Fresh thyme might just be my most used herb in the kitchen, thanks in part to the little pot growing at lightning speed on my windowsill. More often than not, I use it in sweet recipes – for flavouring custards, infusing syrups for cakes or in this blueberry frangipane tart. Fresh herbs bring such a unique fragrance to cakes that is often unexpected but works so well. This tart would also be wonderful with rosemary or even tarragon.
Blueberry and thyme frangipane tart
Prep 50 min
Cook 45 min
Makes 1 x 23cm tart, to serve 8-10
For the pastry
175g unsalted butter, cold and diced
275g plain flour
80g icing sugar
1 lemon zest
¼ tsp salt
1 large egg, beaten
For the frangipane
180g caster sugar
1½ tbsp finely chopped thyme, plus extra to decorate
180g unsalted butter, softened
3 large eggs
160g ground almonds
30g plain flour
2 tbsp flaked almonds
To make the pastry, put the butter, flour, icing sugar, lemon zest and salt in a food processor and pulse until the mix resembles fine breadcrumbs. (Alternatively, put everything in a large bowl and rub the butter into the flour with your fingers.)
Add the egg and pulse (or stir) until the mixture starts to clump together. Turn the pastry out on to a lightly floured surface, give it a quick, gentle knead to bring it together, then pat into a disc, wrap and chill in the fridge for two hours, or until firm.
Once chilled, roll out the pastry into a large circle about 5cm wider than a 23cm tart tin. Line the tin with the pastry, leaving a few centimetres overhang, then put it back in the fridge to chill again while you make the filling.
Heat the oven to 180C (160C fan)/350F/gas 4. Put the sugar and thyme in a large bowl and use your fingers to rub together until fragrant. Add the butter, then beat with an electric whisk for three to four minutes, until pale and creamy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the almonds and flour until well combined.
Remove the pastry from the fridge and use a sharp knife to trim off the overhang. Spoon or pipe half the filling into the pastry case and scatter half the blueberries on top. Cover with the remaining frangipane, and top that with the rest of the blueberries. Sprinkle the flaked almonds on top and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove and leave to cool completely before serving.