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
- 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
- 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)
- 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
- Sliced almonds
- Nappage (see above) or confectioners’ sugar for dusting
Poach the Pears:
- In a 4-quart saucepan, heat the water, sugar and spices until warm.
- Carefully place the pears into the liquid and cover with a round of parchment paper.
- 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.
- Remove pan from heat and let the pears cool in liquid.
Make the Pâté Sucrée
- 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:
- In an electric mixer, paddle butter and sugar on medium speed until pale and light, about 2 minutes.
- Add the almond flour and continue beating for another minute, until incorporated.
- With mixer on low, slowly add eggs until absorbed.
- 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:
- 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.
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F and blind bake the tart shells for 10 minutes.
- Remove the shells from the oven and pipe the frangipane over the warm pâté sucrée.
- 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.