My grandmother's recipe for pear frangipane tart is one that she makes on a regular basis and is a true favourite in our family. My version transforms it into a rough and ready galette which is very easy to make. Frangipane is a traditional French recipe which results in a rich almond filling used in tarts and pastries. The Irish pear season is in full swing right now and this recipe is a lovely way to make the most of them.
You will need
For the pastry:
250g plain flour
1 tsp caster sugar
1 tsp flakey salt (Maldon is great)
170g very cold, unsalted butter (cut into small cubes)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
80ml ice cold water
For the frangipane:
110g caster sugar
2 large free-range eggs
110g ground almonds
30g plain flour
1 tsp almond essence
For the filling:
6 large pears, peeled, cored and sliced in chunks lengthways
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp plain flour
1. Place the flour, sugar, salt and butter in a large mixing bowl and, using a pastry blender or a butter knife, cut the butter into the flour until you are left with small pea-sized lumps of butter.
2. In a measuring jug, whisk together the egg, vinegar and ice water until combined. Make a well in the centre of the flour and butter mixture and pour in the liquid.
3. Using two large forks, gently toss all the ingredients together until the dough takes shape and begins to hold together. Turn the dough out onto a layer of cling film and wrap. Place in the fridge to chill for a good 30 minutes before rolling out.
4. Preheat the oven to 200˚C. Roll out the pastry to a rectangle, about 5mm in thickness, on a floured work surface and then cut out four separate tart bases. Round them off with a knife. Toss the pears, caster sugar and flour in a medium-sized bowl, then set aside. Transfer pastry rounds onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.
5. For the frangipane, in a separate mixing bowl, beat together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Whisk in the eggs one at a time and then fold through the ground almonds, flour and almond essence.
6. Spread this mixture across the base of each pastry round (leaving at least 4cm around the sides) and then pile the pear slices on top. Fold the edges of the pastry inward, over and around the pears, leaving the center exposed. Brush the outside edges of the pastry with beaten egg. Bake the tarts in a hot oven for 30-35 minutes (or until the frangipane is golden brown).
7. Remove the tarts from the oven and allow them to cool until just warm. Serve with freshly whipped cream.