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Simple, elegant and delicious poached pear and almond tart recipe with a vocabulary lesson! These tarts are covered in a nappage, which is a very simple glaze that adds shine to baked goods. Add 2 tablespoons of apricot preserves and 2 tablespoons of warm water to a microwave safe bowl. Heat until it bubbles then strain through a sieve. Brush nappage over tarts while warm.

Makes four 4.5-inch tarts

Ingredients


Poached Pears

  • 2 quarts (1893 grams) water
  • 2 2/3 cup (536 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3 Bosc or Anjou pears; whole peeled, with stem intact
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon whole allspice
  • ½ lemon
  • 4 star anise pods

Pâté Sucrée


  • Scant 4 ½ cups (510 grams) pastry flour or cake flour
  • 24 tablespoons (340 grams) unsalted butter, slightly softened
  • ¾ cup (170 grams) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 4 large egg yolks (78 grams)

Frangipane Filling


  • 1 cup (100 grams) almond flour
  • 8 tablespoons (115 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs (100 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon all-purposes flour
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Decorations


  • Sliced almonds
  • Nappage (see above) or confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Instructions:


Poach the Pears:

  1. In a 4-quart saucepan, heat the water, sugar and spices until warm.
  1. Carefully place the pears into the liquid and cover with a round of parchment paper.
  1. Poach on low heat until cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the pears. A sharp knife will easily pierce the pear flesh when done.
  1. Remove pan from heat and let the pears cool in liquid.

Make the Pâté Sucrée

  1. Paddle together all ingredients in an electric mixer until combined, wrap in plastic and chill before rolling out. Note: Recipe yield will make 6 to 8 tarts.

Make the Frangipane Filling:

  1. In an electric mixer, paddle butter and sugar on medium speed until pale and light, about 2 minutes.
  1. Add the almond flour and continue beating for another minute, until incorporated.
  1. With mixer on low, slowly add eggs until absorbed.
  1. Add the flour, vanilla and salt; mix until combined. The mixture should be soft and spreadable. Place in piping bag and set aside.

Assemble the Tarts:

  1. Roll out pâté sucrée to approximately 1/8 inch (3 mm) thickness; line 4.5-inch tart pans with removable bottoms. Dock the bottom of the tarts and freeze for at least 30 minutes.
  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F and blind bake the tart shells for 10 minutes.
  1. Remove the shells from the oven and pipe the frangipane over the warm pâté sucrée.
  1. Slice poached pears in half, remove core, then cut each pear half width wise, into ¼ inch slices, keeping shape of pear intact, and place cut pear halves over the frangipane. Press sliced almonds around the edges and return tarts to oven for an additional 15-20 minutes or until almonds are nicely browned and frangipane is set. Remove tarts from oven and brush with nappage (optional) or dust with confectioners’ sugar.

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Susan Rowell-Bundy
Professionally trained pastry chef specializing in boutique desserts and mousse entremets. Passionate about pastry arts, food photography, gardening and family. Resides in Virginia with my husband. Momma of 6 (blended family) with twin daughters and grandma of 4.

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