Deep purple mulberries grace the top of this almond cream frangipane tart. Best served warm with a drizzle of honey, it’s a recipe for contentment wherever you may be.
Home. I walked to the baggage carousel last night, and just as I approached there were squeals from their small bodies as they barreled towards me, their sun-streaked hair flopping around on their tanned heads. I smiled as they hit my knees, wrapping small arms around and hugging them tightly with grins spread wide across cherub-like faces.
It’s good to be here.
Still, my house is piled high with reality, of a reality that is currently sitting around me to every corner and resides in every room. And then there is the reality of dealing with work on a Monday when you’ve been traveling for seven days for work. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the rawness of it all.
me: I miss you. Come home.
Ole: I miss you awful.
me: Did you see this?
Ole: It’s easy to get good quotes when you make them up.
I wanted to read that.
Ole: “Ole is the world’s most perfect husband. He is so right all the time” – Shaina Olmanson, Photographer, Writer, Content Wife
me: You are getting it for that.
Ole: You said it.
me: Sure I did.
Can you prove it?
Ole: I found it in some archival footage.
I had to wonder about my husband’s need to call me “content” in this context, as he was poking fun at me. Though, when I really sit and think on it, I am content. In the midst of this crazy life with all its ups and downs, I wouldn’t go back and redo my life any other way.
A few weeks ago in the midst of a crazy week, with an early appointment at Children’s Hospital, a conference call, packing to leave on a north woods vacation, and my book coming out all on the same day, we took an hour out of our day and headed down the road to a neighbor’s, a neighbor who had offered up her backyard bounty to our crazy family. (Thanks, Kris!)
It would have been far more convenient to thank her kindly and explain my insane schedule, but instead, I relented. The kids were thrilled. Fingers and small mouths were stained a deep purple from the berries, sandals dyed as we smashed the fallen under our feet. For 60 long minutes we lingered in the trees, plucking as many berries as we could reach. (Note: Ignore the smattering of black raspberries that made it in our basket above. For the mulberries, you can just pop the whole berry, stem and all, into your mouth, and they are baked that way, too.)
This weekend I spent some time discussing the realities of life and work with a group of people I hold dear to me at Big Summer Potluck, and in those people I was reminded of one thing. Contentment comes from within.
It’s too easy to focus on the ways you wish you were different, the unease and unsettled thoughts that plague you. Put aside those thoughts of not being good enough, and then, just be. Appreciate all that you usually take for granted, and move through life living rather than dwelling.
Frangipane is one of the easiest ways to fill a tart. Simple to whip together, it is endlessly rewarding when you bite in, and the potential here is overwhelming. Add a bit of cardamom and top with pear slices, fan apples over the top, sprinkle it liberally with raspberries, push halved and pitted cherries into the almond cream before baking. If you have a friend with a mulberry “bush,” though, I highly recommend you take a trip around.
Frangipane/Almond Cream portion of the recipe adapted from Helene of Tartelette. When you find the one, you go with it.
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar or raw honey
1 cup almond flour
1 vanilla bean, scraped
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup mulberries, rinsed
2 tablespoons sliced almonds
Preheat the oven to 350º F. Roll the dough into a 12″ circle and fit into a 10″ tart pan. Alternatively, you can use a pie plate or small tart pans. Gently press the dough to fit into the tart pan. Using the tines of a fork, score the bottom of the crust, line with parchment, and fill with pie weights. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together butter, sugar/honey, almond flour, eggs, and vanilla bean seeds until combined. Stir in the cream. Pour the almond cream mixture into the cooled tart shell. Sprinkle with mulberries and then with sliced almonds. Bake for 25-27 minutes until edges are golden brown and set in the center. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.
Drizzle with honey, if desired. Serve warm.
Makes (1) 10″ tart.