Pear and almond tart
For the poached pears
200ml white wine
100g caster sugar ½ cinnamon stick rind of 1 orange rind of 1 lemon
1 vanilla pod, split in half lengthways and seeds scraped out
3 pears, peeled (not too ripe)
For the pastry
140g plain flour, sifted 40g icing sugar, sifted 75g very cold unsalted butter, cubed
2 egg yolks
For the frangipane
250g blanched almonds
250g caster sugar
250g unsalted butter, softened 3 medium eggs
26cm loose-based, nonstick tart tin To poach the pears, put all the ingredients apart from the pears in a large pan, add 800ml water and bring up to the boil. Turn down to a simmer and add the pears. Poach for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool in the liquid.
To make the pastry, put the flour and icing sugar in a bowl or a food processor and mix. Add the butter and combine until you have the texture of fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolks one at a time, continuously mixing to form a dough. Wrap in cling film and chill until firm.
To make the frangipane, grind or pound the almonds in three stages to give different textures: coarse, medium and medium fine, taking a third out each time.
Cream the caster sugar and butter until light and fluffy, then add the eggs one at a time while continuously mixing. Add the ground or pounded almonds and chill in the fridge.
Preheat the oven to 170C/ 325F/Gas 3, and take the frangipane out of the fridge to become malleable.
Coarsely grate the pastry into the centre of the tart tin, then start pushing the pastry evenly up the sides of the tin with your thumbs and then form the base. Bake in the preheated oven for 14 minutes.
Turn the oven down to 150C/ 300F/Gas 2 and fill the tart shell with the frangipane.
Slice each of the cooled pears around the core and cut into quarters. Place the pears on top of the frangipane, leaving some gaps, and bake for 90 minutes.
Allow to cool before serving with crème fraîche.