Saw this in a magazine a while back and decided I had to make it. Pears are bang in season and with toffee and frangipane? Whoof. Everyone loves a tart. I also splashed in some dark rum to the toffee. Double Whoof.
The recipe calls for a 23cm loose bottomed tart tin, but I’ve got two 13cm ones, so I used those.
Also don’t be scared to make your own pastry! If you’ve got enough spare time to make your own puff pastry, you’re a fucking sad act. But if it’s shortcrust, have a go! It’s proper easy. Trust me.
125g plain flour
2-3 tbsp cold water
3 tbsp soft brown sugar
A few splashes of dark rum (optional) (essential for me!)
75g caster sugar
1 large egg
25g plain flour
75g ground almonds
Switch your oven to 190°C and put a baking sheet in there to pre-heat. This’ll stop your tart from having a soggy arse.
Soft your flour into a bowl and cube up your butter. Rub them together with your fingertips until the butter is incorporated to the flour and there are no lumps. Add the salt and 1 tbsp of the cold water. Mix together. Gradually add a tiny bit of water at a time, until you can bring the mix together as a dough. It will feel quite dry as doughs go. Wrap and bang in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.
Peel, de core and quarter your pears and put them in a pan with the butter and soft brown sugar. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, basting them with the toffee sauce. Once the toffee is really bubbling, splash in some rum. How long you cook your pears will depend on their ripeness. Remember they will bake in the oven too. Set aside.
Line either your 23cm loose bottom tart tin, or like me, two 12.5cm loose bottom tart tins. Make sure you get the pastry right into the corners. Line with cling film or baking paper and fill with rice. This will be better than baking beans as it will get right into the corners. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the pastry is dry. You don’t need colour at this stage as it is going to bake further in the oven.
Make the frangipane by creaming together the butter and sugar, adding the egg and two flours. Done!
Once the pastry is blind baked, the oven down to 180°C. Spread in your frangipane and arrange your pears, slightly pushing them down. Don’t overfill, I did!
Bake for 20-30 minutes until golden and just set.
Leave to cool for 10 minutes before devouring with the toffee sauce.