The French writer Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592) noted during his travels in 1580 that innkeepers of Bâle, Switzerland served “cooked pears with the roast” and that the locals “mixed cooked plums, apple and pear tarts with meat.”
While the noble pear has a long and illustrious culinary history, today pear tart is of course served as a dessert.
This delicious recipe for tarte aux poires et aux amandes (pear frangipane tart) is a French favourite. The sweetness of pears combined with delicate and creamy frangipane filling are a divine duo.
Despite its sophisticated appearance, this tart is very simple to make. Everything can be prepared ahead of time, from the pâte sablée to the crème frangipane.
Tarte aux poires et aux amandes
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Baking time: 30 minutes
Yield: 8 to 12 portions
This recipe makes enough for one large tart or two smaller ones
Make the pastry first, as you’ll need to let it chill for an hour before rolling it out.
- 250 grams (9 ounces) flour
- 125 grams (4.5 ounces) butter
- 60 grams (2 ounces) caster sugar
- 1 egg
- pinch of salt
- Place the flour and sugar in a bowl, add a pinch of salt and mix well.
- Cut butter into small pieces and work into flour until a fine texture is obtained.
- Make a well in the centre and add the egg. Gently work the egg through the mixture using your fingers, then knead gently a few times.
- Refrigerate for one hour before using (very important – otherwise the pastry will be too soft to handle and roll out).
Almond cream filling
- 150 grams (5 1/4 ounces) powdered almonds
- 150 grams (5 1/4 ounces) sugar
- 150 grams (5 1/4 ounces) butter
- 3 eggs
- 30 grams (1 ounce) flour
- 4-5 pears, peeled, cored and halved
- A few drops of almond extract or a tablespoon of kirsch (optional)
- In a large bowl, cream the butter, gradually adding flour, sugar and almond powder.
- Add eggs one at a time and continue mixing until pale and creamy.
- Add almond extract if desired.
To assemble the tart
- Roll out the chilled pastry and carefully place it in a large tart pan, then pour the cream into the unbaked crust.
- On a cutting board, thinly slice each pear half without going all the way through.
- Carefully arrange the sliced pear halves in the almond cream.
- Bake at 200 degrees C (400 degrees F) for 30 minutes or until done.
The surface should be lightly browned and a knife inserted in the centre should come out clean. Allow to cool completely before serving. Sprinkle with a little icing sugar if desired and serve with chocolate sauce.