Friday, June 28, 2013

Daring Bakers: Apricot Frangipane Pie

Rachael from pizzarossa was our lovely June 2013 Daring Bakers' host and she had us whipping up delicious pies in our kitchens! Cream pies, fruit pies, chocolate pies, even crack pies! I was thrilled at the challenge because I've been fixated on baking pies and tarts for quite some time now and this challenge was yet another excuse to try something new. So, before I continue with the post, I have to say a big "thank you" to Rachael. 

Now Rachel gave us four different pies to choose from for the challenge - the infamous Crack Pie made famous by David Chang in his Momofuku Milk Bar; A Chocolate and Caramel Tart, a Crostata de Marmellata (an Italian-styled fruit tart) and a traditional double-crusted Apple Pie. 

I chose to make one of the four - the Crack Pie - and then make a fruit pie  of my own, an Apricot Frangipane Pie (see pic above!). 

First, I tried my hand at the Crack Pie. It was impossible not to try it, having heard and read so much about this utterly decadent (it's a whole lot of butter combined with a whole lot of sugar)  which I am told is being  sold at US$45 a pie or something to that effect. I was also encouraged, having tasted a replica of it made by my colleague and fellow Daring Baker Jane of The Wayward Oven.

Doesn't my Crack Pie look awesome in this photo?

Well, that's because it hadn't been cut yet at the time. Once I cut into it, I discovered to my horror that my filling hadn't set and was still gooey (this despite me extending the baking time substantially). Thick, rich butterscotch-y filling just oozed as I sliced and though it was delicious (and calorie laden, for sure), I was devastated. 

Let me show you a photo of the goooey mess. Be warned, it's not a pretty sight. 

Told ya! Not sure what went wrong. I will probably attempt to make it again once I am done grieving. Yes, I am a little dramatic over failed baking projects. Sigh.

I decided to shift my attention on my Apricot Pie which I was sure wouldn't not yield such a catastrophic result. It's a frangipane fruit pie, after all. 

I chose Apricots by chance. I was planning on making a mixed berry pie but on my grocery run last weekend I saw a carton of Apricots on sale and I grabbed two immediately. I tried them as soon as I got home and was pleased to find how soft and sweet they were. Score!

After eating a couple of them, I put the apricots to good use in the Apricot Frangipane Pie ... errr, even though it kinda looks like a tart. The apricots and the almonds in the frangipane went amazingly well. 

Frangipane is an almond pastry cream used in cakes, pies, pastries and tarts. It's made by simply creaming  butter and sugar together and then adding in almost paste (or ground almonds), eggs and a little flour. It acts as a custard would in holding the fruit pie/tart together. 

This will be my new go-to pie (whenever I see affordable apricots at the grocers, that is - imported fruit such as Apricots, Raspberries, Blueberries etc cost an arm and a leg here in Malaysia). 
Apricot Frangipane Pie
For the Crust
150g all purpose flour
25g icing sugar
90g butter, cold and cubed
3-4 tbsp cold milk

For the Filling
600g fresh apricots, pitted and halved
60g brown sugar
70g ground almond  
50g butter, room temp
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp plain flour

For the pastry, combine flour and icing sugar. Add the cold butter and rub the cubes  into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the ice cold milk in, gradually, until a soft dough forms.

Wrap in cling film and chill for at least 30mins.

For the filling, beat the butter, ground almonds and sugar until smooth. Add the egg and extract and beat till all ingredients are incorporated well. Stir in the flour.

Once the dough has chilled, roll the dough and fit it inside the pie dish. Puncture holes at the base of the pastry with a fork and blind bake for 10-13 mins or until the pastry starts to brown and the base is no longer soft.

Using a spatula, fill the half-baked case with the frangipane cream. Arrange the apricots on the cream.

Bake for about 20-30 mins or till cream sets and the pastry is cooked.


  1. Oh what a shame about your crack pie! Was it egg related? I wonder what happened? But your beautiful apricot frangipane more than made up for it! :D

  2. Oh, I hate it when fillings don't set - although honestly I don't see anything wrong with a gooey caramel filling! I'd probably eat it anyway. Your apricot frangipane pie looks delicious though, all puffed up and beautiful.

    1. Thanks Li. I ended up eating the entire pie on my own!!! Over the course of 2 weeks ... but still!!!

  3. I think the gooey crack pie looks pretty dang delicious, actually... but I understand your frustration! I hate when things don't turn out the way I expect.

    That apricot frangipane tart, however... WOW. Does that ever look good! I'm definitely bookmarking this recipe :)

    1. Thank you so much! I am in love with frangipane anything at this point :)

  4. Ai yai yai... the crack pie cracked then? Sorry, sorry, don't hit me! hehe. A good-looking apricot, yum.

    1. HAha! I won't hit you but perhaps I should have offered you a piece and let all the sugar in the pie do the job for me! Thanks, btw :)

  5. Loved the apricot frangipane tart and believe me I equally loved that gooey crack pie.

    1. Thank you Amrita. I love your mini-pies. So dainty and tempting :)

  6. I love frangipane pie and yours looks delicious!

    1. Thank you! It is actually very hard to go wrong with good fruit and frangipane :)

  7. I actually like how the crack filling is oozing out. It's just a warning how fattening it is! The apricot tart though is clearly the winner - how can you go wrong with apricots and almonds?

    1. Exactly! It was a sure fire winner ... :) thanks!


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