Saturday, 22 October 2011

caramelised pear frangipane

a little sweet treat for this sunny Lincolnshire Saturday... there are a lot of these pear frangipane tarts around at the moment but I think this one takes the biscuit because of the caramelising stage which adds a nutty depth to the finished tart... the original recipe called for using pair halves but i've used eighths placing the sharp edges face up which has created this interesting pie-section effect... I also used Comice pears which are divine at the moment and fresh from the orchard at Gunby... the pear has nearly melted during the cooking process making for a really moist gunky cake... divine!

... I also think there was a typo in the original recipe as it recommends you use a 20cm tart tin and 4 pears but I had both a lot of pastry and a lot of frangipane mix left over as well as using only one pear (albeit very large) ... although I made a little loaf cake out of the remainder mix, which mad a delightful midnight snack last night!

caramelised pear frangipane

to caramelise the pears
2oz butter
2oz caster sugar
4 pears, peeled and halved (I used 1 large pair and divided it into eighths)

to make the pastry
8oz plain flour
3½oz unsalted butter
1oz caster sugar
1 free-range egg
1 tbsp milk, to bind, if required

to make the frangipane
8oz unsalted butter
8oz caster sugar
4 free-range eggs
1 lemon, zest only, finely grated
2oz plain flour
6¼oz ground almonds

Melt the butter with the sugar in a large frying pan and cook until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has become a golden-brown caramel.

- Add the pears and cook, turning once, until caramelised all over. Remove from the heat and set aside.

- For the pastry, place the plain flour, butter and sugar into a food processor and pulse together until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Add the egg and pulse until the mixture just comes together as a dough. Add a little milk if required.

Remove the dough from the food processor and roll to form a ball. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 40 minutes.

- Preheat the oven to 180C.

- Remove the dough from the fridge and unwrap. Roll the pastry out on a clean, floured work surface to line a 22cm tart tin. Transfer to the oven to bake for ten minutes, or until golden-brown.

- For the filling, mix the butter and sugar together in a bowl until light and fluffy.

- Add one egg at a time to the butter mixture and mix well, before adding the next (this can be done in a food mixer) until all the eggs are mixed into the butter and sugar.

- Add the lemon zest, plain flour and ground almonds and mix well to combine

Spoon the filling into the baked pastry tin and press the caramelised pear into the filling, so that they are half-submerged, if you want to copy my technique simple lay each eighth of pair opposite each other with the sharp side up.

Transfer to the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until the filling is cooked through.

eat and of course, enjoy!



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