The Advanced Home Baker

When you decide to enter into the realm of more serious baking, producing the quality of a patisserie, then mastering the classic frangipane is a must.

As this is a base to many french tarts and other desserts in the pastry section. So when you master the classic frangipane, you have already created a full range of tarts and desserts that you can make, each time with a slight difference that changes the whole experience. And mind you, just because you know what is the base of your tart, does not mean everyone else does. So to your guests you are serving a whole new dessert each time, even if the change is minimal! An amazing creation that you can do with frangipane is this decadent Pear Frangipane Tart. It is a classic and a staple on almost every French patisserie’s menu. This tart is seriously delicious, and will definitely impress your guests. While this recipe requires a bit of extra work, it is really worth it in the end.

Combining poached pears or apples with a creamy frangipane filling in a rich dough crust is a classic French dessert. This type of dessert originated in the region of Normandy. There are many variations to this recipe, as you can use apples, pears, nectarines…etc. You can poach the pears in vanilla (like in Tarte Bourdaloue), in red wine or in a spice syrup. You can slice the pears lengthwise or crosswise….etc. it is really a matter of your preference , and how you would like to present it on that specific occasion.

I make this pear frangipane tart in many ways. Two of my favourites are made using poached pears in wine. One using pears poached in red merlot, which after poaching I reduce the remaining poaching merlot to a thick consistency and place in a jug which I serve next to the tart. Another, is the one I am posting for you here today.

In this version I poach the pears in a syrup I make with sweet white wine (I love using the South African Neethlingshof sweet white wine for this, as the wine itself has hints of pear in it and it works really well here). I also add a halved vanilla bean to the wine as well as a cinnamon stick. I poach the pears in this wine and then remove them along with the bean and cinnamon. Then I reduce this poaching wine and place in a jug to serve with the delicious pear frangipane tart.

Absolutely a treat anytime, any day and my friends and family love this one.


Serves: 6-8
  • 1 recipe short crust pastry dough (recipe on this link)
  • 3 pears, keeping stems intact
  • 70g apricot Glaze (you can also use apricot jam, heated up and strained through a sieve)
  • 30g slithered almonds
  • 550g Frangipane filling (below)
  • 1 recipe white wine poaching syrup (below)
  • 2 tbsp Cinnamon Sugar (sugar mixed with powdered cinnamon)

For Frangipane Filling

  • 400g almond paste
  • 80g granulated sugar
  • 180g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 280 ml eggs
  • 40g flour
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla syrup (recipe on this link)

For the white wine poaching syrup

  • 200 ml sweet white wine
  • 100 ml water
  • 250g sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 vanilla bean halved

A day ahead

Poach the pears in the wine syrup: In a saucepan, place the wine, water, sugar and cinnamon sticks, stir until the sugar is dissolved and a syrup is formed. then bring the mixture to a gentle boil.

Meanwhile, peel the pears. You can half them or half and slice them, totally up to you. Once the syrup has boiled, add the peeled, halved pears and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and add the vanilla bean, cover tightly with cling film and let cool. Once cool place in fridge and let infuse overnight.

On baking Day

Prepare your dough if making it fresh, and set in the fridge. While the dough is setting

Make Frangipane Filling

Using an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, place the almond paste and mix on low speed. Gradually add softened butter while mixing on low speed. After the butter had been added, and mixture had become smooth, gradually mix in the vanilla syrup and eggs (a few at a time) until all eggs have been added. Then mix in the flour.

TIP: Once done you can store frangipane filling in the fridge up to a week. But just like with any uncooked fillings that contain eggs, they are best consumed straight away to ensure maximum volume in baked pastries. When ready to use, bring to room temperature then stir until smooth before using.

Take the pears out of the fridge, place them on paper towels to dry.

Meanwhile place the wine syrup in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and let simmer until reduced to ¼ the original quantity.

Using a melon baller remove centres of pears keeping the stems intact. Repeat with all pears. Slice them lengthwise or crosswise if desired and set aside.

Line loose- bottom tart pan with short crust dough  (about 3 mm thick).

Brush the dough with apricot glaze.

Top with frangipane and spread it evenly, until ¾ full. Top with the pears. Try to evenly space the pears, and note that once placed on the filling it will be hard to move them without creating a mess.

Sprinkle the almonds, then sprinkle all with Cinnamon Sugar.

Bake in 375F-190C for 40 minutes.

Cover the edges if they start over browning.

Once done brush the pear halves with the apricot glaze and leave to completely cool. Once cooled remove the tart from pan, and sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired for a country appeal.

Place on a serving platter and serve with the wine reduction.

Bon Appétit!

Let’s chat – Frangipane tarts are fab! Have you ever made one? Which do you prefer Pear, Figs, apricot or Almond frangipane tarts? Share your love for Frangipane with me and tell me which is your favourite and I will post the recipe for you 🙂

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