Bakewell Tart with Rhubarb Mousse
Crostata frangipane con crema di rabarbaro
In England this delicious dessert would be known as a Bakewell tart with rhubarb mousse, but as Wikipedia observes there is no evidence that it originated in the town in Derbyshire. In fact, it could well be an Italian invention.
The word frangipane is (still according to Wikipedia) derived from frangere il pane, which means “that breaks the bread” in Italian. It could also refer to the noble Frangipane family, who briefly governed Rome from 1107–1108. Some say that a member of this family, the botanist Muzio Frangipane discovered the delicious fragrance on a trip to Antigua. Others claim it was a perfumer by the name Frangipane, who developed the fragrance to cover the smell of leather from gloves and shoes. And then there are those who maintain that the cake was invented by a young widow of Graziano di Frangipane as a gift to St. Francis.
Anyway, tarts filled with a mixture of egg, butter and ground almonds have been cherished in Italy and France for centuries, often accompanied by various fruits and cream, and as other recipes like the marzipan covered rhubarb cake goes to prove it is just perfect in combination with a rhubarb mousse. So fragrant, sweet and fresh it is simply irresistible.