Bake for 15 minutes then remove the paper and baking beans and return the pastry case to the oven for a further 5 minutes until pale golden. Remove from the oven and set to one side. If you over cook it now, it will brown too much when cooking with the filling in later.
Making the Jam layer
- Weigh your apricot jam – bon mamman is good – into a jug and heat on half power for around a minute.
- Blitz with a stick blender and then weigh 200g into the pastry case. You can use a whisk, but it's not as good.
- Spread the layer of apricot jam over the base of the pastry case - the best way is with a silicon pastry brush. Then put in the fridge for 30 minutes or so until it is fairly solid. You could even put it in the freezer for say 10 minutes if you're in a hurry.
Making the Frangipane filling
- Before you start the frangipane open the can of apricots & allow them drain well in a colander. Turning them all concave side down so the liquid drains out is a good idea. I used a can of Sainsbury's apricots in fruit juice (240g drained weight) which was just right.
- Mix together the ground almonds, wholemeal flour, cornflour, baking powder and sugar in a bowl.
- Melt the vegan butter, plant milk and almond extract on a low heat.
- Pour the dry ingredients into the same pan and whisk until smooth and homogeneous.
Finishing the assembly & baking
- Remove the chilled tart case from the fridge and spoon the frangipane carefully onto the layer of jam. Gently spread the filling so it's level. I find a large dining fork is best for this.
- Arrange the apricot halves on top of the frangipane using around 18 as in the accompanying picture. 12 in the outer circle is good, then one in the centre and the rest evenly spaced. Or just however you like. If you do 12 it gives 12 nice even slices.
- You can scatter over the flaked almonds now or wait until it's cooked - which is what I did.
- Bake the tart for 1 hour, on 180°C convection or 160°C fan or until the frangipane is set and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Be careful not to overbrown the pastry though. If it's getting too brown in your oven turn the oven down to 145°C Fan for the last 10 to 15 minutes.
- Allow the tart to cool in the tin for about half an hour then use a pastry brush to brush the top of the tart with the rest of the blended apricot jam (50g) – warm it if it is too stiff. I brushed a little jam, then scattered the flaked almonds, then continued with more jam to keep them in place and give a nice appearance.