Pear and Almond Tarts

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Makes

    20

Appears in

Bourke Street Bakery

By Paul Allam and David McGuinness

Published 2009

  • About

This tart uses poached pears but you can use roasted rhubarb or plum. The frangipane can be used without the addition of crème pâtissière, but we believe the addition provides moisture and makes the result less cake-like. You can substitute finely ground hazelnuts or pistachios for the ground almonds if you wish.

Ingredients

Crème Pâtissière

  • 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthways
  • 50 g ( oz) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 15 g (½ oz) plain (all-purpose) flour

Frangipane

  • 170 g (6 oz/¾ cup) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 170 g (6 oz) unsalted butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 280 g (10 oz/ cups) ground almonds
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) Grand Marnier
  • 1 quantity sweet shortcrust pastry
  • 20 poached pears wedges, halved

Method

To make the crème pâtissière, pour the milk into a saucepan and scrape in the vanilla seeds and bean. Heat up until just below boiling point, then remove from the heat and pour into a container to cool completely. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours to allow the vanilla to infuse.

Gently reheat the milk over low heat. Put the egg yolks in a stainless steel bowl and whisk continuously, adding the sugar a little at a time until completely combined. Continue whisking while adding the flour until the mixture is completely smooth. Pour the warm milk through a fine sieve directly onto the egg yolk mixture and whisk well until smooth and combined. Return this custard to a clean saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon. Once the custard boils, reduce the heat and simmer for a further 5 minutes, stirring continuously. Remove from the heat, allow to cool, then transfer to an airtight container. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the custard, cover with a lid and refrigerate until ready to use. The crème pâtissière can be made in advance and stored for 3 days.

To make the frangipane, put the sugar and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, making sure each is well combined before adding more. Add the ground almonds and mix on low speed until combined, then add the Grand Marnier until completely incorporated. Set aside until needed.

Follow the instructions to roll out the pastry and use it to line twenty 8 cm ( inch) round fluted loose-based tart tins. Set the pastry cases in the freezer for at least 20 minutes.

Blind bake the tart cases in a preheated 200°C (400°F/Gas 6) oven for 20–25 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Lower the oven temperature to 190°C (375°F/Gas 5). To assemble the tarts, fold the frangipane and crème pâtissière together until completely combined, then spoon 2 tablespoons into each of the pastry cases. Arrange the pears in the top of the tarts in a decorative pattern and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden.