Okay this one is pretty decadent. But it’s getting wintery , we all need some chocolate, frangipane and all-butter pastry when winter sets in right? I adapted this recipe from another fantastic blog called ‘Drizzle and Dip‘ which had previously taken inspiration from Tina Bester of Queen of Tarts and was created for Moirs. This rich, almondy tart easily serves 8-10 people and scattered with icing sugar and placed centre-stage, would make a great Christmas dessert for those less interested in heavy Christmas puddings.
- Block of all-butter shortcrust pastry (chilled)
- 3 pears, peeled, cored and quartered
- 125ml maple syrup
- 1/2 t almond essence
- 2tbsp caster sugar
- 2 tbsp butter
- Optional: dash of sherry (or I found some apple schnapps gave it a kick!!)
- 125g caster sugar
- 125g butter
- 2 eggs
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder
- 100g ground almonds
For the pastry case:
- Preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan) and grease a 23cm – 26cm loose bottomed tart tin.
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the shortcrust pastry to approximately the thickness of a £1 coin. Lay the pastry over the greased tin and gently press into the sides. Cover this with a square of greaseproof paper and spread over a single layer of baking beans. Bake blind in the centre of the oven for 15 minutes.
For the pears/assembly:
- Peel and quarter the pears. Heat the other ingreadients in a large saucepan over a medium heat until melted into a rich glaze. Add the pears and bubble for a good 10 minutes. Remove the quarters from the sugary liquid, set aside to cool.
- And for the frangipane, mix the butter and caster sugar in a mixer (or whisk by hand) until creamy then add each egg mixing gently. Add the cocoa and ground almonds to produce a smooth paste.
- Remove the baking beans from the tart case but be sure that the bottom of the pastry has cooked by tapping the bottom of the tin. This should produce a hollow sound.
- Next, cut half a pear into neat thin slices and arrange over the bottom of the pastry case. Spoon the frangipane into the tart case on top of this layer and smooth the top.
- Cut the remaining pear quarters as if making hassleback potatoes, not cutting all the way through but enough to encourage them to fan. Arrange these on top of the frangipane.
- Bake for 30 – 35 minutes until the frangipane is cooked through. Serve warm with cream of course!