It’s been some weeks of exhaustion and procrastination. The weeks in India finally caught up with me. Its been a lonesome uninspired time thus. I have so many recipes I want to make and yet not one that I actually wanted to put to execution.
It is how I feel when I go into a department store. My reaction every single time is of running out screaming in panic! I just don’t do well with mass anything. I get overwhelmed and then end up getting paralyzed.
I love going to my local grocery store. So, that’s where I thought I’d start. The choice was pretty obvious. All around me were so many different varieties of pears. I’m not much of a pear eater, and certainly have never eaten it in a tart. Again, therefore an obvious choice.
So, here it is. A Pear Frangipane Tart with a dash of Amaretto liqueur.
adapted from Delicious Magazine UK
for the crust
225g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
110g powdered sugar
3 egg yolks, lightly beaten
for the frangipane
125g butter, softened
125g powdered sugar
125g almond meal
1 tbsp plain flour
1/4 cup amaretto liqueur
for the poached pears
5-6 tbsps sugar
2 pears, halved and cored
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
1 inch ginger cut roughly into 2-3 pieces
Make the pastry. Put the flour into a large bowl. Cut the butter into cubes and throw on top of the flour. Sprinkle with the powdered sugar. Using your fingertips, rub the butter, flour and sugar together until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolks and, using your fingers, gradually draw in the flour. Knead lightly, until it comes together in a smooth ball – you might need to add 1-2 teaspoons cold water if the dough is very crumbly. Wrap in cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes.
Make the frangipane filling. Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs, one at a time, then fold in the ground almonds and flour. Mix well and set aside.
Make the poached pears. Put the sugar in a saucepan, pour in enough water to cover your pears and place over a medium heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Peel the pears and add to the pan, along with the cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Squeeze the juice from the lemon into the pan and add the squeezed lemon. Add some more water to just cover the pears. Let the pears stay submerged in the poaching liquor. Simmer for around 10 minutes, then remove the pears to a plate and discard the liquor and solids. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Don’t overcook the pears – a knife should just pierce them easily since they are going to cook in the oven too.
Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the pastry to the shape of your tart tin and large enough to line the tart tin. Don’t worry if it breaks up, as this is a short, crumbly pastry. You can just patch it together in the tin and mold it up the sides, just making sure it is even all over. Trim off any excess pastry and spread the frangipane evenly on top.
Place the pears in a line if you are using a rectangular tin like mine or in a circle if you are using a round tin. Bake for 30 minutes until the pastry is golden and the filling is set. At this point lower the temperature to 150°C/300°F, sprinkle the pears with some sugar and bake in the oven for a further 10 minutes to finish off the browning. Cool in the tin slightly, then remove and transfer to a wire rack. Drizzle with honey and serve either warm or at room temperature with some good quality vanilla ice cream.