Monday, November 9, 2009
Did you know that you are a pastry chef? You are! Or at least you will be, once you make this tart. Believe me, if I can do it, you can do it! This one's sure to wow your Thanksgiving guests!
I found this recipe in the back of a recent Family Fun magazine, and I was instantly drooling over the combination of pear and almond flavors. Weeks later, I couldn't stop thinking about it, so I finally dove in despite my fear of the process. I was surprised to find that the recipe had such perfect instructions that everything was incredibly easy! I will type up the instructions verbatim, so I don't mess things up for you!
It's also a very forgiving recipe. I don't have a food processor (just a little chopper), I didn't have unsalted butter (just omitted the pinches of salt), I don't stock unbleached flour in my pantry (subbed half all-purpose, half whole wheat pie and pastry flour - which was divine!), and I always forget to buy parchment paper (the egg wash stuck a little bit, but the crust was fine). Be prepared to put this one in the keeper file once you try it! By the way, a little Googling taught me that it's pronounced "fran-juh-pan".
Pear Frangipane Tart
from Family Fun Magazine, November 2009
For the dough:
1 1/2 cups unbleached flour, chilled in the freezer for 30 minutes
*be sure to spoon the flour into the measuring cup, rather than using the cup as a scoop!
9 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces and chilled in the freezer for 30 minutes
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup ice water
For the frangipane:
1 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup sugar
5 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. flour
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract
Pinch of salt
For the pear filling:
3 ripe Bartlett or Anjou pears (about 1.5 lbs.) peeled, cored, and each cut into about 12 slices
1/3 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
Pinch of salt
For finishing the tart:
1 egg, beaten with 1 Tbsp. water
Sugar for sprinkling
Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream (optional)
1. Make the dough. In a food processor, pulse the chilled flour and butter with the salt, until the butter is reduced to pea-size pieces, about 7 or 8 times. Pour the ice water in a steady stream through the lid opening, pulsing the processor 6-8 times as you do so. Do not pulse the mixture after all the water has been added (the dough should be dry and crumbly).
2. Place the mixture on a cool work surface. With the heel of your hand, mash it against the counter until it comes together and forms a rough dough. Shape it into a 1/2-inch-thick disk and wrap it in plastic. Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.
3. Next, make the frangipane. In a food processor, grind the almonds and sugar into a fine meal. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse in short bursts until well blended. Set the mixture aside.
4. For the filling, toss the pears with the sugar, flour, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt. Taste the filling, add more sugar if desired, and set it aside.
5. Heat the oven to 425° F. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the chilled dough into a 16-inch round, rotating it after each roll to prevent sticking. If needed lightly dust with flour as you roll. Place the dough in the refrigerator for 15 minutes if at any time it becomes warm and hard to handle. Fold the dough in half twice (quarters) and transfer it to a parchment lined cookie sheet.
6. Unfold the dough and spread the frangipane in an 8-inch circle in the center. Add the pears, arranging them in an even layer on top of the frangipane. Fold the sides of the dough over the pears, pleating and tucking the edges as you go.
7. Brush the dough with the egg wash and sprinkle it with sugar. Cut the tablespoon of butter into small pieces, then scatter them over the entire tart. Reduce the oven temperature to 400° and bake the tart in the lower third of the oven until the bottom is brown and crispy and the top is golden, about 40 minutes. Cool the tart for about 30 minutes before serving it warm, with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, if you like. Serves 8 (or four if you're feeling indulgent!).