Pear and almond tart

Pear and almond tart

By
From
Leiths How to Cook
Serves
6
Photographer
Peter Cassidy

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 quantity Rich shortcrust pastry, using sweet variation
extra flour, to dust
2 firm, ripe large pears
1/2 quantity Apricot glaze, warmed

For the frangipane

Quantity Ingredient
150g blanched almonds
1 egg, plus 2 extra yolks
150g butter, softened
150g caster sugar
3 tablespoons poire william liqueur, or brandy
45g plain flour

Method

  1. Roll out the chilled pastry on a lightly floured surface to a 3 mm thickness and use to line a 24 cm loose-based flan tin or flan ring set on a baking sheet. Cover with cling film and chill in the fridge until firm to the touch. Heat the oven to 200ºC.
  2. Meanwhile, to make the frangipane, blend the almonds in a food processor to a very fine crumb (if too coarse they will not bind the frangipane). Beat the egg and extra yolks in a bowl.
  3. Beat the butter in a separate bowl until softened, then gradually beat in the sugar, in 4 or 5 additions, until fully incorporated. Gradually add the eggs, beating well after each addition. Stir in the Poire William, add the almonds and flour and stir well to combine evenly.
  4. Blind bake the pastry for 15–20 minutes, then remove the cartouche and beans and bake for a further 5 minutes, or until the pastry looks dry and feels sandy to the touch. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 180ºC.
  5. Spread the frangipane evenly over the base of the cooled pastry case. Quarter and core the pears and thinly slice across the width of the pear quarters (not with the length) into small slices, keeping the slices together.
  6. Take a sliced quarter of pear, fan it out a little and place it on the frangipane so the top end of the pear is at the middle of the tart and the pear extends to the edge of the tin in fanned out slices, radiating from the centre like the spokes of a wheel. Arrange the remaining pear quarters in the same way to make 6 or 8 spokes. (You may not need all of the second pear or you may need to add extra slices from the remaining 2 pear quarters if you have 6 spokes.)
  7. Press the pears down gently into the frangipane a little. Bake in the middle of the oven for 30–40 minutes until the frangipane has risen a little, is pale golden and has set. To check, insert a skewer into the middle; it should come out clean. Leave to cool slightly on the baking sheet, then remove the side of the tin, if using, and slide the tart onto a wire rack, or lift off the flan ring after transferring.
  8. While the tart is still warm, brush only the pears with the warm apricot glaze. The tart is best served between warm and room temperature on the day it is made, but it will still be delicious the following day.

Note

  • This frangipane can be used for a variety of recipes. Grinding whole almonds yourself gives the best flavour, but you can use ground almonds if necessary.

Variations

  • You can leave the cored pears in quarters, or even halves, instead of thinly slicing them. Very firm pears can be poached first.

    Apricot and almond tart: Replace the Poire William in the frangipane with Amaretto. Replace the pears with 1 quantity poached apricots, halved and placed cut side down over the frangipane.

    Plum and almond tart: Replace the Poire William with rum and the pears with 4–6 plums, depending on size. Halve and stone the plums and place cut side down in the frangipane.
Tags:
Leiths School of food and wine
cookery course
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