This Pear and Frangipane tart, dare I say it, may be the best tart I’ve ever made. Bold statement I know, but pastry has never been my strong point and this tart is rectangular! RECTANGULAR!! And I still managed to make it look appealing! So proud!
I first made this back in January and its now become a staple in my repertoire and a requested favourite of my Nan’s! The recipe is adapted from Edd Kimber’s book Patisserie Made Simple which is one of my absolute favourite dessert books. Not only to bake through but also just to flick through and look at the gorgeous photographs. I’ve met Edd on multiple occasions now at different baking festivals/events, including picking up this very book at the same time as him at last years Cake and Bake Show (which is totally my claim to fame)!
The recipe itself is actually pretty straightforward and doesn’t require too much frantic running around. Aside from the pastry chilling, the pears are the longest component to prepare as they need to be poached in a sugar syrup before being baked in the oven. Before this recipe I’d never poached, or actually even eaten a pear and my tart has always gone down well. So take comfort from that if required!
Now that I’ve made this on quite a few occasions I’m thinking of branching out and replacing the pears with raspberries and an icing glaze for a take on Bakewell Tart! Or perhaps studded with cherries or blackberries? The possibilities are endless!
For this delicious treat you will need:
100g unsalted butter at room temperature
100g caster sugar
100g ground almonds
2 large eggs
150g caster sugar
2 conference or bosc pears
225g plain flour
1tbsp caster sugar
120g unsalted butter, diced and chilled
2tbsp ice-cold water
pinch of salt
2tbsp flaked almonds
2tbsp clear apricot jam
For the pastry, mix together the flour, salt and sugar in a medium bowl and then add the diced butter. Rub this in with your hands until it resembles breadcrumbs, then add the water 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough just starts coming together. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and lightly knead until it forms a uniform dough. Press into a flat round, wrap in cling film and put into the fridge for at least 1 hour before using.
To poach the pears, pour 500ml water and the caster sugar into a medium pan. Then, using a sharp knife cut off three strips of lemon zest and add to the pan. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer over a medium heat, whilst squeezing the juice from the lemon into a separate bowl. Peel, halve and core the pears, putting them into the bowl of lemon juice as you work to prevent them from browning. Add the pears and lemon juice to the pan and poach for 15-20 minutes until tender. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside while you prepare the tart.
Next, make the frangipane by beating the sugar and butter together in a bowl using an electric whisk until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until fully combined before adding the next. Finally, add the ground almonds and mix to combine. Cover the bowl in cling film and set aside until needed.
Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface into a rectangle about 2-3mm thick. Use this to line a 35x11cm loose-based tart tin, then transfer the tart shell to the fridge for 30 minutes or until firm. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan oven/gas mark 4.
Line the pastry with a sheet of baking paper, fill with baking beans and bake for 20 minutes. Then remove the beans and baking paper and bake for a further 5 minutes until the pastry is a pale golden brown colour. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes.
Finally, to assemble the tart, fill with the frangipane, spreading into an even layer. Press the pears into the frangipane, cut side down, and sprinkle the tart with the flaked almonds. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the frangipane is golden. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin. While cooling, put the apricot jam into a small pan and bring to the boil, then remove from the heat and, while still hot, brush over the tart.
The tart is best eaten on the day its made; which in my household has never been a problem!!
Let me know if you give this a try!