Tree Tomato Frangipane Tart
The other day I was checking out the produce in Beltola market. It is one of the biggest markets in our city and we are lucky to have access to the best of local produce that our region has to offer. I chanced upon some bunches of tree tomatoes sold by a couple of vendors. And this tart was born.:)
Tree tomatoes come from the cooler areas not far from my home state of Assam. The neighbouring states of Nagaland and Meghalaya grow them in abundance. And that’s where the produce comes from. Yellow and orange fruits are said to be sweeter than the darker varieties. And rightly so. These were ripe, sweet, aromatic and only had a hint of the acidic. The fruits are said to be high in vitamins and iron.
In our region, the fruit is mostly made into chutney. But a trial run during last year with a galette and muffins turned out delightful. Hence this tart. I have used pears and apples in a frangipane tart but a fruit with acidic hints would balance the sweetness of the filling. I wasn’t disappointed.
- 100 grams cold butter plus extra to grease the tin
- 200 grams all-purpose flour
- 1 egg, beaten
- A quarter teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
- Chilled water on stand by in case needed to be sprinkled
P.S. I left out the sugar as I feel the filling is sweet enough. I do this for most sweet pastry recipes.
Since everything must be cold and I live in a hot place, I like to ‘chill’ my bowl and flour as well. Place the flour in a bowl and add the pepper. Grate the butter over it. Mix, using the tips of your fingers. When the mixture is crumbly, add the cold beaten egg and bring the dough together. If necessary, you can sprinkle some chilled water at this point. As soon as the dough comes together, shape it into a sphere, wrap in clingfilm and chill for at least 40 minutes. If I am planning ahead, I prefer to chill the dough overnight.
Take it out of the fridge and set aside till ready to be rolled. Cut off half and keep the rest back in the fridge. Later the trimmings from the rolled-out pastry can be added to this ball. Roll out the dough a little bigger than the tart tin. Gently lift and place on the greased tin. Press all along the bottom edge and then trim off the overhang. Chill again for about 10 minutes. Preheat your oven and take the pastry base out. Line with baking paper and baking beans. Bake for 10 minutes at 180 C. Take it out after 10 minutes and remove the baking paper and beans. Brush the base with beaten egg and put it back to bake for another 8 minutes or so. As the pastry cools down, prepare your filling. For the filling, I used:
- 6 tree tomatoes, halved and the flesh scooped out
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 100 grams ground almonds
- 50 grams ground cashews
- 70 grams melted and cooled butter
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Blitz all together in the mixer. Place the tree tomato flesh, seeds and all, at the base. Pour the filling on top. The filling came almost to the very top. Here I realized I could have omitted the cashews.:( But I thought the filling might fall short. Sigh.
Bake for about 30 minutes at 180 C. If the top browns faster than estimated, place a piece of foil on top. Bake till golden brown or till a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Let it cool down a bit before removing from the tin. Serve by cutting into wedges. I like it a little warm particularly on a cloudy day like today. Not that the temperature has plummeted.:) We were also blessed with a slight *sprinkling* of November rain.