Photo by Stephanie Staton
Frangipane is traditionally made with almonds, so you can substitute them and almond extract for hazelnuts and hazelnut extract in this recipe if you prefer. I don’t peel the pears, but doing so won’t negatively affect the flavor.
Yield: 8 to 10 servings
- 1 8- to 9-inch pie crust (a rich, sweet crust is good with this tart)
- 1 cup toasted hazelnuts with skins removed
- 1/2 cup sugar, divided
- 1/4 cup flour
- 6 T. unsalted butter, softened
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1/2 tsp. hazelnut extract (Vanilla extract can also be used.)
- 2 to 3 firm Anjou or Bosc pears, cored and thinly sliced
- apricot jam (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Roll out pie crust, place in tart pan, pressing to shape, and trim to fit. Re-form and roll out scraps, and cut out shapes with cookie cutter.
In food processor, pulse hazelnuts with 1/4 cup sugar until finely ground; add flour and pulse again briefly.
Beat butter and remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Add eggs, beating after each addition, and then beat in extracts. Stir in nut mixture until just combined.
Spread frangipane filling evenly in tart shell. Arrange pear slices in circular pattern with peel sides overlapping cut sides, and add decorative crust cutouts on the filling. Lay shapes on top of fruit. Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until pears are golden and filling is puffed.
After removing tart from oven, brush pears with warmed apricot jam to create glistening surface and add extra sweetness.