Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Pear Tart Frangipane

It was this sudden cravings that kicked in, and I was desperately in need of a slice of pear tart. But my favourite pop-up store hidden in the corners of Crossley Lane, Melbourne has closed down. I didn't know where to go for a yummeh satisfying Pear Tart. I let my cravings torture me for a good whole week. The madness persisted and I decided to take matters into my own hands.

Pear Tart Frangipane
Recipe adapted from Dorie Greenspan & modified by The Bakeanista

(A) Pâte Sablée
225g cups flour
70g icing sugar
1/2 tsp salt
135g butter (cold, cut into small pieces)
1 egg yolk

(B) Frangipane
90g butter (at room temperature)
150g sugar
83g almond meal
2 tsp flour
1 tsp cornstarch
1 egg + 1 egg white
2 tsp vanilla extract

1 can (800g) of pears slices in juice

1) For the tart shell: Using a stand or hand mixer, mix together butter, sugar, and salt at medium speed until you reach the cream stage. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula while mixing. Rub in cold butter with fingers until combined. With a spatula, add in egg yolk and and combine until dough starts to become dry/clumpy.

2) Butter a 9-inch tart tin with removable bottom. Turn the dough out into the tin and press into the bottom and up the sides with your fingers. You probably will not need all the dough - save the extra for patching the shell after you bake it. Do not press the dough too hard or it will become tough - just enough for it to form to the tin.

3) Freeze the tart shell for at least 30 minutes. When you are ready to bake it, preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celcius.

4) To partially bake the tart shell, take a piece of foil and butter the shiny side, then press the buttered side tightly to the shell (you do not need pie weights). Place the tart shell on a baking sheet and bake for about 25 minutes, until the shell is dry and lightly colored. If any places have cracked, repair with the extra dough. Let cool on a rack until room temperature.

5) For the frangipane: Mix butter and sugar until combined and smooth. Add the almond meal and mix well. Add the flour and cornstarch, and then the egg and egg white. Mix until smooth. Add in the vanilla extract.

6) To finish the tart: Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Spread the frangipane evenly into the cooled tart shell.

7) Take the sliced pears out of their liquid and drain them on paper towels. You want them dry or they will make the frangipane soggy.

8) Arrange the pear slices as desired, ensuring that evenly spaced.

9) Place the tart on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 45-50 minutes, until the frangipane is puffed, golden brown, and firm to the touch. Cool the tart on a wire rack.

10) Before serving, you can brush the pears with some warmed apple jelly to glaze, or dust confectioner's sugar over the tart.

11) Enjoy your pear tart frangipane! :D

My first attempt in baking a tart, and everyone who tried it gave very positive feedbacks! And of course, just one bite of my own pear tart frangipane, was enough to make me grin as stars of happiness tingled inside me. :D

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