Recipe

Carrot & thyme frangipane tart

by Kathy Slack

A twist on the classic bakewell that shows off the versatility of veg

This tart is a classic frangipane tart, like a bakewell, that’s taken a different path in life. It’s a bit of effort, but a great make-ahead dessert for a dinner party.

Ingredients

For the carrot jam:
330g carrots, peeled and grated
1 orange, zest and juice
1 lemon, zest and juice
300g granulated sugar
1 cinnamon stick
3 cloves
1 tsp grated nutmeg

For the pastry:
330g plain flour
100g icing sugar
180g cold butter, cubed
1 egg yolk

For the frangipane:
125g butter, softened
125g caster sugar
2 eggs
125g ground almonds
1 tbsp chopped thyme leaves
1 tbsp flaked almonds

Method

Start by making the jam. Put everything in a large pan and mix together. Leave to macerate overnight. The next day, pour 300ml water over the mixture and boil for around 30 mins until it reaches 104C, or crinkles when you spoon it onto a cold plate. To test this, leave it to set for 1 min then drag your finger through it. Cool for a few mins, then pour into a sterilised jam jar until needed, or into a tupperware if you’re using it immediately.

For the pastry, mix the flour, icing sugar and butter in a food processor until sandy in texture. Add the egg yolk and 2 tbsp cold water and whizz until just combined. Shape into a round and chill for at least 30 mins.

Roll the pastry between 2 sheets of clingfilm to 3-4mm thick—this prevents you from touching your dough and so helps maintain its ‘short’ texture. Peel off the top layer of clingfilm, so your rolled out dough is sat on a layer of clingfilm, then use the bottom sheet to lift and flip the dough into the pastry case. The clingfilm should now be on top, which means you can push it into the case without touching it. Pop in the fridge for 30 mins.

To blind bake the pastry, preheat the oven to 180C. With the clingfilm still on—or remove and line with baking paper—fill the pastry case with baking beans, rice or lentils. Bake for 20 mins or until sandy and firm in the middle. Remove the beans, using the clingfilm to lift them out, prick with a fork, trim the edges and continue to cook for a further 5-10 mins, or until the pastry is lightly golden. Remove and allow to cool. Leave the oven on for cooking the filling.

For the frangipane, beat the butter and sugar together then add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition. Fold in the ground almonds and thyme.

To assemble the tart, spread the carrot jam (fish out the cinnamon stick and cloves first) in a thick layer over the pastry base. Spoon the frangipane on top and flatten. Scatter with flaked almonds. Return the tart to the oven for 45 mins or until the frangipane is set. Cool a little before serving, perhaps with a dollop of crème fraiche.

Recipe: Kathy Slack