This Pear Frangipane Tart was a total experiment that, I think, really paid off. I was eating a mini frangipane tart from a pretty reputable local bakery, which solely does fruity frangipane tarts, and all I could think was how dry and overrated it was. I figured, how hard could it be to get this right? Turns out, not very. Experimentation in the kitchen should almost entirely be encouraged, except when it comes to baking! Baking is a pretty exact science that should not be messed with! But when I say “experiment”, it’s not like I stumbled upon this amazing new thing or like I reinvented the wheel. I just Frankensteined a recipe together using bits of others I had tried or seen before. I used my short-crust pastry recipe that I’ve been using for a while now. I added Jamie Oliver’s basic frangipane recipe from either his 15 or 30 minute meals series and added a drop of almond extract for a bit of extra almondiness. I know that pears and almonds go well ergo the tinned pears. Then, only because I thought the whole thing might look too beige and I wanted it to look a bit more like a bakewell, I added the jam layer, for colour more so than anything else! The pears and jam do give a lot of moisture to the frangipane, which I love, but this moisture means that you need to make sure that it has cooled completely before cutting into it. Otherwise, it could relax slightly and lose its form.
The whole thing really was so yummy though I do wish I had known beforehand that it would have been such a hit so I could have been careful to give the pastry cleaner edges and made a nicer design with the pears. But on the other hand, there’s nothing wrong with something looking rustic and homemade.
- 250g plain flour
- 70g caster sugar
- 125g unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
- 2 egg yolks, plus one beater egg for brushing
- 1 egg
- 100g ground almonds
- 90g caster sugar
- 100g melted butter
- half a tsp of vanilla extract
- half a tsp of almond extract
- 3 tbsp strawberry jam, or just enough to cover the pastry base
- 1 tin of peeled and quartered pears, drained
- Blitz the flour, sugar and butter together in a food processor until it resembles breadcrumbs.
- Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add the egg yolks. Mix together with a fork first before you bring everything together with your hands until you have one smooth piece of dough.
- Pat it into a fat disk shape, wrap tin cling film and refrigerate for half an hour.
- Half an hour later, pre-het the oven to 180 degrees Celsius, take out the dough and on a lightly floured work surface, roll it out to about an eighth of an inch thick.
- Transfer into a 9"/23cm loose-based sandwich tin or pie tin. Repair and cracks or breaks with excess pastry. Line it with tin foil and fill it with baking beads or dried rice or beans and refrigerate for another half an hour.
- Then transfer it to the oven for 20 minutes.
- Take it out, remove the foil and beads, brush with the beaten egg and return it to the oven for 10 minutes.
- Then take it out and let it cool while you make your filling.
- Add the egg, almonds, sugar, butter, vanilla extract and almond extract to a mixing bowl and mix until completely combined.
- Set that aside while you spread the jam on the base of the now cooled pastry case.
- Pour over the frangipane mix spread it out so it reaches the sides. Dot the top with pear segments and return to the oven for 35 minutes.
- Allow to cool slightly before you take it out of the case and let it cool completely before you cut it.