Spring makes me feel all happy inside. All I can think about are warm pies and brightly colored fruits. Looking out the window yesterday, I was inspired by the yellow tulips to make something cheerful. And thought, hmm how about a tart!
Tarts are always fun to make. Although the process can seem a bit time consuming, the delicate precision needed is well worth it. Whether sweet or savory, tarts are one of those desserts perfect for any occasion.
I was first introduced to Frangipane on a trip to our favorite city in South France a few years ago. It didn’t take much convincing as the main ingredient was one of my beloved nuts, Almonds. Frangipane is a custard made and flavored with almonds and can be used in a variety of ways. Peered with a sweet poached fruit, the flavors combined makes a wonderful explosion in your mouth.
This pear frangipane is a classic French tart. Don’t be deceived by the appearances. It is unbelievably simple, and a perfect way to showcase the main ingredients. The sweet poached pears are fanned out in an almond cream baked in a buttery pâte sablée shell. The results are intoxicating. You can smell the sweet fragrance of the Pear liquor, cinnamon and vanilla throughout the entire house.
Here is what we need:-
Pâte Sablée (Shell)
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons almond powder
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- pinch sea salt
- 4 oz unsalted butter, cold cubes
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the frangipane
- 3 oz toasted almonds (3/4 cup)
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp
- 2 tablespoons Williams- Christ Pear Liquor
- 1 large egg, room temp
- 3 medium, ripe Bosc pears, halved
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 star anise
- 4 fresh ginger slices
- 2 teaspoon whole cloves
- all spice or peppercorn
- 1 split vanilla bean pod
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon Williams- Christ Pear Liquor
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 4 cups water
- For the shell: You make the Pâte Sablée pretty much the way you would make any pastry dough. I normally make mine by hand, but you can use a food processor to make it a bit easier and faster. Combine flour, sugar, almond powder in a bowl and blend together. Add butter cold butter cubes and begin to cut the butter into the flour mixture until crumbly. Add milk and vanilla and blend by folding everything together until dough forms. place dough on a workplace and form a ball. Press slightly to form a circle. Cover with plastic and refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Roll out dough to fit a tart tin with a removable bottle (14″ x 4″ x 1″) Cover with foil and bake the shell for 15 minutes or until pale yellow.
I’m always tasting always sampling in this second part!
- For the Poached Pears: Peel the pears, trim both ends, then cut each pear in half lengthwise and core them. In a large pot, place the butter, Williams liquor, and sugar. Heat over medium until sugar dissolves. Add water, and all spices and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add pear halves ( Although the recipe calls for 2 pears, I always add an additional just in case). Reduce boil to a low simmer and cook pears for 15 to 20 minutes or until soft to touch. Then remove from heat and allow pears to cool in the liquid.
- For the Frangipane: Using a food processor, finely ground the almond. Pour in a large bowl and add sugar, butter and the Williams-Christ liquor. Blend together with a hand mixer. Continue whipping until the mixture is creamy, about 1 minute. Add the egg and continue whipping at medium speed until thick, about 2 more minutes. Spread the almond frangipane in the prepared tart shell.
- Slice each half lengthwise into about 7 even slices, hold the pear as you slice them. Slightly fan the slices and arrange them on top of the frangipane. Whatever design you would like.
- Bake the tart for 30 to 35 minutes until the frangipane is golden. Remove from oven, brush the pears with a bit of the sauce the pears were boiled in and allow to cool at room temperature. Sprinkle the tart with powdered sugar.
- Serve with ice cream or whipped cream. Alone is great too.
Although this is classically made with almonds, you can use just about any nut. And undoubtedly, any poached fruit can find it home in this creamy delight.
Hope you enjoy this as much as we did!
Adopted: From My Home to Yours