Although frangipane seems to have its origins in France, I first had it in the form of a Bakewell tart. It is that wonderful golden, nutty paste that is used to fill so many different tarts and often is accompanied with fruit.
I had some pears in the fruit bowl to use up, so this was a perfect excuse to make a tart and share the recipe with you.
This is a lovely treat for an afternoon tea or dessert, and is taken to new heights when in company with a big dollop of crème fraîche…or double cream…or clotted cream…or ice cream - you get the idea!
You could easily switch the pears for apples, plums or apricots. Most stone fruits work, but avoid berries, as they break down too quickly on the top and it turns into a bit of a mess!
The pastry is sweet shortcrust, which I shared the recipe for in my blackberry and apple plate pie blog back in the autumn. It takes about 5 minutes to make, so quick and you can keep it in the freezer for up to a month.
4 ripe pears
100g unsalted butter, soft
100g ground almonds
100g caster sugar
1 large free ranged egg
3 tbsp plain flour
3 tbsp icing sugar for decoration (optional)
Sweet shortcrust pastry
250g plain flour
125g unsalted butter, cold and cubed
50g icing sugar
1 large free ranged egg
(optional) zest of one orange
First make the pastry. In a food processor, sift the flour and icing sugar together and then add the cubed butter and zest. Blitz until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs, then add the egg and blitz again until the mixture comes together into a ball. Wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for 1 hour.
When the hour is up, remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out on a floured surface, roll to about the thickness of a £1 coin. Grab a tart tin (I used a rectangular 10cmx34cm) and line it with your rolled out pastry. Make sure to push the pastry into all the edges and then place it back into the fridge again whilst you make the filling.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
For the filling, beat together the soft butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Then beat in the ground almond, plain flour and finally add the egg and beat until it is all incorporated.
Take the lined pastry tin out of the fridge and spread the frangipane mixture into it. Peel and core the pears, cut them in half and then place them cut side down into the mixture. To get the most in, lay them next to each other pointing in opposite directions, one pointing up, then one pointing down (If that doesn’t quite make sense - see photos!)
Place in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the frangipane is golden and cooked through.
Leave to cool for 10 minutes in the tin, then transfer to a wire rack to cool fully. Serve with a dusting of icing sugar and a dollop of something creamy, like double cream!
To give a twist to the cream, why not add a little drop of amaretto to give a boozy, almond flavour!
Mother’s day is coming up next month in the U.K, so over the month of March I will be sharing a different recipe each week so at the end of the month you will have lots of recipes to bring together to make a fancy afternoon tea that you could give as a treat!