What Is Frangipane and How Is It Used?

Pear frangipane Getty 9/2/20

You’ve probably heard of frangipane, but do you know what it actually is (and how to make it)? Here’s what you need to know for your next Great British Baking Show Binge: 

What Is Frangipane? 

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Spreading frangipane Getty 9/2/20

Frangipane is an almond filling that is usually made with butter, sugar, eggs, and, of course, ground almonds. It has a creamy, paste-like consistency and a sweet nutty flavor. 

Though it can be used in a variety of ways, it’s most associated with tarts. 

Plenty of traditional French and British desserts filled with frangipane, including the Bakewell tart (a favorite of The Great British Baking Show’s Mary Berry). 

Frangipane Pronunciation

“Frangipane” is a tough one for native English speakers, who may be inclined to call it “fran-je-pain.” The correct pronunciation is “fräⁿ-zhē-ˈpän” (which sounds like frahn-zhee-pahn). Visit Merriam-Webster.com and listen to the audio if you’re still unsure. 

Frangipane vs. Marzipan

Pouring frangipane Getty 9/2/20

Marzipan and frangipane are both almond pastes—and that’s where the similarities end. 

  • Marzipan is typically used for ornamental purposes and has a candy-like texture. Made with powdered sugar and corn syrup, it can be worked like clay into different shapes to decorate cakes and cookies. 
  • Frangipane is usually a filling. It has a creamy texture that has more in common with a sweet spread than it does marzipan. 

Read more: What Is Marzipan—And How Do You Make It? 

Frangipane History

Frangipane tartlets Getty 9/2/20

Marquis Muzio Frangipani, a 16th-century Italian nobleman who lived in Paris, was tasked with creating a perfume for King Louis XIII’s gloves. The almond-scented glove perfume quickly became a sensation—the Parisian people simply went nuts for it (pun intended). In a successful effort to capitalize on the trend, pastry chefs created the filling we still use today. 

How to Make Frangipane

Plum Frangipane Tart

It’s surprisingly easy to make frangipane at home. 

You’ll need butter, sugar, almond flour (you can buy it at the store or DIY your own by blitzing blanched almonds in a food processor), eggs, all-purpose flour, and almond and vanilla extracts. Start by creaming the butter and sugar, then mix in the rest of the ingredients until they’re completely incorporated. How simple is that? Get Mary Berry’s full recipe here (and then whip up one of her famous Bakewell tarts)!

When you’re ready to put that frangipane to good use, try this Plum Frangipane Tart or these Frangipane Pear Tarts.  

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