Friday, 6 April 2012
Pear and Frangipane Tart
With our friend returning from Germany for Easter and the summery weather coming to an end, what else to do other than squeeze ten people into our little flat for a good old fashioned roast. Of course I was in charge of the pudding (or rather no one else was particularly bothered about having one!). Normally for this kind of thing I would make a cheesecake because a) I like making them, b) I like eating them, and c) I can make it in advance of the roast chaos! But this blog is supposed to be about trying new recipes instead of being a lazy baker so cheesecake was banned from the menu.
My Aunty gave me a jar of pears in brandy a couple of months ago. They are absolutely delicious (coming from someone who can’t stand brandy!) and make a gorgeously simple desert just served with vanilla ice cream. However I felt that they should probably be used up soon and I wanted to try something a bit more exciting. I love frangipane and have wanted to try making a bakewell tart for ages so I decided on a pear and frangipane tart with shortcrust pastry. I wasn’t really sure whether pears and frangipane went well together but pastry=good, pears=good and frangipane=good – what could go wrong? (It turns out nothing apart from me getting over enthusiastic and clumsy removing it from the tin!)
I am very much a novice when it comes to pastry so I followed Mary Berry’s recipe for rich shortcrust pastry (sounds good doesn’t it!). Determined not to end up with a ‘soggy bottom’, I rolled out the pastry very thinly, pricked with a fork, filled with baking parchment and rice (note to self: must buy baking beans) and blind baked for 5/10 minutes . I am convinced that this made all the difference because the pastry turned out brilliantly (even if I do say so myself!). It was not at all soggy but not burned or overdone and received lots of compliments!
I completely forgot that the tart tin has a removable bottom so didn’t use it, this was not a problem because it came out of the tin very easily. However, my eagerness betrayed me and I broke the tart as I removed it from the tin. A simple fixing job put it back together – not as pretty as before but it barely lasted long enough to look at it! It went down much better than I’d expected, even among those deluded few who ‘don’t eat pudding’!
So I have learned that pear does in fact go with frangipane and that I can make pastry./ I feel that I can sleep better at night knowing that if I end up in a ‘make pastry or die’ situation, I’ll be fine!