So I’m back with the Great British Bake Off Bake Along! I had to miss last week as I was a way down in London, I’ll catch you up on that soon! I’ve been dying to make this pear and chocolate frangipane tart for a while now so as it was pastry week on GBBO it seemed like the perfect excuse. Especially when I saw the signature bake was a frangipane tart, is there anything more delicious that frangipane?
Now I’ve spoke before about how pastry and I just don’t get on. I can make it taste good but it never looks perfect. I know all the techniques behind perfect pastry ie really cold ingredients, allowing it to chill before baking and trimming after the pastry is blind baked. But it always results in the pastry shrinking.
I watched the bakers complete this challenge very carefully to see if I could gather any tips. There was a bit of a divide between whether to blind bake or not. I made the decision to do so. I always think you are better to blind bake your pastry. To avoid it catching too much colour at this stage, use a big enough piece of foil to ensure the pastry is completed covered.
Quite a lot of the bakers used pears in their tart. And who can blame them? Pear and frangipane is such a classic, delicious combination. I added some melted chocolate to my tart to turn this into a traditional Italian tart. Definitely go for a dark chocolate, I like 60% as it has just the right amount of bitterness.
If you are not into pears you can easily add any other fruit of your choice. I was very close to using plums but thought I’d save that one for another time. If you are using pears, I always think it’s worth taking the extra time to slice the pears. Not only does it look visually appealing but it makes the tart easier to eat.
So I think this is probably one of my more successful tarts. There was a tiny bit of shrinkage but not much. However the overhang of the crust dropped off while blind baking so I didn’t have a chance to trim it, hence my slightly uneven crust. But hey it’s all about the taste!
Of course if you to have difficulty dealing with pastry try this galette. It’s a more rustic tart where you don’t have to worry about shrinkage or being too perfect with the pastry.
What are your pastry tips and tricks?
This tart is delicious cold with a dollop of whipped cream or serve it warm with some vanilla ice cream and watch that chocolate start to melt. Delicious!
Linking up with Rhyme and Ribbons and This Particular bake along.
- 175 grams plain flour
- 25 grams icing sugar
- 100 grams unsalted butter, cold
- 1 egg yolk
- 1-2 tablespoons ice water
- 125 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
- 125 grams caster sugar
- 150 grams ground almonds
- 50 grams plain flour
- 3 medium eggs
- 2 tablespoons Amaretto (optional)
- 100 grams dark chocolate
- 3 ripe conference pears
- Flaked almonds
- 1 teaspoon honey
- In a food processor add the flour, sugar and butter. Pulse until the texture resembles fine breadcrumbs then add the egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of the water. Pulse again until a dough starts to form. Give it a minute and if the dough still doesn't come together add in more of the water a little at a time.
- Tip the dough out onto a floured surface and press together into a ball. Pat down and wrap in some clingfilm before storing in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Roll out the dough until it's about 3mm thick and place inside a 10 inch tart tin. Leave the edge overhanging and press the edges into the tart case and prick the bottom with a fork, making sure you prick the base near the edge of the tin. Place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat a fan oven to 180 degrees Celsius along with a pizza stone or large baking tray. Remove the tart from the fridge and cover with foil then add some baking beans or rice and blind bake for 15 minutes. Keep an eye on any exposed edges in case they start to burn.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Turn the oven down to 160.
- In a small sauce pan, and some water and set over a low heat. Break the chocolate up and place in a bowl over the water. Melt slowly then turn off the heat and set aside.
- Add the butter and sugar to a bowl and whisk until pale and fluffy. Add in the almonds, flour and one eggs and beat until smooth. Repeat with the remaining eggs, one at a time and the Amaretto.
- Peel the pears and cut the top and bottom off. Cut in half and cut out a little v to remove the core. Slice each half about 5mm thick, keeping the slices together.
- To assemble to tart, add the frangipane to the base then drizzle on the chocolate. Using a knife, gently swirl the chocolate around. Place the pears onto the top. The easiest way is to lift the whole pear up then line up two opposite each other before adding the remaining pears. Shrinking with the almonds.
- Bake in an oven for 40-45 minutes or until the frangipane has set. Keep an eye on any edges that may burn.
- To serve, melt one teaspoon of honey with a dash of boiling water (you could also had some lemon juice to stop the pears turning brown). Brush on the pears and dust the whole tart with a little icing sugar