Can You Bake an Elegant French Pear Frangipane Tart with Almond Cream?

April 4, 2024

When you think of classic French pastries, the image of a Pear Frangipane Tart may come to mind. Sumptuous pears paired with an almond cream filling, nestled inside a perfectly baked tart shell, this dessert is nothing short of elegant. But could you make it in your own kitchen?

Let’s unravel the mystery behind this delectable treat. By understanding each component – the tart shell, the almond cream, and the pears – and its associated recipe, you’ll soon realize that baking this elegant French Pear Frangipane Tart is not as daunting as it may seem.

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A Step-by-Step Guide to a Perfect Tart Shell

To begin, we’ll tackle the base of our tart – the tart shell. Known in French as pâte sablée, this sweet shortcrust pastry forms the foundation of our tart. It needs to be firm enough to hold the filling, yet tender enough to melt in your mouth.

Ingredients

  • 200g all-purpose flour
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 50g icing sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 large egg

In a large bowl, combine the flour and icing sugar. Add the butter, cut into small pieces. Rub the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg and mix just until the dough comes together. Be careful not to overmix, as this can lead to a tough crust.

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Wrap the dough in cling wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes. This allows the gluten in the flour to relax, making the dough easier to roll out. Once chilled, roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface and line your tart tin. Prick the base with a fork and chill again for another 30 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F). Line the tart shell with parchment paper and fill with baking beans. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the beans and paper and bake for a further 10 minutes, or until golden. Now your tart shell is ready for the filling.

Crafting a Creamy Almond Frangipane

Next, let’s delve into the frangipane – a rich almond cream that gives our tart its distinctive flavour. Despite the fancy name, frangipane is quite simple to make. All it takes is a few staple ingredients and a bit of patience.

Ingredients

  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 125g ground almonds
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

In a bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the ground almonds, then add the flour and mix until smooth.

Spread the frangipane evenly over the baked tart shell. Now, it’s time to add the star of our tart – the pears.

Preparing the Perfect Pears

The final component of our tart is the pears. You can use fresh or tinned pears for this recipe, but whichever you choose, the key is to slice them thinly and arrange them artfully atop the frangipane.

Ingredients

  • 4-5 ripe pears
  • Lemon juice

Peel the pears, cut in half and remove the core. Slice each half into thin slices and sprinkle with a little lemon juice to prevent them from browning. Arrange the pear slices attractively on top of the frangipane.

Return the tart to the oven and bake for about 35-40 minutes, or until the frangipane is golden and the pears are tender. Allow to cool before serving.

Finishing Touches

While the tart is delicious on its own, you can add some finishing touches to make it even more special. Dust with powdered sugar for a little extra sweetness, or glaze with apricot jam for a shiny finish. You can also serve it with a dollop of crème fraîche or a scoop of vanilla ice cream for an indulgent treat.

You’ve now mastered the art of the Pear Frangipane Tart. With practice, you’ll find that each component – the tart shell, the frangipane, the pears – becomes easier to prepare, and the whole process becomes second nature. So don’t be daunted by the prospect of baking this elegant French tart. Instead, embrace the challenge and discover the joys of baking from scratch.

Who knows? You might even impress yourself with a dessert that’s not just delicious, but truly elegant. Delight in the process, and remember that a well-made Pear Frangipane Tart is a testament to your culinary prowess. So roll up your sleeves, gather your ingredients, and let’s bake an elegant French Pear Frangipane Tart.

The Art of Poaching Pears

The beauty of a Pear Frangipane Tart lies not just in the combination of its components, but also in the exceptional quality of each individual element. As we’ve previously discussed the tart shell and the frangipane filling, let’s now turn our attention to the starring ingredient – the pears. To enhance their flavor and texture, we will be poaching them, a process that entails simmering the pears in a flavorful liquid until they are tender.

Ingredients

  • 4-5 ripe pears
  • 1 liter water
  • 250g sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod, split lengthwise

Begin by peeling the pears, ensuring to keep the stem intact for a more appealing presentation. In a large pot, combine the water, sugar, and vanilla pod, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Once the sugar has dissolved completely, carefully place your pears into the pot.

The pears should be submerged in the liquid. If they float to the top, consider using a plate or a smaller lid to keep them submerged. Allow the pears to simmer gently for about 20-30 minutes, or until they are tender when pierced with a knife.

Once the pears are poached, remove them from the liquid and let them cool. Once cooled, you can move on to slicing them, ready to be arranged on your frangipane filling.

The Final Assembly and Baking

Now that you have your tart shell, frangipane filling, and poached pears, you’re ready for the final assembly. This is where your pear frangipane tart really starts to take shape.

Take your cooled tart shell and fill it with the almond cream, spreading it out evenly. Then, take your poached pears and slice them thinly, retaining their shape. Arrange the pear slices attractively on top of the frangipane, pressing them in slightly.

Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F). Position your tart on the middle rack of the oven to ensure even baking. Bake for around 35-40 minutes, or until the frangipane has set and is golden brown, and the pears have caramelized slightly.

Once baked, remove the tart from the oven and allow it to cool in the tart pan for around 10 minutes. Then, remove the tart from the pan and let it cool completely on a wire rack before slicing and serving.

In Conclusion

Creating a Pear Frangipane Tart may seem like a daunting task at first glance. However, by breaking down the process into manageable stages – crafting the tart shell, preparing the frangipane filling, poaching the pears, and final assembly – the task becomes much more feasible.

With patience, practice, and a taste for adventure, anyone can bake this elegant French dessert in their own kitchen. The tart’s crumbly crust, creamy almond filling, and juicy, succulent pears make for a delightful blend of textures and flavors that are sure to impress. From the moment you blind bake your tart shell to the final dusting of powdered sugar, each step is an opportunity to learn and refine your baking skills.

So, let the allure of the Pear Frangipane Tart inspire you to tie on an apron, preheat your oven, and undertake your own delicious baking adventure. Bon Appétit!