I know it’s apple season, but I’m not a huge fan of cooked apples. For me it’s textural. I love the smell of apples baking with sugar and cinnamon, but I just don’t like how soft they get.
So lately I’ve been drawn to the pear. At work I’ve been doing some stuff with pears, so I decided to poach some at home last week and serve with an almond tart.
Here’s the recipe (or recipes) that I used:
Pear poaching liquid:
- 32 oz water
- 16 oz wine, white or red (red would probably look cooler)
- 16 oz sugar
- 3 oz honey
- 1 vanilla bean
- 2 pieces each of lemon and orange zest
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 8 peppercorns
- 4 cloves
- 1 star anise
Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Add pears and cover with a parchment paper lid. Poach until tender.
- 4 oz butter
- 8 oz almond paste
- 1 oz sugar
- 2 whole eggs
- 1 oz cake flour
Cream the butter, almond paste and sugar, add the eggs one by one make sure that they’re emulsified. Sift in the cake flour.
- 16 oz butter
- 8 oz sugar
- 2 eggs at room temp
- 24 oz pastry flour (I used all purpose)
Cream the butter and sugar, add the eggs one at a time making sure they’re emulsified, then add the flour. Lay out some plastic wrap and make a disc out of the dough. Let rest in the fridge for at least half an hour.
When ready, break some of the dough apart and “knead” it into the rest to soften it a bit. Roll gently until desired thickness (a quarter inch or so). I’ve always found this dough to be a bitch to work with (though I’m getting better with it), and the good news is that if it tears it’s ok, just go ahead and patch it up in the tart pan.
Line a tart pan (or individual tart pans) with the pate sucree, then spread the frangipane so it’s about half an inch thick or so. Top with pear slices, glaze with melted butter, and bake at 375 until crust is golden brown. Finish with warm apricot glaze if desired (this would be the classier thing to do).
For some reason I don’t have a photograph of the finished product, but it doesn’t look too different than the one above.