This pistachio frangipane tart recipe is a little long, but it results in a seriously show stopping dessert. Perfect for afternoon tea or dinner parties, a tart or tartelettes make a real upgrade from the basic slice of cake or scoop of ice cream (not that those aren’t delicious too). This recipe actually includes three sub-recipes; The pate sucree tart shell, the pistachio frangipane filling, and a gold chocolate mousse.
I love pistachio but I rarely cook with them. Usually I just buy a large bag of the Wonderful salt and pepper pistachios and eat them by themselves. However I knew pistachios are used a lot in Central Asian desserts and I did use them to decorate my Almond Rose Cake so I figured I should make more desserts with them. Enter these pistachio frangipane tartelettes.
Actually I’ve made both tarts and tartelettes since I’ve reworked this recipe about 5 times now. In fact, the first time I made this dessert was about 6 months ago, and I’m only just now putting the recipe up. The tartelette shell is a recipe I had already posted on this site but it took a while to work out the perfect pistachio tart filling.
What You’ll Need
- Tartelette Rings – These are perforated metal or plastic circles that help hold the shape of the pate sucree while it bakes. I use thermoplastic ones but if you want you can get stainless steel ones instead.
- Tart Ring – This is the same as above, just larger for a full size tart instead of individual portioned ones. For this I suggest a DeBuyer tart ring as the quality is high and it’s what I use so it’s really the only one I can recommend.
- Silicone Baking Mat – A popular quality brand is Silpat but you can get a cheaper one if you don’t bake often. You can also use parchment paper but there is a chance of sticking which can be unfortunate.
- Stand Mixer – I use a Smeg retro stand mixer but whatever one you have will likely be fine. You do need it for every component of this recipe though (paddle or hook for the pate sucree, paddle for the frangipane, and whisk for the mousse).
- Baking Sheet – I will always recommend the NordicWare bakers half sheet but if you have one already you can use whatever you have.
- Piping Bag And Tips – I just use a cheapo piping set with the star tip to make the gold chocolate mousse topping. If you are a very skilled piper you might have your own set, but I’m not a professional decorator so I just went basic.
How To Make This Pistachio Frangipane Tart
This fun recipe will be broken up into 3 parts with separate ingredient breakdowns for each. This is because there are quite a lot of ingredients, but many of them overlap. So for organizational purposes they will be separate in the post. If you just want to see a recipe card with all the condensed information you can jump to the bottom of the page and open the whole tart recipe in plaintext.
Making A Sweet Tart Crust
Just like with pate brisee, this sweet version of a tart crust uses fairly simple ingredients. However as with most baking recipes I do recommend you follow the weights without deviation as baking is more a science than an art.
- 150 grams Flour – All Purpose flour works well here. If you use cake or bread flour the crust may have unfavorable results.
- 50 grams Sugar – white granulated sugar is best in this recipe.
- 110 grams Butter – Use a quality butter with a higher fat percentage than standard American butter if you can find it. I recommend something above 82% fat (I use 82.5% fat butter for both my sweet and savory tarts).
- 1 large Egg Yolk
- 1 tbsp Milk
- 5 grams Vanilla Powder – if you want to use vanilla extract instead then measure out just a teaspoon.
- 1/4 tsp Salt
Pate Sucree Dough Instructions
Add all your dry ingredients (flour, sugar, vanilla powder, salt) to the bowl of a stand mixer and let combine. You can also do this with a whisk as it all combines pretty easily.
Next add in the butter and let run until you have a crumbly, sandy mixture. If you squeeze the mix together with your fingers it will press together, but will fall apart quickly. You want your butter to be colder than room temperature, but it does not need to be super chilled like many American pie crust recipes.
Finally add in the egg yolk and milk. Run the machine until you have a clumpy, almost cookie-dough consistency mix. In fact, pate sucree does make pretty decent sugar cookies if you wanted to do cut-out shape cookies to decorate with kids.
Remove the pate sucree dough from the mixer and form into a ball. Place in a bowl and cover with a lid or plastic wrap. Then place the bowl in the fridge to chill for a couple hours.
Baking Tart or Tartelette Shells
When your dough is sufficiently chilled (cold but not rock hard) remove it from the bowl and place it on a floured surface. Use a rolling pin to flatten it out to about a third of a centimeter (about 3-4mm).
If you are making a large single tart you will want to make the entire sheet quite uniform with no cracks or lumps. However if you are making personal tartelettes for a cocktail party for example then you can divide the dough into smaller pieces which are easier to roll out.
Press the dough into your tart mold so it is firmly compacted into shape. Then run a thin knife all along the edge to remove excess dough. I like to do this step already on my silicone baking mat so there is little movement.
Dock (poke holes) into the bottom of the tart and place the tray in the freezer for 15 minutes. Preheat your oven to 180C.
Place the tray in the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Because we froze the dough a bit before baking, you do not need to blind bake or use pie weights. Your crust should remain flat and even, and just barely pull away from the mold when it is done. Set aside and let come completely to room temperature before adding the filling.
How To Make Pistachio Frangipane
There are 8 ingredients needed to make the pistachio frangipane, but only one of them is difficult to find. The rest are things you either already have at home, or can be easily found at your local grocery store. I recommend you use a kitchen scale as it is one of the most important kitchen tools for baking recipes.
- 100 grams Pistachio Paste – You need to get 100% pistachio paste, not something that has added oil, sugar, or other nut butters that adulterate it. It is more pricey, but that’s the cost of making quality. You can buy it online here and use the leftovers to make an absolutely divine pistachio gelato!
- 150 grams Almond Flour – Finely ground
- 50 grams Flour – AP works well here
- 200 grams Butter – Try to use a European butter with a milkfat percentage at 82% or above.
- 3 Eggs
- 200 grams Sugar – Regular white sugar is fine for this frangipane recipe
- 2 grams Vanillin Powder – this is technically the artificial vanilla extract, but I actually like it more than using fresh vanilla in baked goods. This powder is more popular in Europe for pastries, but if you are somewhere else you can likely buy it online.
- 2 grams Salt
Pistachio Tart Filling Instructions
Start by creaming together the butter with the sugar. I suggest using the whist attachment on your stand mixer for this step.
Next add in the pistachio paste, eggs, vanillin powder, and salt. Cream everything together until you get a consistency like in the photo above (in the machine). Then reduce speed to minimum and add in the almond and AP flour a little at a time.
The final pistachio frangipane tart filling should look like the photo above. It is a pasty, somewhat sticky mass that if you hold it in your hand will eventually feel oily due to the melting butter (so don’t get it warm). This filling recipe makes enough for two 25 cm tarts or 12 8 cm tartelettes (plus or minus a couple tbsp of frangipane. As you might have guessed I did one tart and 6 tartelettes since I only have a certain amount of tartelette shell molds.
Take your baked tart shell and place it on your baking tray. Spoon some of the pistachio frangipane filling into the tart shell and smooth out the top. Frangipane does rise a bit, but not much, so you can pretty much fill it right up to the top. See the photos below for before and after baked tartelettes.
Preheat your oven to 175 C or 350 F and bake the tartelettes for 20-25 minutes and the tart for 30-35 minutes, or until the top begins to brown. Voila, that’s all there is to make some pistachio frangipane tarts and tartelettes. Well, there’s one more step if you want to pretty them up a bit.
Making The Gold Chocolate Mousse
For these pistachio tarts I opted to decorate them with a quick whipped gold chocolate mousse. This isn’t a real mousse per se, but there is not really another name I can think of for a whipped chocolate ganache.
- 100 grams Gold Chocolate – This is a special chocolate made by Callebaut. It’s quite expensive if you buy it online so you might be able to find it for cheaper at your local pastry supply store.
- 200 ml Heavy Cream
- 2 tbsp Powdered Sugar
The great thing about these chocolate callets is that you can melt them in the microwave to an already tempered consistency. No messing with a double boiler or any other finnicky device. Just place the gold chocolate callets in a ramekin and pop it in the microwave for 20-30 seconds, then stir.
Next pour in the cream and mix to combine. The cream should be room temperature as I find that helps the chocolate mix in better. Finally place the chocolate mix into the fridge to chill completely.
When the gold chocolate mousse base in chilled place it into your stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Sprinkle over the 2 tbsp of powdered sugar, and let whip until you have a thick, pipeable mix. But we aren’t done yet. Place your piping bag with tip already attached in a standing cup and fill with the mousse filling. Then place the cup back into the fridge to chill more. This chocolate mousse is best piped very cold – and the finished tarts are best left in the fridge for an hour after piping to really solidify the topping and avoid spread-age.
Finally pipe the gold chocolate mousse over the top of your chilled pistachio frangipane tarts. I chose to do little star dollops but you can decorate them however you like, depending on the nib you chose and your skill as a baker/decorator.
Decorating The Pistachio Frangipane Tart
After piping on the gold mousse I sprinkled some shaved chocolate and crushed pistachios on top for more presentation. This was for the tartelettes, for the large size pistachio tart I made a bit of a row pattern as seen below.
What would a layered dessert recipe be without a cross section example. Of course I had to include what the filling looks like in a cut open pistachio frangipane tart or people might think I messed up!
And the tartelettes:
Tips And Tricks
- Regarding baking recipes, it is always best to measure out ingredients in grams. This ensures proper weight ratios and makes following a recipe much easier. You can use a cheap kitchen scale of course, but any scale is better than just using measuring cups.
- If you cannot find pistachio paste where you live, you will have to make it yourself. The best way is to get unsalted pistachios and run them through a food processor until you get a paste consistency. You can actually do this with most high-fat nuts with peanuts being the most famous example.
- The tartelette shell in this recipe is a pate sucree but since the other two components are also sweet you can make a pate brisee instead as it uses less sugar. That option is entirely up to you.
How To Serve This Pistachio Frangipane Tart
There are two main ways to serve this tart, and the choice depends on if you made a large one or individual portions. For a large tart it is best to use a sharp knife and cut out a slice just as if you were cutting a cake or pie. Because the shell is the most delicate part you want to make sure you push down with even force and avoid wobbling the knife as best as possible. Serve on a dish with a fork.
If you are serving tartelettes then you can place them in the center of a dessert dish or saucer with a small dessert fork.
Of course if you are by yourself then you can just use your hands – as I quite like to do.
More Dessert Tart Recipes You Might Like
- Blackcurrant Tart
- Chocolate Tart
- Fresh Berry Tartelettes
- Lemon Tart / Tarte Au Citron
- Rustic Blueberry Tart
- Pistachio Frangipane Tart
- Gooseberry Curd Tart
Pistachio Frangipane Tart
Pate Sucree Tart Shell
- 150 grams Flour
- 50 grams Sugar
- 110 grams Butter
- 1 Egg Yolk
- 1 tbsp Milk
- 5 grams Vanilla Powder or vanillin powder
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 100 grams Pistachio Paste You need to get 100% pistachio paste not something that has added oil, sugar, or other nut butters that adulterate it. It is more pricey, but that's the cost of making quality. You can buy it online here and use the leftovers to make an absolutely divine pistachio gelato!
- 150 grams Almond Flour Finely ground
- 50 grams Flour AP works well here
- 200 grams Butter Try to use a European butter with a milkfat percentage at 82% or above.
- 3 Eggs
- 200 grams Sugar Regular white sugar is fine for this frangipane recipe
- 2 grams Vanillin Powder This is technically the artificial vanilla extract but I actually like it more than using fresh vanilla in baked goods. This powder is more popular in Europe for pastries, but if you are somewhere else you can likely buy it online.
- 2 grams Salt
Gold Chocolate Mousse
- 100 grams Gold Chocolate You'll have to use Callebaut brand as they are the only ones who make this in my experience
- 200 ml Heavy Cream
- 2 tbsp Powdered Sugar aka confectioner's sugar
Making The Tart Shell
- Add the flour, salt, sugar, and vanilla powder to the bowl of a stand mixer. Quickly whisk together.150 grams Flour, 50 grams Sugar, 5 grams Vanilla Powder, 1/4 tsp Salt
- Add the butter and beat until you have a crumbly, sandy mixture.110 grams Butter
- Add the eggs and milk and mix until you have a grainy, sugar cookie style dough. Remove from the mixer and place into the fridge to chill. Note: if your kitchen is very cold you might not need to chill the dough and you can go right on to the next step.1 Egg Yolk, 1 tbsp Milk
- Roll out your dough to about 1/3cm thickness. Drape it into your tart mold on a baking tray and press the dough into the sides so it is evenly shaped. Poke holes on the bottom with a fork. Place tray in the freezer for 15 minutes. Preheat your oven to 175C or 350F
- Place tray in the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Remove and let cool completely (1-2 hours at room temperature) before adding any filling.
Pistachio Frangipane Filling
- Start by creaming together the butter with the sugar.200 grams Butter, 200 grams Sugar
- Next add in the pistachio paste, eggs, vanillin powder, and salt. Cream everything together until you get a consistency like in the photo above, then reduce speed to minimum and add in the almond and AP flour a little at a time.100 grams Pistachio Paste, 150 grams Almond Flour, 3 Eggs, 2 grams Vanillin Powder, 2 grams Salt, 50 grams Flour
- Take your baked tart shell and place it on your baking tray. Spoon some of the pistachio frangipane filling into the tart shell and smooth out the top. Frangipane does rise a bit, but not much, so you can pretty much fill it right up to the top. See the photos below for before and after baked tartelettes.
- Preheat your oven to 175 C or 350 F and bake the tartelettes for 20-25 minutes and the tart for 30-35 minutes, or until the top begins to brown.
Gold Chocolate Mousse
- Melt your gold chocolate callets in a ramekin in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Stir until smooth.100 grams Gold Chocolate
- Whisk in the cream and place bowl into fridge to chill completely.200 ml Heavy Cream
- When cold add in the powdered sugar and whisk rapidly until you get a thick, yet airy whipped mousse consistency. Pour mix into piping bag. Place piping bag into the fridge for 15 minutes (or until right before serving).2 tbsp Powdered Sugar
- Pipe the gold chocolate mousse onto your tart or tartelettes. Garnish with shaved chocolate and chopped pistachio. Enjoy!