The recipe for my Pear and Cardamom Frangipane Tart came about because a colleague had a garden’s worth of pears they were giving away rather than letting them go to waste. I seized the opportunity as I love pears and think they are an underrated fruit. To me they are superior to apples. Whilst apples are complimented by cinnamon, I think pears are complimented by cardamom and ginger, which also happen to be my favourite flavours when it comes to spices. Whilst people typically poach pears to infuse with more flavour as well as soften them, I don't want to mask the flavour of the pear and I prefer it when they have a little bite.
This tart is perfect for afternoon tea or dessert. You could serve it with a little clotted cream or chocolate ice cream. If you can’t find ground cardamom, or aren’t a big fan, substitute it for ground ginger!
Hands-on Time 20 minutes
Baking Time 55 minutes
1 portion of Almond Sweet Shortcrust Pastry (chilled for at least 30 mins)
100g Unsalted butter (softened)
100g Caster sugar
2 Eggs, medium
100g Ground almonds
30g Plain flour
2 1/2 tsp Ground cardamom
6 Pears (firm to ripe)
20cm Loose bottomed flan tin
Remove the pastry from fridge and unfold the clingfilm.
With the dough still between the clingfilm, roll out into a circle.
Take the flan tin and place the dough inside to see if it's big enough to line the base and sides.
When you think you've rolled the dough out enough remove the top layer of clingfilm and set aside for use later.
Flip the dough over into the tin and adjust so it's centred.
With the clingfilm still on, press the dough into the corners and sides of the tin.
Carefully remove the clingfilm and place on top of the other piece you’ve reserved.
Run a sharp knife around the edge of the tin, cutting off any excess dough.
Place the clingfilm into the pastry case and pop it into the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.
In the meantime preheat your oven to 180°C/160°C (Fan)/350°F/Gas mark 4.
Fill the clingfilm with baking beads and tuck any excess clingfilm inwards.
Pop the tin into the oven for 20 minutes.
When the time is up remove the tin from the oven, carefully lift the clingfilm along with the beads out of the case, and set aside.
Increase your oven temperature to 190°C/170°C (Fan)/375°F/Gas mark 5.
Now you can get on with making the frangipane.
Add the butter, sugar, eggs, almonds, flour, and ground cardamom to the bowl and combine using a spatula.
Carefully spoon the mixture into the pastry case.
Peel, halve, and remove the cores and stems from the pears. If you want you can cut slits into the pears so they fan out.
Gently place them into the frangipane.
Pop the tart into the oven for 35 minutes.
Check on it after 20 minutes. If it starts to brown too much cover with foil.
Once baked remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack before serving.