1 cup (250g) soften butter
1 cup (250g) caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 whole egg added while stirring
1 cup (250g) ground almonds
4 pears, halved, peeled and cores removed
1/2 cup apricot jam
1 tbsp water
Pâte Sucrée (Pastry)
1. Place the butter and the sugar into a food processor and mix until the ingredients have just combined.
2. Add the vanilla extract and the egg yokes, and roughly mix until combined, while avoiding overworking the dough. Finally add the plain flour and the salt, and pulse the mixture until the dough forms chunks.
3. Pour the dough out, directly onto a large sheet of cling film and quickly mould it into a large puck shape, avoiding touching the pastry by wrapping the cling film around it. Work out the air bubbles, and any crack in the pastry by gently working the dough with your hands.
4. Lightly dust your rolling surface, and your rolling pin. Start by ridging your pastry by applying light pressure with the rolling pin on the pastry, so that ridges form, before rolling the pastry out. Place the pastry onto a 12" fluted flan dish, and quickly press the dough into the edges of the pan. Run your rolling pin over the top of the dish to remove the excess pastry.
5. Blind bake the pastry in an oven at 375°F (190°C) for 12 minutes. To blind bake the pastry, place a piece of parchment paper over the pastry, and fill it up with dried beans or baking beans, to serve as a pie weight.
6. After 12 minutes take the pan out of the oven, and then remove the beans and the parchment paper, and gently prick the base of the tart with a fork, before returning it to the oven for a further 2-4 minutes, or until it becomes a light biscuit color. Once cooked, remove the pastry from the oven and allow to cool for 15-20 minutes.
1. In a mixer, blend the butter and the caster sugar for about 3 minutes, or until a light creamy fluffy consistency has been reached.
2. With the mixer on low speed, add the vanilla extract and the eggs one at a time, and mix until well combined. Add the ground almonds to the mixer, and the mix thoroughly until the mixture reluctantly drops of the back of a wooden spoon.
3. Spread half of the frangipane filling over the base of the pastry, and gently press the pears into the filling. Fill the rest of the tart with the filling, and then bake in an oven for 1 hour, at 300°F (150°C).
4. To serve, brush the top of the tart with the apricot glaze. To make the glaze simply combine the water and the apricot jam over a medium heat until it is gently warmed, and then strain through a fine sieve.