We’re in the tail of summer fruit season and I’m making the most of every summer berry and soft stone fruit I can find while they’re still here. By using them in salads and summer breakfasts, or simply munching them up by the handful in all their juicy glory. And I couldn’t let the season pass without letting them shine in a sweet summer bake as well. This vegan peach tart combines a crisp, buttery shortcrust case with a soft frangipane filling and it’s filled to the brim with peaches, plums and summer berries. I can tell you, it’s a keeper.
I have a soft spot for shortcrust pastry and the vanilla version I use here, as well as in my all-time favourite apple pie, is one I return to again and again. It’s made with a mixture of wheat flour and buckwheat flour, which I love for its warm and slightly nutty flavour. You can easily adapt the use of flours to your personal preference, though. In this tart, oat flour would also pair deliciously with the peach and almond filling. You can replace the mixture of flours with all all-purpose flour for easy handling and ready availability, or use a completely gluten free flour mixture instead.
The pastry case is blind-baked before adding the frangipane and fruit filling, then after filling it’s returned to the oven for a final bake. This makes the filling soft and delicate, while the surrounding pastry will turn out deliciously crisp.
As almonds stem from the same family tree as stone fruits, they make a natural flavour match and it’s no wonder that peach and almond frangipane are a classic combination. Traditionally, frangipane is a creamy cake filling made with ground almonds, sugar, butter and eggs. For the vegan version in this peach tart I replaced the butter and eggs with a mixture of vegetable oil and that magical egg replacer, aquafaba. The aquafaba is whipped to stiff peaks, then folded into the almond mixture to make a deliciously creamy mass.
For a bit of freshness, I flavour the frangipane with a generous grating of lemon zest. When you make this tart in the height of summer, that’s all the flavouring you’ll need. But at this moment, with the cosy season just around the corner, a dash of ground cardamom makes a lovely addition. Together with the sweetness of the peaches and the soft vanilla flavour of the pastry, it gives the tart the comfort feel I love when the days begin to get chilly.
Inspired by the beautiful creations by Julie Jones, I decorated the tart with thin slices of peaches and plums, arranged upright in swirly curls. It’s a lot of fun to do and once you go down that road, there’s no limit to how creatively you can decorate your cake! For a quicker and more rustic version, though, you can simply quarter the fruits instead and press the pieces into the frangipane.
Some additional tips
With the blind-baking, aquafaba-whipping and decorating, the process of making this tart takes a bit of time. Though in my book the result makes every minute of it worth while, there are a few steps you can take to make preparations easier.
- Most of the tart components can be prepared ahead. I usually blind-bake the tart case the day before. The frangipane filling can be prepared a day early as well and be kept in the fridge until using. This way, on the day you want to serve the tart, you’ll only need to assemble it and give it its final bake.
- Instead of using homemade shortcrust pastry, you could opt for a shop-bought alternative. Fortunately many of the ready-to-roll pastry versions available happen to be accidentally vegan.
- I love how creamy and airy the frangipane turns out when using whipped aquafaba. Instead of the aquafaba, though, you can use flax eggs or chia eggs to bring the almond cream together, like I did in my quince and frangipane tartlets. To do so, mix together 2 tbsp. of ground flaxseeds or ground chia seeds with 6 tbsp. water. Let the mixture stand for a few minutes to thicken, than stir it into the frangipane mixture instead of the whipped aquafaba. The baked result will be slightly more firm, but equally delicious.
I hope you’ll love this peach tart like we do! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out, and if you try it, I’d love it if you left a comment in the comment section below or on Instagram.
I wish you a beautiful late summer!
Vegan peach tart with lemon and cardamom frangipane – serves 8-10
for the pastry
- 250 g plain flour
- 150 g buckwheat flour *)
- 100 g light caster sugar
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 250 g cold vegan butter (from a block, not a tub), cut into cubes
- 1-2 tbsp. plant milk, if necessary
*) If you prefer, you can replace the plain flour/buckwheat mixture with 400 g of plain flour, or, to make it gluten free, replace it with a 1:1 gluten free flour mixture.
for the frangipane
- 150 g almond meal *)
- 30 g rice flour
- 1 tbsp. corn starch
- 100 g raw cane sugar
- ½ tsp. baking powder
- zest of 2 lemons, finely grated
- seeds from 8 cardamoms, ground in a mortar and pestle, or ½ tsp. cardamom powder (optional)
- 75 ml aquafaba (drained liquid from a tin of chickpeas or white beans, sieved to remove solid bits)
- 65 ml rapeseed oil or other neutral-flavoured vegetable oil
- 2-3 tbsp. plant milk
*) Instead of shopbought almond meal, you could use finely ground brown or white almonds. When grinding your own almonds, work in small batches and whizz them to fine crumbs. Make sure not to overprocess them, or they may start releasing their oil and turn into almond butter.
- appr. 6 ripe but firm stone fruits of choice, depending on their size. I used 3 white peaches and 3 Pluot plums.
- handful of blueberries, blackberries or raspberries
- ∅ 24 cm (9½ in) loose-bottomed tart tin
- almond quark or whipped soy or coconut cream, to serve
To make the pastry, mix the flours with the sugar and salt. Tip the vegan butter, vanilla extract and the flour mixture into the mixing bowl of a food processor and whizz until crumbly. If you prefer to leave the food processor out of it, add all ingredients for the dough to a large mixing bowl and use two knives to cut the butter into small cubes while it’s covered in the flour mixture. Using your finger tips, rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Bring the crumbs together to form a firm ball of dough. If the mixture stays crumbly, add a few drops of almond milk until it just comes together, taking care not to overwork the dough. Cover the dough and let it rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Grease the sides of the tart tin and cover the bottom with a circle of baking parchment. When using a tart tin without a removable bottom, place an additional long strip of baking parchment across the base, so you’ll be able to use the ends to lift the tart from its tin after baking.
Heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4.
Between two sheets of baking parchment, roll the dough into a 4 mm thick circle. Remove the upper parchment layer, flop the dough over the rolling pin and use this to carefully lift the dough circle over the tart tin. Gently press the dough into the corners of the tin, then remove the second sheet of parchment and trim the edges. Don’t worry if the dough tears in the process; you can easily press it together again and the baked case will be nothing the worse for it.
Prick the bottom of the pastry case with a fork, then cover with one of the parchment sheets again. Weigh the dough down with ceramic baking beans or dry rice, then blind-bake for 15 minutes. After the 15 minutes, remove the parchment and filling. Return the tin to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes until the pastry is a light golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly while you prepare the frangipane filling, or keep it overnight.
To make the frangipane filling, mix the almond meal with the rice flour, corn starch, sugar, baking powder, lemon zest and ground cardamom, if using.
Using an electric whisk, whip the aquafaba until glossy and forming peaks (this may take up to 10 minutes). Fold the whipped aquafaba and the oil into the almond mixture. This will yield a thick almond paste. Now stir in the plant milk to make an easily spreadable batter. Divide the frangipane over the bottom of the pastry case. Depending on the height of your case, make sure to only fill it up to three quarters, as it will rise during baking.
Halve and stone the plums and peaches, then thinly slice them. Fold the slices into curls and arrange them upright over the frangipane filling. For a quicker and more rustic version, cut the fruits into quarters and simply press them into the frangipane. Scatter the tart with berries of your choice.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the frangipane is firm on top, but still soft in the middle. Remove from the oven and leave the tart to cool completely before taking it from the tin and cutting it into slices.
Serve the tart with a dollop of almond quark, whipped coconut cream or whipped soy topping.