but that's okay. it's still incredible.
i have been insanely in love with frangipane since i first ate jenny raven's at oliveto, well over ten years ago. i would sneak back to the pastry kitchen to see if she had broken any tarts, thus rendering them less than up to snuff. i would swoop in and... did i chew. no. no. probably not. i inhaled, no doubt.
this is not jenny raven's frangipane. let me first say that j.r. is the best pastry chef in the bay area, so, to try to make something that could rival hers would make you a serious bad ass. i have yet to meet anyone who could call themselves a badass in the arena of pastry-making. she is my bar. and that bar is high. that bar is like somewhere up in the clouds.
with all that said, this is a seriously exceptional tart, especially because you don't have to make any dough (jenny's dough. oh, lord, jenny's tart dough...). i kept the almonds a teensy bit chunky, making this tart a little rustic, and, if i must say, it's a bit less, ahem, rich than j.r.'s. good for the waistline maybe. well, maybe that's pushing it.
anyway, now i have two recipes (yes. i have jenny's recipe. and no. i will not be sharing that), a little heaven (for special occasions), a little earth (for every day). can't complain about that.
this little lovely is adapted from aube giroux's tart. she is lovely and amazing and i can't wait to crawl into bed and read her entire blog (which i am doing after this post). you can find the original recipe here. i made some minor adaptations, since aube uses plums and the plums at the farmer's market were looking little long in the tooth. i also added some warm spice and a hint of almond extract. as you can see, it came out beautifully. not too sweet, lovely flavor, fantastic texture. another keeper.
rustic frangipane tart with first of the season pears
250g raw almonds
128g cane sugar
113g unsalted butter
45g a/p flour
2 large eggs
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/4 tsp salt
(for the optional glaze:)
2 TB apricot jam
1 TB water
preheat the oven to 350. line the bottom of a 13x4 inch tart pan with parchment, butter the bottom and sides. set aside.
blitz the almonds with the sugar in a food processor till it's flour-fine. i left mine just the tiniest bit chunky though. not much. you know. and don't go too far or you will end up with almond butter.
cream the butter and this almond mixture together, then add the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition. add the cinnamon and extracts.
whisk together the flour and salt. fold into the butter-almond mixture until just incorporated.
spread this mixture into your awaiting pan. it will be rather stiff.
cut a pear in half, then cut 1/4" slice lengthwise. now nestle these slices down in the dough. not too crazily. just, you know, gentle like.
sprinkle the top of the tart with cinnamon and a little sugar.
bake in the center of the oven for 45 minutes, or until it puffs up and turns golden brown.
remove from the oven and let cool 15 minutes before unearthing. then remove from the pan. now, mix the apricot jam with a little hot water. brush this over the tart. let it cool before slicing/eating.
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mangia bene, vivi felice!