Prep time: 1 hr | Cook time: 1 hr 30 mins | Additional time: 1 hr | Total time: 3 hrs 30 mins | Yield: 8 SERVINGS (ONE 10-INCH TART)
This impressive classic French dessert is one in a million! It is made with sweet tart dough, poached pears, and frangipane. It might be time-intensive, but it’s worth it!
11 tbsp (155 g; 1 stick plus 3 tbsp) cold unsalted butter cubed
2 c. (240 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour fluffed, spooned, and levelled
¼ tsp Diamond Crystal kosher salt
⅓ c. (70 grams) granulated sugar
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 large egg yolk
2 c. (400 grams) granulated sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
6 c. (1.4 litres) cold water
1 tbsp vanilla bean paste or 1 tbsp vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean, scraped
1-star anise pod
3 Harry & David Royal Riviera Pears firm yet slightly ripe
2 strips lemon peel without the pith, plus half a lemon
3 large whole eggs room temperature
8 tbsp (4 ounces; 115 g.) unsalted butter softened
1 c. (115 grams) almond flour
½ c. + 1 tbsp (115 grams) granulated sugar
1 tbsp (15 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp dark rum optional
½ tsp lemon zest
lightly sweetened whipped cream optional
powdered sugar for dusting (optional)
How to make Pear Frangipane Tart
Step 1: Start by greasing lightly a 10-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Set aside.
Step 2: Place the flour, sugar, salt, and lemon zest in the bowl of a food processor. Blend until well combined. Then, add the cold cubed butter and process until the butter is well distributed into the flour. Now, add the egg yolk to the food processor followed by the vanilla extract. Pulse again until the dough just begins to clump together.
Step 3: To a clean countertop, knead the dough with any smaller pieces, pressing the dough down using the heel of your hand until completely smooth. Then, into the greased tart pan, press the dough (the dough should be just under 1/4-inch thick). Place the dough in the fridge to chill for at least an hour or freeze it for at least 30 minutes.
Step 4: Prep the dough ahead of time. Press it into a disc and tightly wrap it in plastic wrap. Keep in the fridge for at least an hour or up to 2 days. Before rolling the dough, remove it from the fridge for at least 15 to 20 minutes. Between pieces of wax paper or parchment (to prevent from sticking), roll the dough out, then transfer to the tart pan. Push the dough in using your fingers and shape the tart gently. Ensure to tightly press the dough inside the corners and sides. To save time, you can make the dough up to 2 days ahead or freeze it for up to a month.
Step 5: In the meantime, poach the pears. In a medium pot with about 3-quart capacity, combine the cold water and granulated sugar. Bring to a simmer over medium heat until the sugar has completely dissolved. Now, add the cinnamon sticks along with the star anise pod, vanilla bean paste, and lemon peel.
Step 6: Start peeling the pears, leaving the stem on. With the lemon half, gently rub each pear. This will prevent the pears from oxidizing. Core the pears from the bottom end with a melon baller or small pairing knife. Then, gently lower the cored whole into the poaching liquid using a large spoon.
Step 7: Bring the poaching liquid to a low simmer. With parchment round, cover the surface of the pot and simmer the pears for about 12 to 15 minutes, flipping the pears often until tender. Make sure not to overcook the pears. Using a pairing knife, test the pears. They should be tender and not mushy.
Step 8: In the poaching liquid, cool the pears to room temperature. Serve the pears or place them in a large container, then keep them in the fridge for up to a week.
Step 9: Prepare the oven and preheat it to 375 degrees F or 190 degrees C. Do not forget to place the rack in the centre position. Grease the shiny side of a piece of aluminium foil lightly and place it against the chilled tart dough buttered side-down. With baking weights, dried beans, or granulated sugar, fill the foil. On a baking sheet, place the tart pan. Bake it for about 20 minutes. Take the foil off and remove the weights. Continue baking for another 10 to 15 minutes or until the shell is lightly golden and completely cooked. On a wire rack, set the tart pan and allow it to cool completely before adding the frangipane and poached pears.
Step 10: To make the Frangipane Filling, combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Alternately, you can a hand-held mixer. Beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until creamy. Adjust the speed to low, then add the flour alternately with the egg until everything is evenly combined. Mix in the flour until well blended. Add the vanilla extract along with the lemon zest and rum. Mix again until just combined.
Step 11: To assemble the tart, put the tart pan on a baking sheet and fill it with the pre-baked tart shell with the frangipane filling. Using an offset spatula, spread the filling into an even layer. On a couple of paper towels, place the poached pears. This will aid to soak up the excess poaching moisture. In half, cut the poached pears, removing the stem and the remaining core. In halves crosswise, thinly slice the pear. Lift each sliced pear using a spatula and transfer on the frangipane, narrow end facing the centre of the tart. Slightly fan the slices apart as you work.
Step 12: Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 40 to 55 minutes or until the frangipane has substantially risen around the pears and turned deep golden brown. You can decrease the oven temperature by 25 degrees if your oven runs hot. Lightly cover the tart using a ring of foil if the edges of the tart quickly gain colour. When done, place the tart on a rack and allow it to cool until lukewarm or room temperature.
Step 13: Lightly dust the tart with powdered sugar before serving. Enjoy the tart plain or with whipped cream.
Serving: 1servi, calories: 686kcal, carbohydrates: 91g, protein: 15g, fat: 31g, saturated fat: 10g, polyunsaturated fat: 1g, monounsaturated fat: 4g, trans fat: 1g, cholesterol: 121mg, sodium: 120mg, potassium: 178mg, fiber: 7g, sugar: 34g, vitamin a: 546IU, vitamin c: 3mg, calcium: 108mg, iron: 5mg