Frangipane is a filling made from or flavored like almonds, usually as a custard or cream. Some recipes use almond paste, some use almond meal, and a few allow for marzipan. Frangipane can be found in various desserts and is often paired with fruit to make a beautiful tart. I found lovely organic Anjou pears at the grocery store and decided to try this classic combination. Many recipes include poaching the pairs in a flavorful syrup before using them in the tart. However, the pears I used were fully ripe, soft and sweet so I chose one with no poaching required.
I used some of the one pie dough to rule them all from my freezer, but you could also use a sweeter tart dough. Whatever you choose, you will need to blind bake it before adding the filling. Instructions for this process as well as the full recipe can be found at Williams Sonoma.
Preparing the crust is the by far the most difficult part of this recipe. The filling is simple to mix up, and then you can artfully arrange the pears on top and slip it all into a hot oven.
The frangipane will puff up slightly and become deeply golden brown. This dessert is great for almond lovers and the finished product looks really fancy. Next time I make it I will alter the recipe slightly by cutting back on the rum, which I found overpowering. The pears were really nice when baked this way, but I would also like to try this recipe with another fruit.