A few days before the challenge was announced, I had made my first batch of jam in more than twenty years. I found someone locally on craigslist to trade their organic kumquats for marmalade. I had never made marmalade before. It was so easy, so delicious and so beautiful.
I was inspired by others at the Daring Kitchen forums to make mini-tarts. As I didn't own any small tart pans, I improvised with my muffin tin. My family loved the tarts. The almond frangipane goes well with almost any jam flavor. I was less than thrilled with the pastry dough recipe which I found too rich and too buttery. The tart has a wonderful rich filling (butter, eggs and almond flour). The tart crust was too rich for me. I was also disappointed when two different attempts with the mini-tarts ended with cracked tops.
I decided to give it another try with my new 9" tart pan. A batch of just finished homemade peach preserves was sitting in the kitchen. I was really looking forward to the peach and almond combination. I followed all the suggestions on the forums for getting the crust just right: chilled all the ingredients, froze the butter, then grated it. The crust was blind baked in an attempt to prevent it from being soggy. After all that, I'm still not impressed with that crust. It's still too oily and not crisp enough. The tart, however, was wonderful. Peach and frangipane is a divine combination.
Many thanks to the hosts for the delicious challenge. I know frangipane will have many uses in other desserts for me. I'm still in search of the perfect tart crust though. Feel free to make suggestions. You can find the entire challenge recipe here.