A rich, buttery and almond flavoured frangipane is my most favourite way to fill a crisp, delicate pastry case. This tart is really versatile and the mixture can be topped with any seasonal fruit. Alternatively, you can grind other nuts such as walnuts or hazelnuts (see here) to give your frangipane an original twist. In the summer, I have a huge weak spot for this dessert, topped it with a scattering of the juicy, tart, and punchy blackcurrants from our allotment. However, with pears, apples of blackberries it is delicious too. Just watch that the fruit you add doesn’t have too much moisture which will ooze out and make the filling wetter. This recipe is Christmassy, wintery and extremely satisfying….A variation on this always makes an appearance at my dinner parties topped with some salted caramel ice cream in this case and a good shot of warming Amaretto……
- 125g cold butter, cubed
- 250g plain flour
- Splash cold water
- 200g unsalted butter, cubed
- 200g caster sugar
- 200g ground almonds
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Splash of amaretto
- 1-2 pears
- 15g butter
- 15g caster sugar
- Handful of flaked almonds for decoration
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Begin by making the pastry. For the method, see here. Follow up to step 7.
- Next, peel, core and slice the pears into long chunky slices. Melt the 15g of butter in a frying pan until beginning to sizzle, then add the sugar and stir until melted. Add the pears and gently fry for a few minutes.
- Turn up the heat and add a splash of amaretto. Let this simmer away and reduce a little before removing from the heat and setting aside.
- Now begin with the filling. In a processor or by hand, cream the butter and sugar together until creamy and thoroughly mixed.
- Add the vanilla to the beaten egg. Add this, a bit at a time, to the creamed butter, and mix in until well combined (don’t worry if it curdles, it won’t matter)
- Now add the ground almonds, a splash of amaretto (optional) and mix
- Once your pastry case is cooked and cool, fill with the frangipane and smooth out into an even layer.
- Top with the pears in an attractive pattern and press them lightly into the mixture. Drizzle with some of the buttery, sugary, amaretto flavoured caramel from the frying pan. Scatter with the flaked almonds.
- Bake for about 30-45 minutes until the mixture is set and doesn’t wobble. Check it after about 30 minutes however, to make sure it isn’t browning too much (like mine unfortunately….) If so, cover with foil and continue to bake.
- Once cooked, remove from the oven. Serve warm or at room temperature.
I served mine with some salted caramel ice cream and a shot of Amaretto!