Friday, June 7, 2024

Torta Cappuccina Modenese - Italian Frangipane and Cherry Tart

Indulge in the rich flavors of this delicious Italian tart originally from the town of Modena, filled with a soft and moist almond filling, a sweet and tart layer of cherry preserve over a buttery and flaky crust

This Torta Cappuccina is a delightful Italian almond tart originally from the charming city of Modena. It features a luscious frangipane filling, beautifully layered over a bed of Amarene Brusche (sour cherry) preserve, all nestled in a buttery, tender pasta frolla crust. 

Don't get confused by the name - there is no cappuccino or coffee in this dessert. Though this cake is absolutely delicious served next to a steamy-hot cup of cappuccino!

Though Amarene Brusche is a specialty from Modena and hard to find in the US, I’ve substituted it with cherry preserve to capture that sweet-tart essence as closely as possible. The result is a tart that's rich in flavor and texture, offering a taste of authentic Italian baking right at home.

For the crust, here is my simple pasta frolla recipe that doesn't require rolling or wait time in the refrigerator. Simply mix with an electric mixer and press into the tart pan. If you prefer to roll out the dough with a rolling pin, you will need to wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, before rolling and placing in the tart pan. 

Remember to prick the crust with a fork before blind baking it. Blind baking allows the bottom to cook first and stay nice and crispy, not soggy. You can use weights to keep the crust flat, or, as I did, leave it without weights and check and flatten it after the first 10 minutes in the oven.

The frangipane layer is made by creaming the softened butter with sugar, then mixing in the eggs, and finally the almond flour. I add a bit of almond extract for extra flavor. To easily spread the almond mixture over the cherry jam, place it in a piping bag. No need for a tip; just cut the tip with scissors. Pipe it around the tart and gently flatten it with a spatula.

Sprinkle the top with sliced almonds for extra flavor and crunch, and bake until golden brown and set in the middle.

Here are a few suggestions when making this Torta Cappuccina Modenese:

Pasta frolla: You can use this simple press-in recipe or your own tart crust recipe. Alternatively, you can shape it into a disc, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for an hour. Once refrigerated, you can roll it out and move it to the tart pan rather than pressing it in.

Almond flour: Any finely ground almonds (from blanched almonds) work. You can substitute with almond meal (from unblanched almonds), but the resulting texture will be darker and more grainy. Almond flour is more finely ground and lighter than almond meal. If you can't find almond flour, you can make it yourself: buy whole, blanched almonds and blend them until you get fine, powdery flour. Refrain from over-blending, or you'll end up with almond butter instead.

Cherry preserve: As I mentioned, the traditional recipe for Torta Cappuccina calls for Amarene Brusche, which is a special sour cherry variety from Modena. In place of that fruit jam, I use cherry preserve. You are welcome to substitute with your favorite.

How to store this Italian Frangipane Tart: You can store it in an air-tight. container at room temperature for 5-6 days.

VIDEO RECIPE: Italian Frangipane Tart

PRINTABLE RECIPE CARD: Italian Torta Cappuccina Modenese (Frangiapane Tart with Cherry Preserve)

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