Pear Frangipane Tart
It's best to use slightly under-ripe pears for this recipe.
Ideally purchase a 9" tart pan with removable bottom to really show off the beauty of this tart.
The leftover poaching liquid is delicious as a mulled drink. Serve any leftover poached pears with ice cream drizzled with some poaching liquid.
- 1 par-baked pate sucrée tart shell (see recipe below)
3-4 firm Bartlett pears, peeled and cored
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 star anise pod
- 3 whole cloves
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 cup ground almonds
- ¼ cup butter, room temperature
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup finely chopped candied ginger
3 tbsp apply jelly, or apricot jam, warmed and sieved
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- Pinch salt
- Very finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- 3 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 6 tbsp room temperature butter, cut into pieces
Pate Sucrée – Sweet Tart Pastry
- Par-bake the tart shell for 12 minutes at 375°F. Cool.
- Cut pears in half lengthwise. Place the juice of 1 lemon in a bowl and gently toss the pear halves in the juice to coat. This will prevent browning.
- Meanwhile, make the poaching liquid. In a medium pot, bring the water and sugar to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and add the cinnamon sticks, star anise, cloves and lemon juice. Add the pears and poach for 12 minutes, or until tender. Remove the pears to a bowl to cool.
- Make the filling. In a mixer bowl, mix together the ground almonds with the butter, sugar and egg. Add the flour and candied ginger. Spread this mixture on the bottom of the par-baked tart shell. Make lengthwise parallel slits on the rounded side of each pear half. Set them, cut side down, around the inside edge of the tart with the narrow neck of the pear pointing inward. Bake for 40 minutes.
- Remove to a cooling rack to cool completely. Brush with the warm apricot jam and let set before serving. Remove the tart pan ring before serving.
Pate Sucrée – Sweet Tart Pastry
By hand, combine the flour, salt, lemon zest and sugar in a bowl. Add the egg yolk and butter. Using your fingers, work the butter and egg yolk into the flour until it comes together. This will take a few minutes – don’t be tempted to add water or another egg yolk. Using the heel of your hand, stretch the dough across the surface of a counter until dough becomes pliable and smooth. Form into a ball. Wrap and chill for 20 minutes. (The pastry can also be mixed in a stand-mixer as well. The pastry will be very stiff.)
- Press the chilled dough into the tart pan beginning at the centre and work the dough over the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Use your thumb to even off the top edge. Prick the bottom with a fork 5-7 times to prevent hot air from causing the pastry to bubble. Freeze for 10-15 minutes.
- Bake in a preheated 375°F oven for 18-20 minutes (if you require a fully baked tart shell). Bake only for 10 minutes for the Pear Frangipane tart. Peek in the oven after 10 minutes to see if a bubble has formed in the crust. If so, prick it with a fork and gently press it down. Cool before removing the outer ring.