This classic French dessert uses such simple ingredients, combined to create such a fragrant, rich and delicious dessert. We served slices of this Pear Frangipane tart dessert after a Sunday lunch but think it would work at any time of the day.
This recipe is adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s book via her website, Doriegreenspan.com. You can make the almond cream 2 days before and the tart shell a day ahead and bake it on the day you want to serve.
Pear Frangipane Tart
3 medium pears, firm but ripe
For the almond cream:
6 tbs or 85 g Butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup Sugar
3/4 cup ground Blanched Almonds
2 tsp Flour
1 tsp Cornstarch
1 large Egg
2 tsp dark rum or 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the Tart Dough:
1 1/2 cups Flour
1/2 cup Icing Sugar
1/4 tsp Salt
125 g very cold Butter, cut into small pieces
1 Egg Yolk, stirred
For the dough:
Put the flour, icing sugar and salt in bowl and stir to combine. Scatter the butter over the dry ingredients and cut the butter in using a pastry scraper, knives or a fork. Blend till the butter is cut in coarsely with pea-size and flake size pieces. Add the egg and stir it through the other ingredients till it looks a little clumpy. Turn the dough out onto a cool work surface and very lightly kneed the dough to incorporate all the ingredients.
Butter the tart pan you plan to use and and press the dough evenly into it, along the bottom and sides of the pan. Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes, or if baking the next day, then leave it in the freezer till you are ready to bake.
When you are ready to bake, preheat your oven to 190°C. Butter the top side of some aluminium foil and fit it onto the crust, like a skin. Bake the tart shell for 25 minutes and then carefully remove the foil. Press any puffy parts down with a spoon and bake for another 3-5 minutes.
Then let the tart shell cool to room temperature.
For the almond cream:
Beat the butter and sugar together till smooth.Add the ground almonds and blend together. Then beat in the flour and cornstarch. Once blended, add the egg. Beat for another 15-20 seconds till almond cream is smooth and creamy looking. Add the rum or vanilla and beat. The almond cream is ready to be used immediately. If you want to store it, put the cream in a container and refrigerate until firm.
When you’re ready to put the tart together, you will need to have prebaked your tart shell. Once the shell has reached room temperature, you can start putting the rest together.
Preheat the oven to 175°C.
If you are using a tart pan with a removable bottom, you will find it useful to place the pan on a lined baking tray.
Peel your pears and cut them in half. Core them. Rub the halves with the juice of the lemon. Pat them dry before slicing and placing on the almond cream.
Fill your prebaked tart shell with the almond cream as evenly as you can.
Thinly slice pear halves and place them on to the almond cream, laying them so that all the slices still form the shape of the halves and the halves all fan out with the stem end towards the centre of the pan. Or you could lay them out any way you please.
Bake the tart for 50 – 60 minutes or until the cream puffs up and the pears start to turn brown. Cool the tart till around room temperature before removing from the pan.
Serve with icing sugar dusted over the top and maybe some ice cream on the side.