Pear Frangipane Tart with Chocolate Pastry Crust
adapted from a recipe of The Farm Cooking School
for the tart shell:
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa
2 T. sugar
1/4 t. salt
1 stick (4 oz.) semi chilled butter
1 large egg yolk
ice water - 2 T.
For the filling:
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup almond flour or 1/2 cup whole or slivered blanched almonds, toasted and cooled completely
3/4 cup sugar, divided
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 t. salt
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 t. vanilla extract
1/2 t. almond extract
Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add butter and work in with fingers until mixture is like coarse crumbs with some pea size pieces. Add egg yolk and chilled water and toss with a fork to evenly distribute. Squeeze a handful to see if it holds together in a moist dough. If not, add another tablespoon liquid and try again. Squeeze dough together. Chill in a disk wrapped in plastic wrap 30 minutes to 1 hour to rest.
Roll out the dough and fit it into a tart pan. Prick the bottom all over with a fork. Line the pastry with foil or parchment paper and fill with dried raw beans or rice. Bake on a rimmed baking sheet until the sides are firm and the edges are brown, about 20 minutes. Remove the weights and foil or parchment and bake another 10 to 15 minutes more.
While the crust is baking, poach the pears. Peel the pears and cut in half, removing the core and trimming out the stem. Place 1 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar into a saucepan and heat until sugar dissolves. Add the pears and simmer, covering the pan with a lid. Turn once and keep an eye on the liquid, adding more if necessary. Poach until a knife pierces easily into the pears.
Remove from the water and cool. Slice thinly along the short end of the pears. After you have made the frangipane filling and put it in the tart crust, fan the pears over the filling in a decorative fashion, using a long knife to transfer the pear slices so they stay intact, but splayed out.
Spread a little apricot jam over the pears and bake the tart until puffed and golden, about 45 minutes.