It’s Saturday morning, the odeur of freshly made pie spreads through my house. It’s weekend thus time for my weekly ‘weekend treat’ which is currently baking in the oven. I’ve prepared this pie with Dutch ‘sloffendeeg’ (a shortbread-like pastry or dough of which I will tell more later on in this blog) filled with frangipane, topped with Swiss cream and strawberries and some red berries for decoration. I’m actually quite ready for a big piece of pie and frankly I can not wait to charge.
Frangipane, just that word alone invites to a further investigation. In the world of pastry, almond cream is often called ‘frangipane’. Where the word comes from, is not really known. Probably it’s derived from the Italian family name Frangipani. In that noble family, there were some perfumers and patissiers who qualify for the origin of the word. Anyway, this kitchen term has nothing to do with the (sub)tropical flower that bears the same name. Frangipane is a batter which is based on butter, sugar, ground almonds and eggs that stays nicely creamy after baking. In Holland it’s usually used as a filling for pies that are made of Dutch ‘sloffendeeg’ and it’s this particular dough that I’ve used for this pie.
Well, what about ‘sloffendeeg’ (which translated literally means ‘slippers dough’). Actually is a weird name. Its origin is difficult to trace. Some relate it to the shape of a slipper (a shape which is created by the use of a special kind of oval (sloffendeeg)tart ring or mold). Others connect it to the rising process of the dough during baking that enables the frangipane (or custard/pastry cream which is sometimes used as a filling) is being ‘packed’ or ‘enfolded’ in a natural way, comparable with a slipper ‘dressing’ a foot. Anyway, its origin is not that important, at least not something to burn my fingers on. The most important thing is that it’s a very tasty pastry dough which is widely used in the pastry world. It is crunchy and soft at the same time and the texture is somewhere between those of a sponge cake and pastry pie dough. I’ve already prepared this pastry before but not yet combined with frangipane, so it seemed a good idea to take up my old recipe and to get started.
As I mentioned earlier, there are special tart rings on the market for making a ‘sloffendeeg’ pie, but you can, however, use an ordinary round tart ring, just as I did for this pie. The recipe for the dough is in essence the same as the one of a sponge cake dough, provided that the ratios of the ingredients of a sponge cake dough are 1:1 and there are used multiple eggs. With the ‘sloffendeeg’ on the other hand, the ratios are (approx) 1:¾, there’s a minimal amount of egg (approx ½ egg) added, as well as extra baking powder, which makes the frangipane (or custard/pastry cream) is enfolded during the baking process to a certain extent, because the pie rises more than it usually does. Eventually the addition of light brown sugar gives the dough a light caramel flavor.
The frangipane is easy and fast to prepare. The almonds are mixed with sugar and lemon zest and grinded in a food processor, then the eggs and butter are added and after that, everything again is grinded to a smooth batter, that’s all, it’s like taking candy from a baby so to speak. The frangipane is then spreaded on the bottom of the pastry and then baked together. After this the frangipane will be enclosed automatically by the pastry.
Thus, pastry cream (or custard) is also used as filling instead of frangipane. I have chosen frangipane filling for this pie, but also pastry cream (or custard) is of course a substance that’s not to be rejected. Therefor, I thought it would be a good idea to merge both delicacies and that’s why I’ve topped it with Swiss cream (this is pastry cream or custard mixed with whipped cream to make it more fluffy than the common version). Finally I’ve put strawberries and red berries on top of it (the latter purely for decoration by the way) and sprinkled it with powdered sugar.
My pie is now ready to be consumed, I’m charging immediately. The waiting has been rewarded, it tastes absolutely amazing! Perhaps a tip: do not devour it when starving, just as I am now. The temptation to have more than one piece is inevitable.