Pear and frangipane tart

December 2, 2011

Who doesn’t love a good tart? Having done a couple of other tarts before and conquered my constant bickering with pastry, I was pretty comfortable with tarts now and wanted to try a few different ones. I’ve done lemon, chocolate, snickers, you know, all the important food groups, but had never tried a frangipane tart and after a purchase of some pears that were basically just for show in our fruit bowl, I knew just what to do with them.

I wasn’t actually paying attention to the recipe when I made this and baked the tart first. You are meant to bake it all together. In hindsight, this wasn’t such a bad this as my biggest fear is undercooked pastry and it turned out pretty good if I do say so myself.

Pear and frangipane tart

Adapted from Delicious UK


Shortcrust pastry

225g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
110g butter
110g caster sugar
3 medium egg yolks, lightly beaten

Frangipane mix

125g butter, softened
125g caster sugar
2 eggs
125g ground almonds
1 tbsp plain flour

Poached pears

250g caster sugar, plus 2 tsp extra
4 good-sized pears
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
3 cloves
1/2 lemon
2-3 strips orange zest
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste


Place butter, sugar and flour in food processor and pulse until resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolks and, pulse again until combined – you might need to add a teaspoon cold water if the dough is very crumbly. Wrap in cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes.

Cream butter and sugar together in a large bowl until light and fluffy. I used the KitchenAid (easier and quicker). Gradually beat in the eggs, one at a time, then fold in the ground almonds and flour and mix well. Place in the fridge.

Put the sugar in a saucepan, pour in 500ml water and place over a medium heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Peel the pears and add to the pan, along with the cinnamon and cloves. Squeeze the juice from the lemon into the pan and add the squeezed lemon and orange zest. Add the bean paste and some more water to just cover the pears.

Cut out a circle of baking paper large enough to fit inside the pan, and lay on top of the pears. Weigh down with a saucer or small saucepan lid so that the pears stay submerged in the poaching liquor. Simmer for 20 minutes or until just tender when pierced, then remove the pears to a plate with a slotted spoon and discard the liquor and solids. Set aside for 15 minutes or until cool enough to handle.

Preheat the oven to 190°C/fan170°C. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the pastry to a circle large enough to line the tart tin. Don’t worry if it breaks up, as this is a very short, crumbly pastry – you can just patch it together in the tin and mould it up the sides, making sure it is even all over.

Here’s where I blind baked my tart shell and then added the frangipane once it had baked and cooled. The actual recipe says just to trim off any excess pastry and spread the frangipane evenly on top. Either/or really :/ lol

Cut the pears in half lengthways and, using a teaspoon, scoop out and discard the core from the centre. Cut each pear half in slices, widthways, then lift onto your knife and push down on the pears slightly to fan them out. Lift into the pastry case and arrange in a circle. Fill in the gaps between each pear half with a few more slices and arrange some in the centre. Bake for 55 minutes to 1 hour, until the pastry is golden and the filling is set. Sprinkle with the extra 2 teaspoons caster sugar and bake in the oven for a further 15 minutes to finish off the browning. Cool in the tin slightly, then remove and transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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