Our frangipane pear tart is a classic French dessert that celebrates the beautiful flavors of fall. Pear slices are elegantly arranged on a sweet almond frangipane filling and baked in a buttery, shortbread pastry.
It is an impressive dessert that makes a grand statement during the holidays. Serve it warm or cold with a dollop of homemade whipped cream or some crème fraîche.
The dough for this recipe is a classic pate sucree which is similar to our buttery shortbread crust. It’s a great compliment to the tart filling of pears and the sweet almond filling. We used large, bright red D’ Anjio pears for the tart and sliced them with a mandoline.
Here is Why We Love This Dessert:
- Beautifully highlights the fresh seasonal pears
- A quick dessert with minimal effort
- Great for holiday entertaining
- Perfect for parties because you can make it in advance.
What is Frangipane?
Frangipane is an almond pastry cream. It is made with a mixture of butter, sugar, eggs, and almonds and it is one of the easiest pastry creams you can make.
Frangipane is often confused with marzipan. However, the two are not the same. Frangipane is considered a pastry cream, and marzipan is a candy. Marzipan is so thick and dense that you can shape it and roll it like play-dough.
We used the frangipane pastry cream for an apple frangipane tart as well.
Here are the ingredients you will need. Scroll down to the printable recipe card for all the details.
For the crust:
- Flour. All-purpose flour works fine, or you can use pastry flour.
- Powdered sugar. Also known as confectioners sugar.
- Butter. The butter needs to be cold for the crust.
- Egg yolks
- Vanilla extract
- Heavy cream
For the frangipane filling:
- Almond paste
- Butter. The butter should be soft so it can cream into the sugar.
- Powdered sugar
- Ground Almonds. Either grind them yourself, or you can substitute them with almond meal.
For the pears
- Lemon juice. Lemon juice will prevent the sliced pears from getting brown.
- Pears. Bosc and D’Anjou pears work great with this recipe because they hold their shape and don’t get mushy when baked.
- Apple jelly. Use apple jelly to glaze the top of the pears or dust with confectioners’ sugar.
How To Make It:
Here is a quick overview of the process for this pear frangipane. Make sure to scroll down to the printable recipe card for all the details.
- Mix the ingredients for the crust and prebake it in an 11-inch tart pan.
- Combine the ingredients for the frangipane filling and pour it into the cooled crust.
- Slice the pears and arrange them on the frangipane filling.
- Bake the tart until the filling is bubbly.
- Heat the apple jelly and brush it over the tart for a glaze or sift confectioners’ sugar on top
Preventing the Pears From Browning:
Pears will oxidize and turn brown rather quickly when cut and exposed to the air. To prevent that from happening, I set up a shallow bowl of cold water with the juice from a lemon. The slices of pears stayed nice and white in the lemony water. It is the acid in the lemon that keeps the pears from turning brown.
Since I wanted the beautiful red skin showing, I did not peel the pears. I used my kitchen mandolin, set at 1/8 of an inch thick to slice the pears and placed each slice into the lemon water. I did not blanch or cook the pear slices and when they were all sliced and in the water I removed them and placed each one on a kitchen towel and blotted them dry.
Finishing the Pear Frangipane Tart:
If you choose to use confectioners sugar to dust the tart, you should wait until it is time to serve because the sugar dissolves quickly. I have a small supply of special sugar and since it is pricey, I hoard it. It is Non-Melting Topping Sugar. It is just an optional item but fun to use. I dusted the sugar lightly over the top of the tart and it did not dissolve even after sitting in the refrigerator overnight.
This pear frangipane tart is a stunning presentation for a special dinner. You can serve it either warm or cold with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Yes, you can freeze frangipane pastry cream (as well as this tart). Store it in a freezer-proof container and freeze it for up to 6 months.
Store the tart in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. Make sure you keep it in an airtight container. You can serve it cold, warm, or at room temperature.
Sure, if fresh pears are not in season, you can make it with canned pears, but we don’t think it is worth it. Fresh pears give this tart a much better flavor and texture. But you do you.
Some Other Recipes We Are Sure You Will Love:
This creamy whole lemon tart is a taste of summer but you can make it any day of the year! We used whole lemons to make a creamy lemon custard and baked it in a delicious shortbread pastry shell.
This butterscotch tart is absolutely divine. A cookie-like shortbread pastry is filled with a creamy, delicious butterscotch filling to make a rich, decadent dessert.
This Chocolate Caramel Tart is just waiting for you. Creamy truffle filling, rich caramel, and a gleaming chocolate ganache coating with flaky salt! All of this is encased in a delicate shortbread pastry shell.
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FOR THE CRUST
- 2 cups flour (240 grams)
- 1 /2 cup (60 grams) confectioners' sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 12 tablespoons butter (1-1/2 cubes)
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoon whipping cream
- 8 ounces of almond paste
- 8 tablespoons butter (1 cube)
- 3/4 cup (75 grams) confectioners' sugar
- 1/3 cup (90 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup ground almonds
- 2 large eggs
FOR THE PEARS:
- 2 quarts cold water
- Juice of one lemon
- 5 pears, sliced 1/8-inch thick
- 1/2 cup apple jelly
For the crust:
- Place the flour, sugar, salt and butter in a food processor and pulse until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add the egg yolk, vanilla, and whipping cream to the dry ingredients. Pulse until it resembles wet sand.
- Place the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Using the plastic, gather the dough into a ball and press it together into a disc. Wrap with the plastic and refrigerate the dough for at least an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured work surface. Press the dough into a 11-inch tart pan with a removable bottom and lightly pierce the surface, including the sides, with a fork. Place the tart pan in the freezer for 30 minutes.
- Prepare the frozen crust for a blind-bake by using parchment paper and pie weights/beans. Set the tart pan on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, transfer from the oven and remove the pie weights and parchment paper. Let the crust cool until ready to use.
To make the frangipane filling:
- With a paddle attachment, beat the almond paste, butter, confectioner’s sugar, flour, and ground almonds in a mixing bowl until smooth. Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Spread the frangipane filling evenly over the cooled baked crust, smoothing the top and set aside while you prepare the pears.
Prepare the pears:
- In a shallow bowl or pan, add 2 quarts of cold water and the juice from 1 lemon. Wash and dry the pears and slice them lengthwise into 1/8-inch slices. adding the slices to the lemon water as you slice them. After all the pears are sliced and in the water, remove them and place them on a clean kitchen towel and blot the excess water off.
Assemble the tart:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Set the tart pan on a rimmed baking sheet. Arrange the fruit slices in an overlapping pattern on the frangipane. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the frangipane is bubbling and the filling is firm.
- If you want to glaze the tart, heat 1/2 cup of apple jelly until melted, then brush the glaze over the tart. Or, you can dust with confectioners' sugar when the tart has cooled or just leave the tart as is.
- The pears may not all be the same length, if you have a hole in the center where the tips of the pear slices do not meet you can cut a round slice of pear to fill in the gap.
- Begin slicing the pear at the side working toward the center, slice out and discard the center section with the core.
- If you choose to slice the pears thicker than 1/8-inch the slices should be lightly poached and drained. Thick slices of raw pears will release too much juice on the top of the tart as they bake.
- To remove the core from a whole pear: insert an appetizer spoon or small paring knife at the bottom of the pear and scoop the core out. When adding the slices to the tart overlap the slices to cover the cored portion.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 498Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 115mgSodium: 322mgCarbohydrates: 56gFiber: 4gSugar: 30gProtein: 7g
Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third-party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.