Pear and al­mond tart


Food and Travel (UK) - - Recipes -

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

To serve

crème fraîche

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.

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