French Pear Tart
While all aspects of French gastronomy are world renowned, it is the wide variety of wonderful baked goods and pastries that really stand out. From napoleons to petits fours, from cakes to tarts, the French have mastered the art of baking. Frangipane, a sweet almond-flavored pastry cream, sets off this tart’s buttery pastry and slices of fresh pear.
- 3 firm ripe Anjou or Bartlett pears
- 1¼ C (156 g) all purpose flour, additional for dusting
- Pinch of salt
- 4 T (48 g) baker's sugar
- ½ C (115 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 lg egg yolks
- ¼ tsp (1 ml) vanilla extract
- 1 T (15 ml) cold water
- ⅓ C (76 g) unsalted butter
- ¾ C (144 g) granulated sugar
- 3 lg eggs
- ¾ C (64 g) ground almonds
- 1½ T (12 g) all-purpose flour
- 1/8 tsp (½ ml) almond extract
- ¼ C (80 g) apricot jam
- 1 tsp (5 ml) lemon juice
- 2 tsp (10 g) slivered almonds
Sift together flour and salt; make a well in the middle. Put sugar, butter, egg yolks, vanilla and water into well and work together gently to form a firm dough. Cover and chill for 2 hours. Roll out gently on a lightly floured surface to cover a 9-inch (23 cm) fluted quiche or tart pan. Press dough firmly into pan, cutting off any excess. Prick bottom of dough with a fork several times. Refrigerate for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Line dough with parchment or foil and place a layer of pie weights or dry beans on bottom. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Lower temperature to 375°F (190°C); remove paper and weights and bake for 5 minutes or until golden. Remove from heat and let cool on a wire rack. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F (176°C).
Mix butter and sugar until creamy. Add eggs, ground almonds, flour and extract; stir to combine. Spoon into crust.
Peel, core and slice pears. Arrange slices in an attractive pattern over top of frangipane. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until pears are tender and lightly browned. Remove from heat and let cool on a wire rack.
Melt jam in a saucepan over low heat. Stir in lemon juice. Remove from heat and push mixture through a sieve. Brush glaze over pears then sprinkle with slivered almonds.
Serve with crème anglaise, fresh raspberries or vanilla ice cream.
- Prep time: 25 minutes.
- Chill time: 2 hours, 20 minutes.
- Cook time: 57 minutes.
- Makes 8 servings.
- Nutritional info per serving:
- Calories 485
- Fat 31 g
- Cholesterol 211 mg
- Sodium 37 mg
- Carbs 49 g
- Protein 8 g