This is a classic French tart. I based this recipe on one from Martha Stewart. Frangipane is a custard or pastry cream made with ground almonds. The filling puffs up around the fruit while baking and makes an impressive presentation. The vanilla poached pears perfectly compliment the almond filling and everything is just heavenly inside the crisp pastry.
GLUTEN FREE PEAR AND ALMOND FRANGIPANE TART
|4 1/2 tsp.
|1/2 cup/1 stick
|Unsalted Butter - cold
|Water - ice cold
|3/4 cup/3½ -4 oz./94 gm.
|Almonds - blanched
|Sugar - divided
|Pears - firm & just ripe (Bosc, Bartlett or Anjou are best)
If the pears are too soft they will fall apart while cooking.
(You can use 1 tsp. vanilla extract if you don’t have a vanilla bean.)
|Vanilla Bean Pod - cut in half lengthwise, seeds scraped out.
You will use both the pod and the seeds.
|Apricot Jam - for glazing the pears after they bake.
First make the tart shell:
- In a food processor add all the flours, xanthan gum, salt & sugar. Pulse a few times to mix the dry ingredients well.
- Cut the cold butter into pieces and add to the flour mixture. Pulse several times until it resembles coarse meal with some larger pieces of butter still visible.
Pieces of butter with the flour mixture.
Flour and butter after pulsing is done.
Note the pieces of various sizes.
- Add the egg and pulse to combine.
- Add the water one tablespoon at a time, pulsing a few seconds after each addition, until the dough just hold together.
Dough coming together in a ball after water was added and pulsed in.
- Press the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic. Chill for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator or 30 minutes in the freezer.
Dough disk wrapped in plastic before freezing.
- Peel, cut in half and core the pears. I like to scoop out the seeds with a small melon baller to make a clean cut center.
Peeled pears, one cut in half with stem and core being removed.
Note how clean a cut the melon baller makes when coring the pear.
- Bring the two cups of water to a boil in a large (3 quart) saucepan.
- Add the sugar and vanilla. Gently place the pear halves into the liquid and reduce the heat to a simmer.
Pear halves poaching in the liquid.
Note the vanilla bean pod and seeds in the water.
- Cook until the pears are easily pierced with a fork, about 7 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Allow the pears to cool in the liquid, then remove them to a cutting board.
- If you like, you can boil the cooking liquid down to form a syrup that can be used to sweeten tea or to eat over waffles or pancakes.
- Pat the pears dry with paper towels so that the filling will not get wet.
- Cut each pear crosswise into 1/4 inch thick slices. Take care to keep each pear half together so that you can transfer the entire half to the tart using a spatula. Set aside.
Pears sliced crosswise.
I forgot to pat them dry.
- Preheat the oven to 375°. Lightly butter a 9 or 10-inch tart pan that has a removable bottom. Set aside.
9" tart pan with removable bottom.
- Roll out the pastry dough between two pieces of plastic wrap. Roll the dough into a circle (13” in diameter for a 9-inch pan and 14” for a 10-inch pan). Do not make the pastry too thin. Fit the pastry into the pan, pressing the edges against the sides of the pan. Cut off the excess dough by rolling over the top of the pan with a rolling pin. Transfer the dough lined pan to the freezer until firm, about 15 minutes.
Dough, rolled out and pressed onto the bottom and sides of the pan.
I kept the top piece of plastic on while pressing down the dough
to keep it from sticking to my fingers.
Trimming the edges by rolling over the edges with a rolling pin.
- To make the frangipane filling, first grind the almonds in a food processor with 3 Tbs. of the sugar. Pulse until you have a fine meal. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter & the rest of the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. About 2 minutes.
- Add the egg, vanilla & almond extracts, ground almond mixture and 1 Tbs. of Sorghum flour. Beat until smooth.
Frangipane after all mixed.
- Take the chilled tart out of the freezer and spread the frangipane filling evenly in the tart shell.
Empty shell well chilled and firm.
Frangipane spread evenly in the tart shell.
- Carefully lift each sliced pear half and place on the filling, large side of the pear towards the edge of the tart and the tapered end toward the center. It makes a nicer presentation to evenly space the pears around the tart in a circle. You can put a pear in the center as well, if you like.
Pears evenly placed around the tart.
- Fan out the slices of each pear half by gently pushing and pressing the pear towards the center of the tart.
Fan out the pears by pressing the slices up with your hand.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes until the tart shell is golden brown and the frangipane filling has puffed up and browned nicely.
Tart hot out of the oven.
Note the frangipane is puffed up around the pears.
- While the tart is baking, heat the apricot jam until melted. As soon as you take the tart out of the oven, brush the melted apricot jam over the hot pears, taking care not to get jam on the frangipane filling.
- Cool the tart, still in the pan, on a rack.
Tart with apricot glaze on the pears.
- When cool remove the tart from the pan by holding the bottom of the pan and allowing the rim to drop down. Slide the tart, still on the pan bottom onto a serving plate. If you prefer, you can use a cake lifter to gently lift the tart off the bottom of the tart pan and transfer the tart to a serving plate.
- For more decadence, serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
- The tart will keep covered at room temperature for up to 3 days. Freeze for longer storage.