I would be bringing dessert for a Saturday night dinner and was feeling uninspired until I went shopping. It’s Autumn, the first day of May and today at Queen Victoria Market apples and pears were plentiful. A pear and frangipane tart would be perfect.
The pears were cheap ($1 kg) because they were second grade and in season. I bought lots to fill my big blue fruit bowl and reserved 4 for the tart. I love the voluptuous shape of pears…so sensuous, so female.
…and once again I will take you back to the well used pastry post! But before you click here’s a little tip to get the pastry firmly pushed to the edges.
PEAR AND FRANGIPANE TART (for a 23 cm or 9 inch ) flan.
1 Quantity of sweet short crust pastry.
Bowl of water (enough to cover peeled and quartered pears)
1/4 cup of warmed and sieved apricot jam.
FRANGIPANE (Almond filling)
125 gms (8 tablespoons) softened butter
75 gms caster sugar (1/3 cup)
120 gms (1 cup) almond meal
1 tablespoon plain flour
Set oven to 180 c (350 f)
Peel, divide into quarters and core pears.
Squeeze lemon into water and place pears inside, ensuring they are covered. This is called acidulating the water and will stop pears (or any fruit and veg prone to discolouring) from going brown.
In a different bowl add softened butter ( a few seconds in the microwave if butter is hard) and caster sugar.
Then add almond meal and flour.
Mix until a smooth paste is formed.
Spread this evenly over pre-baked, cooled pastry case.
I use this frangipane base for many fruit tarts. It works well with apples, sour cherries and any fruit that can withstand baking.
Remove pears from water and pat dry. At this stage I realised I didn’t like the size of the big quartered chunks of pear so I cut them, again, into eighths. Some recipes use entire halves and push the pear into the frangipane…it’s up to you.
Assemble the pear slices according to whatever takes your fancy! Place tart in oven for about 45 minutes until pears are soft and pastry is golden. This will vary with each oven so remember to keep checking before your pastry burns!
When tart is done glaze the surface with warmed (microwaved) apricot jam.
So here is this gorgeous little masterpiece… or is it? When I turned the tart the right way round to photograph it I suddenly became aware that it was looking like an anatomical drawing of girly bits…a term I’d never use when writing a sex scene…but one appropriate for this polite little post!
Looking at the tart I was reminded of one of the very controversial pieces of 70s installation art by Judy Chicago called the Dinner Party. It comprises a grand triangular banqueting table set with the names and appropriate place settings for her choice of 39 of the worlds most notable women. The plates are decorated with abstract butterfly designs symbolic of a vaginal central core.
I wonder what Emily Dickinson would have thought of Judy’s designs for her plate (above). I’m sure Emily would’ve much preferred a simple white plate and a slice of this rude tart for her afternoon tea?
Gotta love the seventies….
Cheers Anna x
Love you to read my books
The Lost Woman series follows the sexy adventures of Christina as she makes her way through a world of new media, design, fashion, travel, and … men.
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