I know sometimes I must sound like a broken record repeating over and over again how much I love this time of year. I really do. I believe this is a consequence of a childhood where the days leading up to Christmas were always full of excitement. The pastry shop shelves full of beautifully packaged marzipan figures, special orders being placed and a sea of people coming and going. The back of the house was the gathering place for many. My grandparents were loved and their doors were always open.
Even though my life here is much quieter, I still love to entertain. It just wouldn’t be the same without small dinners with the people I love.
This is a pear and hazelnut frangipane tart I made for one of those dinners a few days ago. Great with salted caramel ice cream, over tea and good conversation.
There are also the smaller version of the tarts, crustless. Pears and frangipane baked in baking cups and topped with pie dough cutouts, which make a great packaged gift.
Thank you everyone for taking part and for your generous comments. Always fun.
Pear and Hazelnut Frangipane Tart
makes enough for a 9″ tart mold
Gluten Free Pie Dough
1 cup (140 grams) superfine brown rice flour
2 Tbs (20 grams) potato starch
2 Tbs (20 grams) tapioca starch
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (115 grams) unsalted butter, cold and diced
3 to 4 Tbs (45 to 60 ml) ice cold water
Place the first five ingredients in the food processor and pulse a couple of times to combine. Add the cold, diced butter and pulse 10 times until the butter is cut into the flours. Add the ice water while pulsing. You might not need all of it so reserve a couple of Tbs until mixed. The dough should stick together when pressed but not be too wet.
Form the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap and flatten it a bit with your hand. Refrigerate the dough for about 1 hour.
Roll out the dough to about 1/4″-1/8″ thickness and fill the tart mold with it. If the dough cracks, don’t worry, just pinch it back together. It might happen if it’s too cold. Return the tart mold to the refrigerator for another 20 minutes or so while preparing the filling.
Roll the leftover scraps and cut shapes with star cookie cutters. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment and bake at 375F for about 8 minutes. Reserve.
Pear and Hazelnut Frangipane Filling
1/2 cup (115 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup (110 grams) cane sugar
1 cup (110 grams) hazelnut flour
1 Tbs (10 grams) tapioca starch
pinch of salt
1 Tbs dark rum, optional
7 forelle pears, halved and core removed
Cream the butter and the sugar together until light. Add the egg and mix. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until combined.
Spread the frangipane inside the tart mold. Cut the pears and place them on top of the frangipane.
Bake in the middle of the oven at 350F for about 30-40 minutes until filling brown and the bottom of the tart cooked. Decorate with star cookies and powdered sugar.