Pear Frangipane Tart

If you’re getting tired of everything apple, why not switch to another delicious and abundant fruit, this time of year. This Pear tart is not only completely delicious but also looks very attractive. Frangipane (a mixture of ground almonds, butter, eggs and sugar) gives that extra almond flavor and golden surrounding to the pears as it puffs up. For those of us who really enjoy frangipane, don’t forget to make a “Galette des Rois” comes the epiphany on January 6th. It is a very strong tradition in France and the Galettes are truly delicious…

SWEETTABLESCAPES got the recipe from Martha, yet again, in her book “Pies and Tarts”. It does require the poaching of pears to be done the day before, so they can rest in the poaching liquid overnight, but the result is so good and pretty that it will impress your guests. Make sure you always keep a supply of frozen “pate brisee” tart shells so you can just grab one to make this beauty. Pate Brisee is quick and easy and when we make it, we always make several so as to have a stock for last minute pies and tarts.

Pear Frangipane Tart:

One unbaked 10-inch pate brisee tart shell, chilled

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 egg

1 cup finely ground blanched almonds

3 Tspn dark rum

1 tsp almond extract

1 Tbsp all-purpose flour

6 white wine poached-pears in 1/2 cup poaching liquid, cooled

1- Preheat oven to 425 F

2- To make frangipane, cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until light an fluffy. Add the egg, ground almonds, rum almond extract and flour, and  beat until smooth. Spread the thick mixture evenly in the chilled tart shell and refrigerate while you prepare the pears.

3- Remove cooled pears from poaching liquid and cut each in half lengthwise, removing the core and stem. Place each half, cut side down, on a cutting board and cut crosswise into thin slices. Arrange the sliced pear halves on the frangipane around the edge of the tart, leaving space between each half, and place one half in the center of the tart. When arranging the pears, try to “pull” the slices toward the center of the tart, which will elongate the pears a bit and fill the shell better than if they were just placed flat.

4- Bake for 45 minutes or until the tart shell is golden brown and the frangipane has puffed and browned.

5- While tart is baking, bring the reserved poaching liquid to a boil and reduce by half. Brush this glaze slightly over the fresh-from-the-oven pears. Serve at room temperature.

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