Pear Frangipane Tart
If you're looking for a delicately sweet tart to add to a pastry table or serve with your afternoon tea, this pear tart is an excellent choice. It's light, flaky, and the perfect accompaniment for a steaming hot pot of Earl Grey.
- 1 1/3 cup Flour
- 3 tbsp Granulated Sugar
- 8 tbsp Unsalted Butter cold, cut into 16 pieces
- 1 Egg separated
- Ice Water
- 2 1/2 oz Ground Almonds
- 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp Sugar divided
- 5 tbsp Butter softened, divided
- 1 Egg Yolk
- 1/2 tsp Almond or Vanilla Extract
- 4 small Pears
The Tart Dough
Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Place flour and sugar in the bowl of a food processor; pulse to blend. Add butter and pulse 12 times, or until bits of butter are about the size of small peas.
Separate the egg, placing the egg yolk in a ¼-cup measure (reserve egg white). Add ice water to fill the measure; stir with a fork to break up the egg yolk. Drizzle the liquid over the dry ingredients and then pulse to distribute.
Turn on the processor and run until dough almost forms a ball around the blade. Roll or press the pastry dough into an 11-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Prick the pastry all over with a fork.
Line the tart pastry with aluminum foil or parchment and fill with pie weights (or dried beans or rice); bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil/parchment and weights immediately and brush the hot crust with reserved egg white. Let cool before filling. (This will keep the crust from getting soggy.)
Reduce oven heat to 375°F (190°C).
The Frangipane Filling
In the food processor (no need to clean it after making the dough), combine the ground almonds, 1/4 cup sugar, 4 tablespoons butter, egg yolk, and almond extract; process until a thick paste forms. Spread almond mixture on the prepared and cooled crust.
The Pear Topping
Peel and halve pears, remove the stem, and then remove the seedy core with a melon baller. Slice pear halves crosswise in 3/16-inch slices, keeping the profile of the pear.
For spacing purposes, make a small dent in the very center of the tart. Place the 8 pear halves on the frangipane with the bottom of the pears about 1/2 inch from the rim and the tops inward toward the center dent. They should be equally spaced to form an eight-sided star of sorts. Once set in, gently press down on them, pushing in the direction of the center dent, but stop pressing when the top of the pear is about an inch from the dent. This will splay the pears nicely.
Sprinkle pears with the remaining tablespoon of sugar, dot with the remaining tablespoon butter, and bake for 35 minutes, or until bubbly. Serves 8.