Well, it was Sunday again and I was ready for baking, I had some lovely pears from my CSA package and I had frangipane on my mind. Marzipan, almonds and any combinations involving them are probably right there at the top of my list.
It was a pretty time consuming recipe, what with baking a tart, poaching pears and then assembling with frangipane and baking the final product. With the recipe I had, I ended up with 3 small tarts and one large 9" tart.
For some reason I found that the pastry didn't come together at all. I ended up having to add another egg yolk and a bit of milk. I ended up with a crumble that I threw into some pans. It looked a little odd, but I congratulated myself for following the first rule of pastry and avoiding working with the dough too much, although it looked weird, it came out well as a nice crispy pastry. If I were serving this in a restaurant (ha ha ha!!) I don't think it would go well as I noticed as I ate one of the smaller tarts, it was really hard to cut through, and I ended up making a big clatter on my plate. I distinctly remember this happening to me at a restaurant in New York and although the taste was good, it was just embarrassing chasing this impossible to cut tart around a plate making lots of noise with my cutlery!
The rest of the recipe went well, I thought it was unfortunate that the almond meal I ended up with was whole almonds. It made for a much more 'rustic' tart but no-one that tasted seemed to mind, I was just disappointed with the flecks of almond skin instead of pristine creamy frangipane.
The part that went really well was the assembly of throwing the pears in the frangipane. This was a one shot deal, just chuck them in and hope for the best, and it looked wonderful.
I'd say this was something you'd want to serve soon after cooking, it looked a bit strange when I served it the next day, I guess a dusting of confectioners sugar would have helped if I'd had it to hand, but thankfully everyone at bookclub thought it was delicious, so that was a winner!
I wont re-write the recipe as I got it from the wonderful dessert first and she did a much better job with her beautiful tart!