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Hi Bold Bakers!
WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE: Pear and Chocolate Frangipane Tart gives you a lush almond cocoa filling topped with meltingly tender pears. This pie is elegant without being fussy. Fruit and chocolate is the perfect harvest-time combination, and I promise you’ll want to whip up this tart for all of your autumn and winter get-togethers. It sure looks fancy, but since you can make all of the elements ahead and it bakes in about 40 minutes, this restaurant-level dessert is easy to put together and is sure to be your new favorite!
Table of Contents
- What is Pear and Chocolate Frangipane Tart?
- Tools You Need to Make Pear and Chocolate Frangipane Tart
- Key Ingredients and Why
- How to Make a Pear and Chocolate Frangipane Tart
- Can I Make Pear and Chocolate Frangipane Tart in Advance?
- How to Store Pear and Chocolate Frangipane Tart
- Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips
- More Fruit Tart Recipes
What is Pear and Chocolate Frangipane Tart?
- A Pear and Chocolate Frangipane Tart layers sweetened, poached pears over a buttery almond chocolate filling in a Flaky Sour Cream Crust.
- Frangipane, a sweet almond paste, is a scrumptious and versatile pastry filling that’s more well-known in Europe than in the U.S. I include it in my Bold Baking Basics because it’s so easy to make and elevates desserts like Gluten-Free Cherry and Almond Tart and Galette des Rois (King Cake) with its buttery, nutty flavor and mildly crunchy texture.
- This recipe features CHOCOLATE frangipane, which makes it even more luscious! Honestly, pears aren’t even my favorite fruit but match them up with chocolate, and it’s magic. If you love this combo as much as I do, check out this Unbelievable Pear and Dark Chocolate Crisp.
Tools You Need to Make Pear and Chocolate Frangipane Tart
- Rolling pin
- 9-inch pastry tin with a removable pan
- Pie weights
- Medium bowl
- Measuring cups and measuring spoons
- Medium saucepan
- Peeler or paring knife
Key Ingredients and Why
- Bartlett pears will work well in this recipe because they’re easily accessible, juicy, and sweet. You can also use Bosc pears which are crisper but less sweet.
- Choose ripe, but firm, pears for baking. To tell when a pear is ripe enough, gently press near the stem. If it gives slightly, it is ripe and ready to eat or use for baking. In this recipe, avoid using very soft pears.
- If you’re short on time, you can use canned pears.
- You can use either blanched or unblanched almond flour for this recipe, or almond meal. The taste will be the same!
- Almond flour is usually made with ground almonds that are blanched (taking away the skins), whereas almond meal can be made with whole or blanched almonds. The consistency is more like cornmeal than wheat flour.
- Learn How to Make Your Own Almond Flour —it’s simple!
- Sugar sweetens the poached pears and the frangipane.
- Sugar in the poached process makes the liquid syrupy, and this helps the pears hold their shape.
- In the frangipane, sugar balances the almonds’ slight bitterness and during baking, sugar caramelizes to add depth to the tart’s flavor.
Butter gives the frangipane creaminess and a rich flavor.
Orange peel in the poaching liquid adds a zing of citrus that gives a perfect flavor contrast to the rich frangipane and mellow pear.
- Cocoa powder gives the frangipane an intense chocolate flavor.
- You can use any cocoa powder, but Dutch process will give a smoother flavor. For more information, check out The Ultimate Guide to Different Types of Chocolate
- Even though the frangipane contains almonds, the extract is important here to intensify the flavor.
- Did you know you can easily make your own almond extract? Follow my simple recipe in How to Make Homemade Extracts.
How to Make a Pear and Chocolate Frangipane Tart
- Prep pie crust: Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). On a lightly floured surface, roll out crust to 1/4-inch and place in tart tin. Prick the crust all over with a fork.
- Blind bake crust: Line the crust with parchment, and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 20 minutes, remove parchment and weights, and bake for another 10 minutes until cooked through.
- Poach the pears: In a medium saucepan, bring water, sugar, and orange peel to a simmer. Peel, halve, and core pears and cook until tender, about 15 minutes.
- Make the frangipane: Mix sugar, butter, almond flour, cocoa powder, egg, and almond extract until combined.
- Assemble the tart: Spread frangipane mixture on the prepared tart crust. Carefully slice the pears horizontally, taking care not to cut all the way through. Place them on top of the frangipane, with the tops of the pears facing toward the middle.
- Bake and serve: Bake for 30-35 minutes. Let cool before serving.
Can I Make Pear and Chocolate Frangipane Tart in Advance?
Yes, you can make Pear and Chocolate Frangipane Tart in advance. Make the crust, pears, and frangipane ahead of time, and then bake the tart on the day you’re serving it.
- Unbaked Flaky Sour Cream Pie Crust can be made two days in advance and kept in the refrigerator, or you can freeze it for up to two months.
- The pears can be poached two days in advance and refrigerated. The frangipane can be prepared and stored in the fridge for a week or in the freezer for eight weeks.
How to Store Pear and Chocolate Frangipane Tart
Wrap the tart loosely and store at room temperature for up to two days.
Can I make this recipe vegan?
Yes, you can make this pear and chocolate tart vegan. Note that the result will differ from the original recipe.
- To find a vegan egg substitute, use my 12 Best Egg Substitutes for Baking & How to Use Them. The cornstarch substitute should work well here.
- Swap out the butter for hard baking vegan butter or hard margarine, but make sure it’s not the spreadable tub version. Note that due to the hydrogenation process in making some of these products, they are softer than butter. Your result will likely be softer and/or thinner.
- The difference between butter and margarine is primarily the flavor. Butter has a creamier and richer flavor because it comes from milk. Margarine has a milder flavor because of the lack of dairy. See Baking with Margarine vs. Butter for more information on the differences.
Can I make this recipe gluten-free?
Yes, you can use the recipe for The Flakiest Gluten-Free Pie Crust here.
What if I’m out of almond extract?
- You can easily make your own homemade almond extract.
- You can also use vanilla extract here. It is the closest substitute, but of course you won’t get the same full-intensity almond flavor.
- The rule of thumb is to double the amount of vanilla when you substitute it for almond extract (in this recipe, use 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract).
Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips
- To save time, you can prebake the pie crust a day in advance and store it at room temperature until you are ready to add the frangipane and pears and bake.
- Use my Flaky Sour Cream Pie Crust recipe, frangipane recipe, and poached pear recipe!
- The frangipane can be made ahead of time and frozen for up to 8 weeks. If making ahead, note that vacuum sealing extends its shelf life in the fridge or freezer.
- Don’t be shy with the almond extract! I’m a huge fan, and I think being a little liberal with it makes this frangipane taste even better.
- Use salted butter in the frangipane for that extra bit of flavor!
- Confused about blind baking? Check out my Guide to Blind Baking.
More Fruit Tart Recipes
Pear and Chocolate Frangipane Tart Recipe
- 1 recipe Flaky Sour Cream Pie Crust
- 3 cups (24 fl oz/720 ml) water
- ½ cup (4 oz/115 g) plus ½ cup (4 oz/115 g) granulated sugar, divided
- 3 medium, ripe but firm pears
- 2 two-inch (5 cm) strips of orange peel
- 6 tablespoons (3 oz/85 g) butter, softened
- ¾ cup (3 oz/85 g) almond flour
- 1/3 cup (1 1/3 oz/37g) cocoa powder
- 1 large egg
- ¾ teaspoon almond extract
Blind Baking the Crust
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
- Roll out the pie crust to ¼ inch (1 ½ cm) thick and line a 9-inch (23 cm) fluted pastry tin with a removable bottom with it.
- Prick the bottom of the pastry all over with a fork, line with parchment and fill with pie weights.
- Blind bake the crust for 20 minutes, until the edges are set.
- Carefully remove the parchment with the weights and return the crust to the oven for another 10 minutes, until the pastry is dry and cooked through. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Poaching the Pears
- While the pastry is baking, poach the pears: in a medium saucepan over medium heat combine the water, ½ cup (4 oz/115 g) granulated sugar and the orange peel and bring to a simmer.
- Peel, halve and core the pears. Add the pear halves to the simmering water for 10-15 minutes, until tender. Remove and let cool on a plate.
Making the Frangipane
- While the pears are cooking, make chocolate frangipane: in a medium bowl, combine the remaining ½ cup (4 oz/115 g) sugar, butter, almond flour, cocoa powder, egg and almond extract and stir until evenly combined.
- Spread the chocolate frangipane evenly in the baked pastry shell.
- Slice the cooled, poached pear halves horizontally almost all the way through (leave the bottom still attached) and press gently to fan the slices.
- Carefully arrange the pear halves on the frangipane, cored side down and narrow tops pointing towards the center. Gently press the pears into the filling and fan out slightly.
- Bake the tart for 30-35 minutes, or until the filling is set.
- Let cool down before serving. Store leftovers loosely covered, at room temperature for up to 2 days.