My pre-parenting career required a LOT of abstract problem solving. I had to formalise problems and then devise algorithms to solve them. Invariably, the simple, elegant solutions were the best.
In the kitchen I have a particular fondness for this elegant formula:
Pastry Cases + Filling + Frangipane = Yum
What is frangipane? Is it an almond paste? A filling? A topping? A pastry? A cake? A custard? I don't rightly know, so we'll just say "yes" to all of those questions because it shares some properties of each.
What is yum? I'm not exactly sure but it tastes good and has the added benefit of hardening your arteries.
We will be using the frangipane as a rustic topping on the tart, but it can also be used as the filling if you alter it slightly (see the frangipane section below). If you use the frangipane as the filling, the fruit filling can be used as a topping by pressing pieces of the fruit into the frangipane. If you take care with the presentation you can make some very elegant, food-porn quality tarts.
These tarts are dead simple and can be knocked up in no time at all (get your mind out of the gutter, I am talking about tarts as food here). There is also a lot of room for creativity with fillings and frangipane flavours. This recipe should make six tarts that are 10cm (4in) in diameter.
For a guide to my recipe notation, see this blog entry.
To get started, preheat your oven to 190°C (375°F).