Red Wine Poached Pear and Amaretto Frangipane Tart

IMG_7327Yup, I am the queen of procrastination. I had every intention of posting this recipe on Monday, but I guess life happened. And when I say ‘life’ what I really mean is coming home from work and reading Buzzfeed articles all evening happened. Girl obsessed.

But yeah, I finally got round to writing it! Snaps for Ang. Though let me just say, it is AGONISING having to write about and edit photos of a dessert you’ve made when there is no more left in the house. Absolute torture. Never again! (Till next time.)

Anyways, last weekend I decided to bake a pear and frangipane tart using pears poached in a spiced red wine and an amaretto-spiked frangipane filling. With my 13 year old cousin.

Yeah I know, such a role model. (Y)

Though, it’s pretty much the first rule of pears right? Eat with amaretto. It’s the ultimate pear-ing! Ha! Geddit? Pearing… pairing. So punny. But yeah, it just makes for the perfect combination of sweet and fruity and nutty and YUM! All day everyday please.

The second rule of pears? Poach in red wine. It’s just the shiz. Red wine poached pears is that dessert that makes you feel like a high class grown up when you eat them. #sophisticatedmofo. Plus anything that makes the whole house smell like Christmas can’t be wrong, right? Even if it is only November. Mulled wine is mulled wine people!

So a combination of poached pears and amaretto in a tart? Bliss. On. Pastry.


I started by prepping the poached pears. I peeled the pears completely and sat them in a large saucepan. I then drowned them in a whole bottle of red wine, some more water (so they were fully submerged), sugar and the spices.
IMG_7261I left this to bubble on a low heat for 30 minutes with a piece of aluminium foil on the surface of the liquid. This was to ensure the pears were fully submerged and didn’t float to the top. After 30 minutes I turned off the heat but left the pears in the mulled wine to cool and darken.

To make the shortcrust pastry, I rubbed the cooled cubed butter into the flour, salt, cinnamon and sugar to form a coarse breadcrumb texture.
IMG_7263 IMG_7267I then added the milk to bring it together to a smooth dough. (You may need to add some flour/milk to get it to the right consistency). I wrapped this in cling film and refrigerated for 30 minutes to firm up.
IMG_7269Once firm, I rolled out the pastry on a floured surface to a thickness of ½cm so it was large enough to cover my tart tin (9inches). I greased my tart tin with butter, then lay the pastry over it, tucking it in to all the edges and trimming the excess (keeping a little extra as it shrinks as it bakes). I left this to refrigerate for a further 30 minutes to firm up.
IMG_7271 IMG_7272For the filling I creamed together the softened butter with the sugar, then added the flour and ground almonds.
IMG_7279 IMG_7281I then added the beaten egg and amaretto (or you could use almond extract) and mixed to a thick yet smooth batter. Well, as smooth as ground almonds can get! I spooned this mixture into the tart case and spread so it was level.
IMG_7285 IMG_7286 IMG_7291 IMG_7296To prepare the pears, I drained them and quartered them. This was annoyingly fiddly as they had softened a fair bit. I did this by slicing in half along the core on both sides. Then cut each half in quarters, trimming off the middle core. I then cut each quarter into slices and fanned these out on top of the almond filling going around the tart.
IMG_7294 IMG_7302IMG_7306I sprinkled the top with light brown sugar and some extra ground almonds then baked at 180°C for 45-50 minutes until the frangipane was golden, spongy and a skewer came out clean when inserted into the middle. I covered mine with some aluminium foil after about 30 minutes to prevent the pastry from catching.
I served mine warm with ice cream, but it’s just as tasty when chilled!

Red Wine Poached Pear and Amaretto Frangipane Tart
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Acorns & Custard
  • For the poached pears:
  • 3 conference pears
  • 1 bottle of your favourite red wine
  • 300ml water
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick (or 1/2tsp ground)
  • For the shortcrust pastry:
  • 180g plain flour
  • ½tsp salt
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 2tbsp caster sugar
  • 100g unsalted butter, cold
  • 2tbsp milk
  • For the almond filling:
  • 100g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 3tbsp plain flour
  • 100g ground almonds, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1tbsp amaretto, or almond extract
  • light brown sugar for sprinkling
For the poached pears:
  1. Peel the pears, keeping the stalks attached.
  2. Place these into a large saucepan, then add all the remaining ingredients.
  3. Bubble on a low heat for 30 minutes. Place some cling film/aluminium foil on the surface to keep the pears fully submerged below the surface of the liquid.
  4. After 30 minutes, remove from the heat but leave to cool in the spiced wine whilst you make the rest.
For the shortcrust pastry:
  1. In a large bowl, rub the cold butter into the dry ingredients to form a coarse breadcrumb texture.
  2. Add the milk and bring together till it forms a smooth dough. You may need extra flour/milk to get the right consistency.
  3. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes to firm up.
  4. Once firm, roll out the dough on a floured surface to a thickness of ½cm, large enough to fit your tart tin (mine was a 9 inch tin).
  5. Line your greased tin with the pastry, tucking it in to all the edges. Trim the excess, keeping a little extra around the edges as it will shrink when baked.
  6. Refrigerate for a further 30 minutes.
For the almond filling and tart:
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Cream together the softened butter with the sugar.
  3. Add the flour and almonds and beat together.
  4. Add the egg and amaretto (or almond extract) and mix thoroughly to a thick but smooth batter.
  5. Spoon into the pastry case and spread the mixture so it’s levelled.
  6. Prepare the pears by draining them, and cutting into quarters and trim off the core. This will be fiddly as they will have softened.
  7. Cut each quarter into slices and fan out. Lay on top of the almond filling in any pattern you want.
  8. Sprinkle with light brown sugar and ground almonds.
  9. Bake for 45-50 minutes until the almond filling is golden, and a skewer comes away clean when inserted into the middle. Cover with aluminium foil if the pastry starts to brown too much.
  10. Serve warm with ice cream.

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