I love fruit desserts as you may already know from my blog posts and my instagram posts. Fruits bring life to any dessert, and give it that extra zing. I love adding spices along with fruits as well, which is a lot of fun for me. Playing with different spices and flavors and coming up with combinations gives me pure joy. Pears are not used as much as apples in desserts and its the under-rated fall fruit.
Poached pears make a great dessert though by itself, with some whipped mascarpone, or with a crumb topping or in this case, in a frangipane tart! I came up with this recipe last year, and I have decided to do a blog post about it now. Fall is a time when all the whole spices are in full bloom, in all possible dishes, being sweet or savory. I poached pears in red wine, along with organic cane sugar, cinnamon sticks, cloves, star anise, ginger and orange zest. Make sure you get firm pears else the pears will just get squooshy once you poach them. Once the pears are poached, you can keep it in the refrigerator for 24 hours. You require 2 poached pears for this recipe.
I used dark rye flour, along with cinnamon and star anise to make the tart dough. The tart dough is rolled out and blind baked with pie weights, to create a beautiful shell. Once the shell is baked and cooled, the frangipane filling is spread into the tart shell. The frangipane filling is made with almond paste, spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and star anise, giving it that extra oomph and flavor. A little bit of sugar, and eggs, are added and all whipped together to make a delicate flavored filling. Once the filling is spread, the sliced poached pears are layered delicately onto the filling, to make a beautiful pattern. Sprinkled on the top with turbinado sugar, the tart is ready to bake.
For the finishing touches, the tart is brushed with preserves, along with a splash of almond liqueur for the shine, and a dusting of powdered sugar. Eat a slice with a dollop of whipped cream, drizzle of the poached liquid and a cuppa coffee and enjoy the beautiful fall evening with your loved ones. This is a perfect Thanksgiving recipe as well, and would look so pretty on the table as the perfect delicious dessert.
If you do try this recipe, please do not forget to tag #thejamlab on Instagram and/or put a comment below on the blog post.
- For pastry dough
- •1 1/4 cup dark rye flour
- •3 tablespoons sugar
- • 1/2 teaspoon salt
- • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- • 1/2 teaspoon star anise
- • 3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- • 2 large egg yolks
- •1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/2 teaspoons water
- For frangipane filling
- • 8 oz almond paste
- • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
- • 3 tablespoons sugar
- • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- • 2 large eggs
- • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
- • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- • 1/2 teaspoon star anise
- • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- • 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Red Wine Spiced Poached Pears:
- (makes 4 but you will need 2 for this recipe)
- 2 cups dry red wine such as a merlot or a cabernet
- 1/4 cup organic cane sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 4 star anise
- 2-4 slices of ginger about 1 - 2 tablespoon depending upon how gingery you like it
- 2 strips of orange zest
- 4 firm pears with the skin peeled
- For glaze
- 1/3 cup pear and spice jam or plum preserves
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon amaretto liquer
- For serving:
- • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- • 3-4 tablespoons of powdered sugar
- Make dough:
- Put oven rack in middle position and preheat to 375°F.
- Pulse flour, sugar, cinnamon, star anise powder and salt in a food processor until combined. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with some small (roughly pea-size) butter lumps. Add egg yolks, vanilla, and water and pulse just until incorporated and dough begins to form large clumps.
- Turn dough out onto a work surface and massage the dough with the heel of your hand (fraisage) to incorporate the dough and form into a ball. Flatten the ball into a disc.
- Put dough in tart pan and pat it evenly with well-floured fingers into the bottom of the pan and up the sides so it extends about 1/4 inch above rim. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. I used a long tart pan for this tart.
- Lightly prick tart shell all over with a fork, then line with parchment paper and fill with pie weights. Bake shell until golden around edge, about 15 minutes. Carefully remove the parchment paper and weights and bake until shell is golden all over, about 15 minutes more. Cool shell completely.
- Make Red Wine Spiced Poached Pears:
- In a medium to large saucepan, combine all the ingredients and let it boil on medium heat for 5 minutes. Then let it simmer. Put the peeled pears into the poaching liquid and let it simmer for 20 minutes, with the lid covered, rotating the pears every 5 minutes to make sure that the pear gets the color evenly.
- Once the pears are poached and red in color, shut off the stove, and let it cool with the lid on. Once cooled, cover and chill the pears in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours. Remove it from the pan and keep the poaching liquid.
- Get the saucepan again on the stove and on medium heat, reduce the poaching liquid to half about 10 minutes. Make sure that it becomes thicker and syrupy. This is for the final garnish with whipped cream. Set it aside in a bowl and let it cool down.
- Make frangipane filling:
- Beat together almond paste, butter, sugar, and almond and vanilla extract in a bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until creamy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the flour/salt/spices mixture.
- Spread frangipane filling evenly in tart shell. Slice the pears evenly with a sharp knife and arrange them on top of the frangipane filling in a pretty format, however you like it.
- Bake tart until frangipane is puffed and golden and edges are golden brown, about 1 hour.
- Make glaze and final touch:
- Heat preserves and water in a 1-quart saucepan over moderately high heat, stirring, until preserves are melted. Remove from heat and force through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl, discarding solids. Stir in Amaretto (if using).
- Brush top of hot tart generously with glaze and cool in pan on rack 15 minutes. Remove side of pan and cool tart completely, about 2 hours. With a fine sieve, sprinkle powdered sugar on the top for the final finish.
- Add the heavy whipping cream into a mixing bowl, and whip it with the whip handle on high speed for a minute. Add in the powdered sugar and whip again till it forms firm peaks when the whip handle is inverted. Serve the slice of tart with a dollop of the whipping cream and a drizzle of the red wine spiced poached syrup! Delicious!