I have learned to appreciate frangipane tarts in Morocco. Staying for Easter holidays in Agadir, all we were hoping for was clear ocean breeze and some sunshine. Instead, day and night, we have been delighted with delicious food, spectacular hotel music entertainment and relaxing well-being SPA. Sofitel Agadir Royal Bay Resort is a fairytale place. Morning breakfast with fresh orange juice and Moroccan pancakes, lunch with delicious local tangines, dinner with exquisite international flavours. Yet, from morning till evening, the entire resort is constantly serving the most delicious deserts. Not surprising, considering that each temptation has been carefully crafted by the clever hands of one of Morocco’s top pastry chefs.
We have tasted frangipane tart with apples, frangipane tart with raspberries, frangipane tart with pears… Each bite, sublimely delicious. Each flavour combination to its best. A crumbly pastry dough, a soft, fragrant almond middle and fresh melting fruits on the top. We could re-create the same effect at home, right? This delicious frangipane pear tart is our proud attempt at perfection. And perfection it most certainly is!
Making a frangipane tart could be made even more easy by buying a ready-made crust pastry. Just roll out the dough, press it gently into a round tart form and spoon in the almond filling. The filling itself is just almond flour with some sugar and eggs – easy! The topping could be a world of adventure where you are the Master Chef. Spicy nuts, melting cinnamon apples, fresh rhubarb and raspberries or a French classic sweet, delicious pears. The choice is entirely yours.
Once baked, the tart could be served cold or warm. Some prefer it with dollop of vanilla ice-cream or a special fruity strop. For me, the tart is perfect as it is. We cut a slice. But, for expert tart lovers one slice could never be enough. We happily reach for second helpings and all is bright and right with the world.
- 228 g flour (just a smidge over 1 3/4 cups)
- 2/3 cup icing sugar
- pinch of salt
- 165 g butter, refrigerator cold, , chopped
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 1 egg
- 140 g unsalted butter , softened
- 160 g caster sugar (3/4 cup)
- 200 g ground almonds
- 2 eggs
- 2 pears
- dusted powder sugar
1. Blitz the flour, icing sugar and salt together in a food processor. Add the butter and pulse until a bread-crumb like texture forms. Add the lemon, vanilla and egg and pulse 10 times. The mixture will still be pretty dry and crumbly. Turn out onto a clean surface and gather and press together. Shape into a disc, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and ideally overnight.
2. Grease a 26-28cm tart tin. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured bench to about 3mm thick and line the tart tin, pressing firmly into the sides of the tin. The pastry will be hard to roll out at first but don’t worry, it will soften as you go. Think of it as an arm workout! If it rips at all or you find that one edge is too thin, it is easy to use the leftover pastry scraps to patch it back together.
3. Trim the pastry to form a neat edge – I usually just roll my rolling pin over the edge to cut through the pastry. It normally leaves enough extra pastry scraps to line another mini tart tin as well, but this is totally up to you.
4. Rest the lined tart tin in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
Frangipane and to finish:
1. Preheat the oven to 180°.
2. Beat the butter and sugar until just combined (do not beat until creamy and pale, as it can cause a sunken tart by beating air into the frangipane). Add the ground almonds and eggs and mix to just combine.
3. Spoon the frangipane mix into the lined tart tin and spread over evenly.
4. Peel and cut the pear. Arrange over the frangipane. Bake for 40 minutes.
5. Cool for half an hour or so before removing from tin.
6. Before serving, dust with powder sugar.