Pear and frangipane tart

Serves 8
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Indy Lifestyle Online

The word frangipane is often used to describe a mixture of ground almonds, unsalted butter, eggs and sugar. You can eat it simply on its own or filled with just about any fruit, such as blackberries, quince, pears or apples. It is good served either warm or at room temperature, and best served with crème fraîche as opposed to cream, as this helps cut through its intense sweetness.

Pastry (see related links)
300g/10oz caster sugar
3 whole eggs
300g/10oz unsalted butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
300g/10oz whole blanched almonds
The zest of one unwaxed lemon
3 pears, peeled and cut into six, pips removed

Place the sugar, eggs and butter into a food processor and blend until smooth, then add the vanilla extract.

Set the oven at 180C/350F/Gas4 and place the almonds on a baking tray, brown lightly; this should take no more than five minutes.

Remove, allow to cool slightly and add them to the rest of the ingredients. Turn on the machine and purée until you have a paste that is still quite textured. Turn off the mixer and fold in the lemon zest.

Pour into the blind-baked tart shell and arrange the pears in a circular shape on top. Place on the middle shelf of the oven and cook for 40 minutes.

When finished, the tart should be golden-brown on top and just slightly wobbly in the centre. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes and serve slices at room temperature, with a generous dollop of crème fraîche.

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