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    Dried Pear Frangipane Tart

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    Dried Pear Frangipane Tart

    • Vegetarian
    • Preparation time: 30 minutes, plus overnight soaking and chilling
    • Cooking time: 35 minutes, plus cooling
    • Total time: 24 minutes 25 minutes

    Serves: 6

    Ingredients

    • Filling
    • 250g dried pears
    • 150ml Armagnac
    • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
    • 3 finely pared strips lemon zest
    • 2 tbsp water
    • 100g butter, softened
    • 100g caster sugar
    • ½ tsp almond essence, or to taste
    • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
    • 100g ground almonds
    • Icing sugar, sifted, to serve
    • Pastry
    • 1 egg yolk
    • 225g plain flour
    • pinch of salt
    • 115g cold butter, diced

    Method

    1. Place the pears in a saucepan with the Armagnac, granulated sugar, lemon zest and water. Set over a low heat and slowly bring up to the boil, then remove from the heat and tip into a bowl. Cover and leave for 24 hours, stirring every now and then.
    2. The next day, make the pastry. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl or food processor. Rub the butter in, either using your fingertips or by whizzing the processor in bursts, until the mixture forms fine crumbs. If you're using a processor, tip the mix into a bowl. Mix in the egg yolk and add enough cold water to form a dough. Lightly knead, then roll out into a large circle and loosely wrap around the rolling pin. Hold it over a 23cm-diameter, 3cm-deep tart tin. Carefully unroll, pressing the pastry into place. Trim the edges and prick the bottom with a fork. Line with greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans or uncooked rice. Chill for 30 minutes. Any excess pastry can be frozen.
    3. Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. Bake the pastry shell blind for 20 minutes then remove from the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 170°C, gas mark 3.
    4. Meanwhile, make the filling. Beat together the butter, caster sugar and almond essence until pale and fluffy, then gradually add the beaten eggs. Finally, beat in the almonds.
    5. Allow the pastry case to cool slightly, then spread a third of the almond paste onto the bottom of the tart. Drain any excess liquid from the soaked pears. Arrange the pears in the tart and cover with the remaining almond paste. Bake in the centre of the oven for 35 minutes until slightly risen and golden. Serve at room temperature, liberally dusted with icing sugar, with crème fraîche.

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