I’m trying to celebrate Autumn flavours for as long as possible, and I’m certainly craving comforting puddings. This pear chocolate frangipane tart is ideal for a seasonal celebratory meal but is so quick and easy to whip up – made with shop-bought puff pastry because sometimes life’s too short! The buttery, flaky pastry is marbled with swirls of melted chocolate, cut through by fruity pear – delicious served either warm or cold with a dollop of cream or even ice cream. To make the tart, you will need:
For the filling:
100g milk or dark chocolate, broken into pieces
150g softened butter
150g caster sugar
150g ground almonds
50g self-raising flour
3 free-range eggs
1 tbsp lemon juice
3 firm conference pears (about 500g)
15g flaked almonds
1 tsp icing sugar, to sift
For the pastry:
500g chilled ready-made puff pastry block
plain flour, for rolling.
Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6 and place a baking tray inside. Melt the chocolate in ten second blasts in the microwave then leave to stand to finish melting, stirring occasionally until smooth. Put the butter, ground almonds, sugar, flour and eggs in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric whisk until smooth and fluffy.
For the pastry, press the sides of the pastry block in a little to help form a rounder shape. Roll out on a lightly floured surface until around 5cm/2in larger than a 26cm/10½ fluted flan tin and 3mm thick. Lift carefully over the rolling pin and drop gently into the tin, pressing firmly into the corners and sides. Prick the base lightly with a fork. Trim the edges with a sharp knife.
Spoon all the almond mixture into the tart, working it around the outside before working towards the middle of the pastry case.
Drop spoonfuls of the melted chocolate on top and draw the tip of a knife through the mixture to lightly marble.
Put the lemon juice in a large bowl. Peel the pears and cut into quarters. Remove the cores and discard. Toss the pears with the lemon juice to help prevent them discolouring.
Arrange the pears around the tart, cut-side down, with the pointy ends towards the middle, pressing gently into the almond batter. Bake on the baking tray in the oven for 30 minutes.
Pull the oven shelf holding the tart out a little way and very carefully scatter over the flaked almonds. Reduce the oven temperature to 180C/160C Fan /Gas 4. Return the tart to the oven for a further 25-30 minutes, or until nicely risen. The filling should also feel firm to the touch. If the tart is beginning to overbrown, loosely cover with a piece of foil.
Cool in the tin for at least 10 minutes and then carefully transfer to a board or serving platter. Sprinkle with sifted icing sugar and serve warm or cold in wedges.
Pear chocolate frangipane tart recipe via the Hairy Bikers’ Best of British.