Pear and Chocolate Frangipane Tart - The Sweet Rebellion
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Pear and Chocolate Frangipane Tart

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I’m a big fan of frangipane tarts and have been meaning to try a chocolate version for a while. Frangipane is a sweet pastry cream made with ground almonds that is usually used in baked tarts along with fruit. This pear and chocolate frangipane tart recipe is made with a chocolate pastry as well as a chocolate frangipane filling so it will certainly keep the chocoholics happy! With pears being in season and a wonderful companion to both chocolate and almonds, it was a no-brainer to use them in this tart. The result is a rich and sophisticated dessert – satisfyingly filling but not too sweet. My favourite way to eat it is warm from the oven with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream!

A note on the recipe: there is no need to blind-bake the pastry before-hand. Simply bake the tart on a low oven shelf to start with (this crisps up the pastry), then move to to the middle of the oven for the remaining baking time.

For a classic frangipane tart, try this Plum and Almond Tart.

Ingredients:

(serves 8-10)

For the chocolate pastry:
140g flour (1 cup)
30g ground almonds (⅓ cup)
20g cocoa (3 tbsp)
50g icing sugar (6 tbsp)
100g salted butter, cold and cut into cubes
5ml vanilla essence (1 tsp)
1 large egg
15ml ice water (1 tbsp)

For the frangipane filling:
125g dark chocolate
125g salted butter, softened
125g castor sugar
5ml vanilla essence (1 tsp)
2 large eggs
125g ground almonds
25g flour (3 tbsp)
3 medium pears, ripe but firm

Directions:

  • Start with the chocolate pastry. Add the flour, ground almonds, cocoa powder, and icing sugar to a food processor bowl. Blitz together until uniformly mixed.
  • Add the butter cubes and blend again until the texture is like coarse crumbs. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix until combined. If necessary, add a little iced water to make into a firm dough. Do not overmix. Alternatively, do this by hand by rubbing the butter into the dry ingredients and stirring in the liquid.
  • Refrigerate the pastry for at least 30 minutes. Lightly grease a rectangular tart tin (around 36 x 12cm). Roll the pastry out to 2-3mm thick on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle shape. Gently lift and transfer to the tin and press in evenly. Run a rolling pin over the top to remove the excess pastry. Refrigerate again for at least 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C. Break the chocolate into pieces and place into a heatproof bowl. Using a double boiler or microwave, gently melt the chocolate, being cautious not to burn it. Set aside to cool slightly.
  • Cream together the butter and castor sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and the egg and beat well. Fold in the ground almonds and flour, then lastly fold in the cooled chocolate. Spread the mixture onto the (uncooked) pastry and smooth the top.
  • Peel the pears carefully, leaving the stems intact. Slice the pears in half vertically and remove the core and seeds from each half with a paring knife. Gently push 5 pear halves (cut-side down) onto the chocolate filling, alternating which way they point.
  • Place the tart into the preheated oven on the lowest shelf for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 160°C and move the tart to the middle of the oven. Bake for a further 35-40 minutes. If the pears look a little dry at any point, you can brush them with 1 tbsp melted butter.
  • Allow the tart to cool in the tin for 10-15 minutes, then carefully remove. Serve the tart warm or cold, with cream or ice cream.


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