Monday, September 26, 2011
Pear Frangipane Tart
I love the Secret Recipe Club. It's such a fantastic opportunity to get acquainted with a blog I'd probably never have found on my own. It's tough to find new blogs when life is so busy that getting posts on my own blog is a problem. From after Labor Day until tax season is over, I barely have time to breathe. That's why I so enjoy browsing through another blog searching for just the perfect recipe to try. With GeorgieCakes that's easier said than done. She has quite the collection of wonderful recipes. I was stumped. And, I knew I didn't have time to try four or five and choose my favorite to blog about. Then, I saw this recipe. My wonderful husband, Connie, LOVES pears. They're his favorite fruit. And, he loves pies. Perfect. My search was over. Now, I just have to find the time to go back and try the other dozen recipes I found :-)
Now, just a word here about the Secret Recipe Club. It's a group of 300 bloggers who are randomly assigned a blog. We're divided into four groups and each group posts one Monday of the month. So, the Mondays that I don't have a SRC post, you can hop over to their website at secretrecipeclub.com and see what everyone's posted.
And, I do want to introduce you to Georgia of Georgiecakes. She's a hoot. As I'm typing this on Tuesday, September 21 at o'dark thirty, I hopped over to check out what she's got on her blog now. Maple pesto. Made with three different kinds of nuts. Be still my heart! That one is going on the menu for sure!! I love Georgia's enthusiasm and her wonderful recipes. Hers is a blog I'll use regularly. Thanks Georgia!! Here's a link to her original post: Pear Frangipane Tart
What did we think? There's half a tart left. It's early in the morning. I want a slice. Really want a slice. But, it's my oatmeal morning. Ugh. Pear tart would be so much better. The recipe sounds more complicated than it is. And, you can make pieces and parts ahead of time so it's perfect for entertaining. Just get all the components made in advance and put together your tart the day of the party. I poached the pears the night before and refrigerated them in the poaching liquid - which was incredible. The next evening when I made the frangipane (just try and keep from licking that bowl!) and baked the tart, I couldn't bear to toss the poaching liquid. It was just too good. So, I poured it in a little saucepan and thickened it with some cornstarch. In the event it wasn't perfect with the tart, I spooned a bit around the edges of the plate instead of drizzling it over the tart. Either way works because we practically licked our plates. If you're being really adventurous, you can make a homemade pie crust and put a bit of pear nectar in it instead of water. Ok, I've got to quit writing about this tart or my oatmeal won't get eaten.
Pear Frangipane Tart
For the pears:
6 bosc or anjou pears
3 T melted butter
3 T sugar
1 c white wine
1/2 c Lyle's golden syrup (or 1/4 c honey, maple syrup or Karo syrup)
2 T vanilla bean paste (I didn't have any so used about a teaspoon of vanilla extract)
For the frangipane:
1 c almonds, toasted (whole, sliced or slivered work, you're going to grind them anyway!)
1 egg yolk
2 t flour
1/2 t salt (I left this out and didn't miss it in the least)
1 vanilla bean, halved with seeds scraped out
First, you're going to poach the pears. You'll need to peel the pears and cut the bottoms off so they'll stand upright. Put the melted butter into a measuring cup. One by one, dunk the pears in the melted butter.
Stand them in a baking dish and pour in the rest of the butter.
Sprinkle them generously with the sugar. Mix the Lyle's Golden Syrup
and the wine. Pour that mixture into the bottom of the baking dish.
Bake the pears at 425 for about 45 minutes or until they're very soft. Baste the pears occasionally with the juices.
Next, you need to make the frangipane. Put the almonds and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Process until they're well ground. Put the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and cream until they're pale and fluffy. Add the egg and egg yolk and mix for two minutes. Finally, add the almond mixture, flour, vanilla bean seeds. Mix for about three minutes.
Both the pears and the frangipane can be made 2-3 days in advance. Be sure to reserve the poaching liquid.
Now, it's time to assemble the tart. You can either make a pie crust or cheat like I did and use one of the pre-made ones. Spread the frangipane filling in the bottom of the crust.
Remove the pears from the poaching liquid and pat them dry. Cut them in half and remove the seeds. Slice the pears into 1/2 inch slices. Lay the slices on the frangipane in a circular pattern.
Bake the tart for 45-50 minutes at 350. Just about when you're ready to take the tart out of the oven, pour the poaching liquid into a small saucepan. Mix about a tablespoon of cornstarch with a tablespoon of water to make a slurry. Cook the poaching liquid on medium heat and thicken with the corn starch. Serve the slices of pie with a drizzle of the sauce.
Note from Connie: This may be his favorite pie ever. While I was at a conference, he inhaled the other half.
adapted from GeorgieCakes