This show stopping tart makes a gorgeous alternative to the usual Christmas pudding dessert, glazed with apricot jam to leave it with a gorgeous golden shimmer.
Suitable for gluten free and dairy free.
For the pastry:
85g icing sugar
Pinch of salt
2 egg yolks
405g gluten free plain flour
For the glazed pears:
195g granulated sugar
240g cold water
5 pears, peeled
For the frangipane:
85g granulated sugar
65g ground almonds
4ml vanilla extract
2ml almond extract
15g gluten free plain flour
For the glaze:
30g apricot jam
1 tsp water
Icing sugar, for dusting
For the pastry Cream the butter in a medium bowl with a wooden spoon until smooth. Incorporate the icing sugar and salt and mix well, then add the egg yolks one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Then add the water. The mix may curdle, but don’t worry, this is ok. Next, sift in the plain flour and mix until incorporated.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until the dough just comes together. Wrap it in plastic wrap/clingfilm and refrigerate for at least 2 hours
For the glazed pears In a large saucepan, dissolve the granulated sugar in the water, stirring with a whisk. Place the peeled pears, leaving the stalks, in the sugar water syrup and bring to the boil.
Reduce the heat to medium and allow the pears to simmer until tender when tested with a knife. This should take about 15 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the pears to cool in the syrup.
For the frangipane While the pears are cooling make the frangipane.
Cream the butter at medium speed with an electric mixer. Reduce the speed and add the granulated sugar and ground almonds until combined. Add the eggs, vanilla and almond extract, followed by the plain flour, and beat until the mixture is smooth. Set aside for later.
To make the tart Preheat the oven to 190°C / Gas 5
Turn out the chilled pastry onto a floured surface and knead until it holds together enough to roll. Roll to around 2mm thick and cut out a circle fitting the base of a 9″ fluted tart dish. Lie the circle in the bottom of the tin and cut a strip of pastry to make the sides of the tart case, pushing it into the tin. Cut off the excess around the edge, prick with a fork, and lay parchment paper in the dish. Top with baking beans, then blind bake for around 10 minutes.
Cut off the top halves of the pears, being careful to keep them intact as they will decorate the top of the tart. Core the bottom halves and cut into cubes, then scatter the pear cubes on the blind baked crust and cover with the frangipane.
Arrange the pear tops on the tart and bake for approximately 20 minutes until the tart is puffed and golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
For the glaze, place the apricot jam and water in a small saucepan. Simmer on medium heat until the jam is melted and smooth. Alternatively, microwave for 20 seconds or until fully melted and hot. Carefully brush the tart with the apricot glaze and dust with icing sugar.
Got some leftover pastry? Roll out the pastry, cut into rounds, pop into a cupcake mould tin and blind bake for 5 mins. Make a meringue using the egg whites from the leftover eggs. Top the blind baked pastry with lemon curd, top the curd with meringue and bake until golden brown.