Friday, May 05, 2006

Fruit Financiers

I have made financiers before and we liked them. But it was this time --when I embellished them with fresh fruit-- that we simply fell in love with them. These beauties were crispy on the outside and very soft, fruity and nutty in the center. The slivered almonds added a nice visual and textural touch. It was a joy to experience many different textures and tastes in such a small morsel! They were also really easy to prepare, and a very good accompaniment to tea or coffee.

On the down side, when I sampled them the next day, I observed that they had lost their crunch on the outside as they drew moisture from the fruit. However, like many baked goods with fruit, they tasted even better. So, in the unlikely event that there are leftovers for the next day, chances are that you will not miss anything.

If you want to adapt your favorite financier recipe to include fresh fruit, you'll need to substitute the browned butter with softened butter. This way, you get a thicker batter that suspends the fruit rather than allowing it to sink to the bottom. The recipe is from Nick Malgieri's Perfect Cakes.

  • 3/4 c ground almonds
  • 3/4 c flour
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 6 tbs softened butter
  • 1 lemon's grated zest
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1 pint blackberries, raspberries or blueberries
  • 1/2 c sliced almonds
Grease and flour nine 3 3/4" tart pans (I used 6 3 1/2" tartlet pans and nine mini tartlet pans for the amounts given above.) Preheat the oven to 350F. Mix the almonds, sugar, flour and lemon zest, preferably with the paddle attachment of your mixer. Add the butter and beat for 2 minutes. Mix the egg whites with the extracts in a seperate bowl, beat briefly and add half of it to the butter mixture, beating for 2 minutes afterwards. Repeat with the remaining egg whites.

Fill each tart pan with about 1/4 cup of batter. Sprinkle with slivered almonds and fruit. Bake for 35 minutes or until the batter is set and the sides are nicely browned.