Season: All | Active Time: 10 minutes | Total Time: 30 minutes | Difficulty: 2 (Easy)
Frangipane, aka almond cream, is a versatile pastry component that’s typically used as a filling. The preparation is simple, but there are a thousand interpretations of the recipe. Some versions call for almond flour, some use almond paste. I prefer to start with sliced almonds because they toast quickly (and toasting adds a huge amount of flavor to the frangipane), plus they grind to a fine powder. Sliced almonds (the ones that are flat, not slivered) are easy to find, and the entire recipe comes together in less than 2 minutes in the food processor. While almond is classic, frangipane can be made using almost any kind of nut, or you can substitute almond flour for the sliced almonds and make the mixture by hand. ①
Makes about 1½ cups
Special Equipment: Food processor
1 cup sliced almonds, preferably unblanched (4 oz / 113g) ②
⅓ cup sugar (2.3 oz / 66g)
½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3 oz / 85g), cut into ½-inch pieces, chilled
1 large egg (1.8 oz / 50g), at room temperature
1 large egg yolk (0.6 oz / 16g), at room temperature
½ teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (0.56 oz / 16g)
Preheat the oven and toast the almonds: Arrange an oven rack in the center position and preheat the oven to 350°F. Scatter the almonds on a small rimmed baking sheet and toast, shaking halfway through, until they’re golden and nutty smelling, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, transfer to a plate or cutting board, and let the almonds cool completely.
Grind the almonds: In a food processor, combine the sugar, salt, and cooled toasted almonds and process in long pulses until the almonds are finely ground.
Make the frangipane: Add the butter to the processor and pulse until the mixture is smooth. Add the whole egg, yolk, and almond extract and pulse until completely incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add the flour and pulse just until the flour disappears. Scrape the mixture into a lidded container, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.
Chocolate-Hazelnut Frangipane: Substitute an equal weight of blanched hazelnuts for the sliced almonds and toast them using the method above. Proceed with the recipe as written, adding 4 ounces (113g) chopped semisweet chocolate to the food processor with the nuts, sugar, and salt and finely grinding. Use vanilla extract in place of the almond extract.
The frangipane, stored airtight in the refrigerator, will keep up to 4 days. Let it come to room temperature before using.
① To make the frangipane by hand, replace the sliced almonds with 1 cup (4 oz / 113g) almond flour (skip the toasting step) and start with room temperature butter: In a medium bowl, beat the butter and sugar with a flexible spatula until light and creamy, then add the whole egg, yolk, and almond extract and beat until incorporated. Add the almond flour, all-purpose flour, and salt and mix until smooth.
② Use an equal weight of untoasted shelled pistachios, pecans, walnuts, or blanched hazelnuts in place of the almonds. Be sure to first toast them thoroughly. Replace the almond extract with vanilla extract, if desired.