Naughty but nice: my fail-proof Peach Frangipane.

frangipane7How to pronounce it: fran-jee-pan-ee.

I say that it’s a bit naughty, because the original recipe contains sugar as well as wheat. I am currently working on a gluten free, sugar free version, but am still trying to perfect the tart shell and will keep you posted. The nice part really does not need any explanation…the smell filling your kitchen is worth the bake by itself!

Luckily all the sugar in this recipe can be replaced 1:1 with Xylitol. YEAY!

**For the powdered / confectioners sugar – simply blitz 1 cup of Xylitol + 1 Tbs of cornflour together in a food processor,  measure out the required quantity and store the remainder in an airtight container.**

Not to be confused with the Frangipani plant (Plumeria), in the Pastry Kitchen,  a  Frangipane is typically a filling made from, or flavored with almonds.

The origin of its name seems to be shrouded in secrecy, however. Directly translated from  Italian it literately means “that breaks the bread”, which does not make a lot of scene, so some references credit it to its most probable inventor – a Roman nobleman with the family name Frangipane, who later became a perfumer to Louis XIII of France.

frangipane2It might seem like quite a sizable recipe, but it is actually just a few very easy steps and is absolutely fail-proof.

What you need

Tart shell:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup powdered icing sugar OR Xylitol sugar free replacement **
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 130g butter,  cut into small dice and refrigerated
  • 1 egg yolk (reserve the egg white for the filling)


Poached peaches:

  • 2 cups water
  • ¾ cup sugar OR Xylitol
  • ½ lemon, juice and peel
  • 1 vanilla pod split open OR 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • A large pinch of salt
  • 5  ripe peaches OR pears / apples / cherries / plumbs to make up the same volume


Frangipane- the tart filling:

  • 85g  softened butter
  • 2/3 cup sugar / Xylitol
  • 3/4 cup almond flour / ground blanched almonds
  • 2 teaspoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 XL egg plus 1 egg white reserved from crust
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract

How to poach the peaches:

Place the water, sugar, lemon juice and peel, cinnamon stick, vanilla and salt in a saucepan bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Halve and stone the peaches. Softly lower the peaches in the simmering liquid and poach over a low heat until they are soft – it takes around 8-10 minutes. Leave the peaches to cool down in the poaching liquid. *If you find yourself with some very clingy stones, simply poach the peaches whole and add a few minutes to the cooking time*

How to make the tart shell: 

Place the flour, powdered sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Add the cold butter and pulse again until the butter is evenly distributed. Add the egg yolk and combine in several pulses until the dough starts to turn from dry to clumpy. It happens very quickly – don’t overwork it! As soon as you can press a few clumps together to form a dough, you are good to go.

Tip the dough into a buttered loose bottomed 22cm tart tin and evenly press into the bottom and up the sides with your fingers. (Work softy like a little kitten walking on  thick grass to avoid a dense crust :- ). Freeze the tart shell for 30 minutes. Butter a piece of tin foil on the “dull side” and press lightly onto the frozen tart shell (shiny side up in other words). Bake in a pre-heated oven @ 180°C for 23-25 minutes, remove from the oven, remove the foil and leave to cool on a wire rack.

How to make the frangipane:

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and blitz until smooth.

 To finish the tart: 

Spread the frangipane evenly into the cooled tart shell.

Remove the poached peaches from their liquid and drain  on paper towels. Cut each peach into medium thick slices, carefully arrange onto the frangipane covering it evenly .

Bake @ 180°C for 40-42 minutes in a pre-heated oven.

Enjoy the tart slightly warm or at room temperature with creme fraiche or whipped cream and add some fresh berries to make it even more lush.


Have your (GLUTEN- & SUGAR FREE) cake and eat it too. Dressing up is optional.

gluten-fSome like it hot, some like it not…

Whether you dress up this sweet little thing or have it au naturale, you are sure to fall in love with this easy,  GLUTEN FREE, REFINED SUGAR FREE vanilla loaf cake recipe. You are welcome to substitute the Xylitol for castor sugar if you feel like sweetening things up.

Plain, just out of the oven this cake is ás inviting as dressed up with some pretty little extras and crowned with a shard of gold leaf.

Have some fun in the kitchen this weekend! Play around with toppings, sides and accessories and please share the pics of your version of this versatile jane cake – I would LOVE to see it!

Her are some ideas to get you in the mood (including a few not-so-sugar-free options).

Adorn her with some berries, Turkish delight, creme fraiche and toasted pistachio nuts.


Treat him to a spread of grapefruit- or lemon curd, passion fruit, clotted cream and meringues.gluten19

Keep it sugar free with only strawberries and cream (OR Chantilly cream and a berry coulis if you feel opulent)


Take it to the next level with a little Chocolate Hazelnut spread, fresh cream and toasted hazelnuts with a swirl of Frangelico on the side.

What you need:

  • 200g butter
  • 170g Xilytol (or castor sugar)
  • 3 eggs
  • 65g almond flour
  • 130g rice flour
  • 1½ tsp (gluten free) baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract / paste

How to do it:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180° C.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar. The fluffier and paler, the softer and finer your end-result would be- so give it a good go.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking after each addition.
  4. Mix in the almond flour; rice flour;  baking powder; salt and vanilla until just incorporated.
  5. Pour into a prepared loaf tin and bake for 35 minutes on the middle rack of the oven.
  6. Cool down for 5 minutes in the tin before turning out on a cooling rack.