|Gluten-free Pear and Almond Tart|
- 150g gluten-free flour
- 1 tbsp. icing sugar
- 75g cold butter, cubed
- A pinch of salt
- 1 egg, beaten
- 125g butter, at room temperature
- 125g ground almonds
- 125g caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbsp. cornflour
- 1 tsp. golden syrup
- 1 tbsp. flaked almonds
- 4 pears, quite large - Conference are perfect!
- 250g caster sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick*
- 1 star anise*
- 4 cloves*
- Half a lemon
*When it comes to the spices, you could go with just 1 or 2 of the above or omit if unavailable
- Make the pastry first by rubbing the butter into the flour and icing sugar, until the consistency is of fine breadcrumbs. Season with a pinch of salt.
- Add in a little of the egg, bit by bit, and mix through to form a ball. It shouldn't be overly wet. There is a good chance some egg will be left over and it can go into the frangipane mixture.
- Cover the pastry in cling film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. You can even do this a few hours in advance if you'd rather.
- Now to the frangipane. Beat the butter and caster sugar together well. Add in the eggs one by one and mix well. Finally fold through the ground almonds and cornflour. Leave aside to chill and this too can be covered in cling film and set aside.
- For the pears, pour the caster sugar into a large saucepan, add in 500 ml water and allow the mixture to heat up on a medium heat, until the sugar has dissolved.
- Peel the pears, leave them whole and add them to the pan with the spices and the juice of the half lemon along with the leftover lemon rind. If needs be, add a little extra water to cover the pears fully.
- Now, cut out a large piece of greaseproof paper and place it in on top of the poaching pears, touching the top of the water level, and put in a smaller plate that will fit inside to sit on top of the pears.
- Leave the pears to simmer for about 20 minutes, do not allow them to soften too much, as they will cook further in the oven. Remove from the water and leave aside to chill for at least 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 190°C/fan 170°C/gas 5. To assemble the tart, roll out the pastry into a circle slightly larger than the tin. Place it inside the tin and cut off any overhanging edges and patch, as required. Use a fork to prick a few times on the base of the tart.
- Take your frangipane and dollop it out on top of the pastry, smoothing it out to evenly fill the tin.
- Slice your pears in halves and use a teaspoon to remove and discard the cores. Then carefully cut across your pears on the horizontal, if the pear were standing upright, but do not cut through the pears. This should give you about 10 slits across each one. Place the pears down onto the frangipane and press down a little. Drizzle your flaked almonds all over the pears and frangipane.
- Take a teaspoon dipped in boiling water and then dip it into the golden syrup and drizzle this across the tart.
Ready for the oven!
- Pop into the preheated oven for 55 minutes to 1 hour or until the appearance of the tart is nicely golden.
- I serve this either at room temperature or heated ever so slightly, with regular fresh cream whipped with a little icing sugar and vanilla paste added. Yummy!