Crisp tart dough encases a slightly textured almond filling that is both creamy and rich and cushions lightly poached pears. A light, shiny glaze tops it all off (below, you can see the dessert just prior to glazing). There are a few components, but they can all be made ahead. The tart itself is best served the day it is made or the day after at the most.
We made this frangipane tart in an open-bottom tart ring, but you can also use a more standard loose-bottom, fluted-edge tart pan as described below.
Images: Peter Muka
- 3 cups water
- 1½ cups sugar
- 4 to 5 firm but ripe Bartlett or Anjou pears, peeled (number of pears depends on their size and also if your pan has a shape, as seen in image).
- For the Pears: Place water and sugar in a narrow, deep saucepan and whisk to combine. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Gently lower pears into water/sugar mixture, cover and simmer until pears are tender when pierced with a paring knife, about 20 to 25 minutes (but will depend on ripeness of pears). (See Poach).
- Gently remove pears using a slotted spoon and place aside. Reduce the syrup until thick enough to use as a glaze for the tart after baking. Let syrup remain in pot.
- For Tart: Position rack in center of oven. Preheat oven to 375°F. Place tart pan on parchment-lined baking sheet. Pierce crust with fork here and there, including along the sides. Line tart with foil, fill with pie weights and bake for about 8 to 10 minutes or until crust is just beginning feel to dry to the touch. Remove foil and weights and continue to bake for about 2 minutes or just until crust begins to color. Remove and cool pan on rack.
- While tart is cooling, prepare pears by slicing them in half and removing stems and cores.
- Spread the frangipane into an even layer in the cooled tart crust. Place the pear halves decoratively around the edges of the pan, narrow parts towards the center. Place one pear half in center as well. Use a sharp knife edge to score each pear horizontally as seen in image (this allows more heat to reach the fruit in the oven).
- Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes or until frangipane is golden brown; it will also puff up a bit. Place pan on a rack to begin cooling.
- Reheat the syrup until fluid and gently spoon or brush all over the tart. Serve at room temperature the same day it is baked. Tart may be loosely covered with foil and refrigerated overnight; bring back to room temperature before serving.