Pear Frangipane Tart

Pear Frangipane Tart

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1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon (9 tablespoons; 4 1/2 ounces) very cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces1 egg

Filling and Finishing:
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup ground almonds
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp flour
1 tsp cornstarch
1 egg + 1 egg white
1 tsp vanilla extract1 1/2 tsp almond extract
~3 canned pears, sliced in whatever fashion you find prettiest


To make the crust:
In a food processor, pulse together the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter, and pulse until oatmeal-sized pebbles form. Add the egg, and pulse until it juststarts to come together (do not over-mix). Turn the dough into a bowl or lightly-floured work surface, and knead until it finishes coming together and seems uniformly moistened. Shape into a chubby disk, cover in plastic, and chill for ~2 hours.

Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator, and allow to soften for ~5-10 minutes, until roll-able. Place between sheets of plastic, parchment or waxed paper, and roll out until it forms a circle large enough for your tart pan. Press into a greased pan, and pierce (aka "dock") with a fork in a few places. If your tart pan is metal, throw it in the freezer for half an hour. If your tart pan is ceramic, and you don't want it to shatter from going from freezer to oven, toss it back in the fridge. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Remove the chilled crust from the freezer or refrigerator. Butter a tart-sized piece of foil, and press it against the crust (no pie weights required, which is good because you probably don't own any). Bake 20 minutes, then remove the foil and bake another 10 minutes, until the crust is beginning to turn light brown. If any air bubbles form, you can release the air with a fork and push them down. Remove from the oven, and set aside to cool while you prepare the filling.

To make frangipane and finish the pie:
Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Combine the butter, sugar, almond meal and salt in a food processor. Pulse to combine. Sprinkle in the flour and cornstarch, pulse, then add the egg and egg white and extracts, and process again until very smooth.

Spread the frangipane gently on the cooled crust, and arrange the pears on top in any fashion you like (ordered or not). Bake until the frangipane puffs and turns golden, and feels firm to the touch, ~45-50 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before serving.