Anyone who knows me well knows that I HATE cooked fruit...so for me eating a poached pear was a big step! Not just eating too, I actually enjoyed it!! Theres no way I'm gonna go on a hot-fruit eating frenzy but if someone offers me a poached pear - I say as if this happens every week - I won't turn my nose up against it!
I'm not one to brag, but this tart is probably one of the best tarts I've ever made. I'm so proud of it, and it tasted delicious too which is always a plus ;). Frangipane is one of my all time favourite fillings and I just love how moist (apologies!) it is.
I made this for desssert after a Sunday roast, and despite the silly amounts of food already consumed the tart was wholfed down! A success in my book! The recipe is from the amazing Patisserie Made Simple by Edd Kimber (as was last Sunday's bake!). I LOVE this book, I have so many recipes flagged to try and the photography is beautiful.
So, on with the recipe!
For the frangipane:
100g unsalted butter at room temp
100g caster sugar
2 large eggs
100g ground almonds
For the poached pears:
150g caster sugar
2 Conference or Bosc pears
For the pastry:
225g plain flour
pinch of salt
1 tbsp caster sugar
120g unsalted butter, diced and chilled
2 tbsp ice-cold water
For the decoration:
2 tbsp flaked almonds
2 tbsp clear apricot jam
To make the pastry, put the flour, salt and sugar in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles small pea-sized pieces. Add the water 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing after each addition. The dough needs just enough water so that it starts coming together. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and lightly knead until it forms a uniform dough. Press into a flat round and wrap in clingfilm. Put it in the fridge for at least 1 hour before using.
To make the frangipane, put the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat together for 5 minutes using an electric whisk or until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until fully combine before adding the next. Add the ground almonds and mix to combine. Set aside until needed.
To poach the pears, put 500ml water and the caster sugar in a medium pan. Using a sharp knife, cut off 3 strips of lemon zest and add to the pan. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer over a medium heat. Squeeze the juice from the lemon into a bowl and set aside. Peel, halve and core the pears, putting them into the bowl of lemon juice as you work to prevent the fruit from browning. Add the pears and lemon juice to the syrup and poach for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside while you prepare the tart.
Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface into a rectangle about 2-3mm thick. Use to line a 35x11cm loose-based tart tin, then transfer the tart shell to the fridge for 30minutes or until firm. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan oven/gas 4.
Line the pastry with a sheet of baking parchment and fill it with baking beans. Bake for 20 minutes then remove the parchment and baking beans and bake for a further 5 minutes or until the base is a pale golden colour. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes.
To assemble the tart, fill with the frangipane, spreading it into an even layer. Press the pears into the frangipane, cut-side down, and sprinkle the tart with the flaked almonds. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the frangipane is golden. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin. While cooling put the apricot jam in a small pan and bring to the boil, then remove from the heat and, while still hot, brush over the tart.
The tart is best served on the day it is made - not too hard an instruction I imagine...;)!
I hope you like this tart as much as I do, and please do let me know if you try it!
adapted from Patisserie Made Simple by Edd Kimber