Dear love. I’ve fallen again. Thank life. I leave for Paris tomorrow. The smoking, opiate stained Paris, I’ve always dreamed of. Dreamed in. The streets that coat, the blanket of night that consumes. Loving, flowering, unfolding like a rose. Pastel petals in hue and fragrant in scent. Dying breath. Faded dreams. The sparkling brilliance of Summer. Heat in full song. If my inner longing was a place, it would be Paris.
I have dawns of illusion, nights of melancholia. The pull of life that exists from living between two worlds. I stand before each, possessing pain, pursuing lust. She’s the girl blessed with the need for abandon. Always running, escaping, dreaming things into being. Flight, the river of life, the souls beating lifeblood. And she loves. Loves life like death. Life, representing pure creation. Death, representing creation becoming finite. The animalistic sense of restlessness that never eases. I, eternally, will hunt for unattainable honey.
More tarts, less cakes. I take the former. There’s a beauty within the simplistic. And there’s an impossible beauty that comes from doing something simple, well. And of late, simple tarts are what I’ve been drawn to. Rose Apple Frangipane Tart, my favourite rendition yet. So many of you asked for the recipe. And here I am, sharing it. It’s got a buttery crust and a light rose flavoured almond frangipane within. A hint of brandy too. The top? A layer of pink apples and a scattering of slightly salted cinnamon streusel. Rose petals, gild the lily. It’s a tart that carries feeling.
This post, will be the last for a while. I don’t aim to post on the blog whilst I travel. Then again, who really knows. You can keep up with my world on Instagram. I’ll try to share daily. But, for now, I leave you with an excerpt from The Diary of Anaïs Nin. Her brilliance is never lost on me.
“Everything seems miraculous, that the summer should be so soft, that fountains should play on the Champs-Elysees, that men and women are walking. A city never entirely known, yet which gives you the feeling of intimacy, of possessing it intimately. A sky which changes every day and yet keeps its opaline tones. Can life continue to unroll this way with a freshness never withered, new faces, new marvels? Can one arrive so many times at fullness without touching bottom, every year new leaves, new skins, new loves, new words. One day I weep at change, but then there is no death, there is this everlasting continuity, nothing is lost, it is transformed or have I learned to walk magically over hot coals without burning my feet?” Anaïs Nin, August 1937
ROSE APPLE FRANGIPANE TART
200 g all-purpose flour, 40 g confectioners’ sugar, ½ tsp. salt, 140 g cold unsalted butter (cubed), 1 large egg yolk, 2 tbsp. cold water
Place the flour, confectioners’ sugar, salt and butter into the bowl of a food processor. Process, until the mixture forms that of a coarse meal like texture with some pea-sized chunks of butter running throughout it, 20 to 30 seconds. Add in the egg yolk and water. Pulse, until the mixture has just come together and forms a soft dough ball around the base of the blade, no more than 30 seconds. Tip the dough ball out and onto a sheet of plastic wrap then flatten the ball down into a rough disc shape. Cover, and chill for at least 1 hour, or overnight.
125 g unsalted butter (soft at room temperature), 125 g granulated sugar, 100 g almond meal, 1 tbsp. rye flour, 2 large eggs, 1 tbsp. brandy, 1 tsp. vanilla bean extract, ¾ tsp. rose water, ¼ tsp. almond extract ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon, ¼ tsp. salt
Add the butter into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the beater attachment. Beat the butter, on low speed, until it is very soft and malleable, 1 minute. Add in the sugar. Beat, on medium speed, until the mixture is light and fluffy, 4 more minutes. Add in the almond meal and rye flour. Beat, for a further 2 more minutes, or until well combined. Add in the brandy, vanilla bean extract, rose water, almond extract, cinnamon and salt. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and beat, for a further 3 minutes, or until the frangipane is very pale in colour and fluffy in texture. Set aside until needed.
85 g all-purpose flour, ½ tsp. ground cinnamon, ¼ tsp. salt, 3 tbsp. cold unsalted butter (cubed)
In a small bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Add in the butter. Use your fingers to rub the butter into the dry flour ingredients until fine crumbs form. Then, using a slightly greater amount of pressure, squeeze the mixture to form large clumps. Set aside.
3 large pink apples or pears (cored, peeled and sliced), confectioners’ sugar (for dusting)
Pre-heat the oven to 180 c (350 f). Grease and flour a 34 cm x 11 cm rectangle fluted tart tin with a removable-base. Set aside.
Set the pastry out and onto a floured working surface. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, begin to roll the dough out and into a rough rectangle, a few centimeters larger than the tart tin you’re using. It should be about 3.5-4 mm in thickness. Roll the dough over your rolling pin and carefully transfer it into the tart tin. Use your fingers to gently adjust the dough to the tin and press it into the base and edges. Trim off the excess overhang.
Use an offset metal spatula, or a spoon, to evenly spread the frangipane over the tart base. Roughly arrange the apple or pear slices over the top and scatter over the streusel. Place the tart onto a lined baking tray.
Bake, for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the tart is golden, the crust is firm and the frangipane center has just set. Remove from the oven and set the tart on a wire tack. Let the tart cool completely in its tin. When you’re ready to serve, carefully turn the tart out onto a serving plate and dust it with confectioner’s sugar before slicing.