When winter leaves you craving fruit but your tongue is tingling from all of the citrus, the mild sweetness of juicy pears is just the thing to fill the void. This tart features a tender crust, the rich nuttiness of almond frangipane, and the winter freshness of poached bosc pears.
For the Poached Pears: Note that these not traditional poached pears, not the warm wine poached pears that are often featured on their own as dessert. Really, it's closer to a marinade, but poached pears is more alliterative.
1 Recipe David Lebovitz's French Tart Dough, found here. This is truly a wonderful, foolproof recipe that can open up a world of tarts to those who feared making the oft-dreaded crust.
- 1-2 bosc pears, depending on size (also depending how much fruit you want on your tart. I used two small ones for the tart pictures, minus a few slices that I snacked on.)
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup Lillet Blanc (optional, but lovely)
- 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped out.
- Zest of one orange
- 3 oz unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 3 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 rounded cup flour
For the Frangipane:
- 1/2 cup ground almonds (I used sliced almonds, toasted them just slightly, and ground them in my mini food processor. Don't use almond flour, it's too fine.)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 3 tbsp softened butter
- 1 tbsp flour
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Slice and peel the pears. They should be ripe all the way through, but still firm.
- In a small sauce pan, combine water, sugar, vanilla bean (seeds and pod), and orange zest.
- Simmer until the sugar is dissolved.
- Stir in the Lillet.
- Place the pears in a shallow bowl and pour the mixture over.
- Leave the bowl on the counter until it has cooled to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate for a minimum of two hours. Longer is better (overnight would be great).
- Make the tart crust, according to the instructions in the link.
- For the frangipane, after the almonds are coarsely ground, add the remaining ingredients to the food processor and pulse until everything is blended.
- Press the tart dough into a 9" tart pan.
- Spoon the frangipane into the tart and spread until it's even.
- Fish the pear slices out of the sauce. Strain the sauce and set aside.
- Press the pear slices gently into the frangipane.
- Bake the tart on a sheet pan in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes, until the crust and frangipane is slightly golden and firm in the center.
- Let the tart cool.
- While the tart is cooling, return the reserved sauce to the stove. Reduce over low heat until the syrup thickens slightly, about ten minutes. While still warm, brush the syrup over the top of the tart for a lovely sheen.
This tart is lovely for dessert, but absolutely perfect for tea. The floral notes of the orange, vanilla, and Lillet will be wonderfully complemented by a cup of Earl Grey. Enjoy!