PEAR AND GINGER FRANGIPANE TART
This tart really is heavenly. It was only designed to use up a few slightly knackered pears and the last two balls of stem ginger in the bottom of a jar, but it exceeded expectations on every count.
Now it’s a perfect posh pudding or afternoon treat, and I’ve even taken little slices on a long winters walk to keep flaggers motivated. Suprisingly, it freezes well too, so if you have the same problem – bits of fruit hanging around, but no one to eat it on the spot, you can bank it in the freezer for a day when your table is full of hungry munchers.
When we moved into an old house a few years ago, I found a pile of old baking tins hiding in the garage, including a lovely old fluted tart tin. For me it was like finding buried treasure!. My tin measures 28 x 18, so that is what I use, but you can use any rectangular tins with similar measurements – just keep an eye on the cooking time as it might need less baking if the tin is bigger. If you aren’t using a loose-bottomed tin, it’s worth laying an overlapping sheet of baking paper lengthways across the tin before you put the pastry in, so you can lift it out without fear of the tart cracking.
For the pastry
220g plain flour and some for rolling
50g caster sugar
140g caster sugar
140g ground almonds
2 tbsp plain flour
2 medium eggs, beaten
½ tsp almond extract
2-3 balls of stem ginger, finely chopped
450g medium pears, peeled, cored and cut into six slices each
4 tbsp flaked almonds
icing sugar for dusting
Place the flour, sugar and butter in a food processor and pulse until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Gradually pour 2-3 tbsp cold water down the tube until the mixture forms a ball then stop immediately and gather the dough together.
Knead lightly on a floured surface, then roll out to just larger than the size of the tin. Lay over the tin and press to fit, then trim the top, with a little overlap as it will shrink a bit. Prick the base all over with a fork and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 190/170 fan/gas 5. Line the pastry with baking paper and fill it with baking beans or rice. Blind bake for 15 minutes, then remove the paper, rice or beans and bake for another 15 minutes until lightly golden. Remove and leave to cool.
Turn the heat down to 180/160/gas 4. Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy, then add the almonds and beaten egg, a little at a time, then the almond essence. Spoon this mixture into the pastry shell and level. Place the pear slices evenly across the frangipane and scatter with flaked almonds. Bake for 35-40 minutes until beautifully golden (you may need less time if the tin is bigger) Removed from the oven and leave to cool for 10-15 minutes. When it is cool enough, dust with icing sugar and serve.