Ever since I was little, the idea of picking my own fruit has appealed to me. It seems like a quintessential Spring/Summer activity. I can't think of a better way to celebrate the season than to soak up the sun, get in tune with nature and carry home a basket full of beautiful sweet and ripe fruit at the end of the day!
However, where I live, there are very few PYO farms. While I know of one strawberry farm that offers the service, I'm not aware of any other farms on the outskirts of the city and even way down the South of Western Australia. Thankfully, mulberry trees, especially in West Perth, are abundant and there is even one on my university campus. I decided to take advantage of the situation and harvest some mulberries during one of my class breaks. While the tree had been thoroughly picked over, I was still able to collect a good amount of ripe berries; enough to make a batch of frangipane tarts specifically!
With so little ingredients and not a lot of hard work involved, these tarts are a delight to make and eat. They aren't too sweet, with the mulberries cutting through the butter and sugar. They are simple yet indulgent and serve as the perfect afternoon treat. Seasonal baking couldn't get any better than this.
Makes 6-8 tarts
100g castor sugar
250g cake flour
60g butter, diced
60g castor sugar
50g ground almonds
As many mulberries as you wish (I used 5 in each tart)
Combine the butter and sugar in a food processor an, while it is still running, add the egg. Add the flour and blend into a dough. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before using. Preheat the oven to 180 °C. Press the pastry into 6-8 loose-bottomed tart tins measuring 10 cm in diameter, and refrigerate for 45 minutes. Bake the tart shells for 10 minutes.
Mix the butter and castor sugar together in a food processor. Add the egg while the motor is still running and then add the ground almonds and blend well. Spoon a dollop (teaspoon) of frangipane into each tart shell and gently place 5 mulberries into each shell. Sprinkle with flaked almonds and bake for 25-30 minutes at 180 °C, turning the tarts around halfway through the baking time. You want the edges of the pastry and the frangipane to turn a little brown. Allow to cool and serve as is or with cream.
*Recipe adapted from Crush Magazing here