Pear Frangipane Tart| Christy Rost
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 cup sifted cake flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons shortening
- 2 tablespoons ice water
Place the flours, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse several times to mix. Slice the butter into small pieces and add to the processor with the shortening; pulse until the butter is pea-size. Add the ice water and processor until the pastry forms a ball. Remove the pastry, wrap it in plastic wrap, and chill until it is cold.
- 3/4 cup blanched slivered almonds, ground fine
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Combine the finely ground almonds, butter, and sugar in a medium mixing bowl. Cream the mixture with an electric mixer until it is well blended. Add the eggs and almond extract, and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.
- 5 pears, halved, cored, and peeled
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 vanilla bean
- 1/4 cup apricot jam (for later use)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Pour the water and sugar into a large skillet. Add the pear halves, cut side down, and the vanilla bean to the skillet. Cover and bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to medium, and cook the pears until they are tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the pears from the skillet and cool them.
To assemble the tart, roll the chilled pastry into a circle large enough to fit a 10-inch tart pan. Transfer the pastry to the pan and press it into the bottom and up the sides of the pan, trimming the edges. Chill the tart pan several minutes until the pastry has firmed.
Melt the apricot jam over low heat. Brush the jam over the pastry and return the tart pan to the refrigerator to chill. Meanwhile, slice 6 of the pear halves lengthwise to within ½-inch of the stem. Spread the frangipane mixture into the tart pan, and fanning the pears out, place them around the perimeter of the tart. Slice the remaining pear halves horizontally and fan them out to resemble a rose. Place this in the center of the tart.
Bake the tart in the preheated oven 10 minutes, reduce the heat to 325 degrees, and bake 25 to 35 minutes more, until the pears are tender and the filling is golden brown and set. Remove from the oven and cool. Serve at room temperature or chill.
Recipe makes 1 10-inch tart.