Pear Frangipane Tart

Pear frangipane tart, or ‘tarte Bourdaloue,’ is a French classic: tender poached pears atop rum-infused frangipane all nestled into a crisp pâte sucrée crust.

The Bourdaloue tart was invented in the early 1900s by the famous pastry chef, Coquelin, at La Patisserie Bourdaloue in the Quartier de l’Opéra in Paris. The tart traditionally features poached pears, an almond cream (either frangipane or an almond custard), and is covered in crumbled macarons.

Tips for Making Pear Frangipane Tart

  • Choose pears that hold their shape while cooking. The best pear varieties for baking are Bosc, Anjou, Concorde, Conference or Williams.
  • Make sure the pears are ripe, but still a bit firm. If they’re too soft, they might break down during poaching and baking.
  • To save time, you can make the poached pears and pâte sucrée ahead of time. I made them the night before. After poaching the pears, let them cool and store them in the poaching liquid in the refrigerator. Wrap the pâte sucrée in plastic and keep it chilled in the fridge as well.
  • The recipe for pâte sucrée makes enough for two 9-inch (23cm) tart shells. The extra can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days or in the freezer for up to two months.
  • When mixing the frangipane, avoid overmixing or mixing too vigorously. Beating too much air into the frangipane creates air bubbles that make the paste rise during baking. When cooling, the frangipane will then deflate and collapse.
  • To avoid making a mess of the frangipane, I find it easier to space the pears evenly by arranging the pear halves on the frangipane before slicing. Then, one at a time, pick up each pear half, slice and fan it, and carefully return it to its place with an offset spatula.
pear frangipane tart or bourdaloue tart
  • Save

Ingredients:

Yields 1 9-inch (23cm) tart.

Pâte Sucrée:

Yields 2 9-inch (23cm) tart shells.

MetricCups
140g unsalted butter, room temperature
75g icing sugar

1 large egg
25g almond flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

250g plain flour
2/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup powdered sugar

1 large egg, room temperature
1/4 cup almond flour
1/4 teaspoon salt


2 cups all-purpose flour

Poached Pears:

MetricCups
3 pears

1 liter water
500g sugar


1/2 lemon, cut into wedges
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
3 pears

4 1/4 cups water
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar


1/2 lemon, cut into wedges
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick

Frangipane:

MetricCups
100g almond flour
100g icing sugar
8g plain flour

100g unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt

1 large egg

1 Tablespoon dark rum
1 cup almond flour
1 cup icing sugar
1 Tablespoon plain flour

7 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt

1 large egg

1 Tablespoon dark rum

Poached Pears

Fill a pot with water:

Pour 1 liter of water into a medium saucepan and toss in the lemon wedges.

Prepare the pears:

Peel the pears and slice them in half lengthwise, leaving the stems attached. Place the pears in the lemon water so they don’t oxidate and turn brown.

Add the rest of the ingredients:

Pour the sugar in the pot and add the vanilla extract, cinnamon, and cloves.

Bring to a simmer:

Set the saucepan on the stove and bring to a simmer over medium heat.

Cover:

Once the pears have come to a simmer, place a small plate in the pot to keep the pears submerged in the poaching liquid. Turn the heat down to low and continue to simmer until the pears are tender and knife pierces them easily, about 12 minutes.

Cool:

Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the pears cool in the syrup.

pot of poached pears
  • Save

Pâte Sucrée

Combine the butter and sugar:

In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a rubber spatula, combine the butter and icing sugar and mix until smooth.

Add the egg, almond flour and salt:

Add the egg, almond flour and salt to the butter mixture and mix until combined.

Add the flour:

Add the flour all at once and mix on low speed just until incorporated. The dough should just come together into a ball. As soon as it does, stop mixing or the pastry will lose its delicate short texture.

Divide:

Divide the dough into two equal discs and wrap in plastic wrap.

Rest and chill:

Set the dough in the fridge and leave to rest for at least 2 hours, or overnight.

Roll out the dough:

Try to work quickly to prevent the dough from warming up. As it warms up it sticks easier and can become hard to work with.

Unwrap the dough, dust it with flour, and place it on a lightly floured surface. Roll to 1/8 inch (3mm) thick, rolling from the center outward in all directions. Lift and rotate a bit after every few strokes and dust with flour as needed to discourage sticking.

Line the tart shell:

Carefully transfer the dough into the tart pan. Gently press the dough into place without stretching the dough or the sides will shrink while it bakes. Roll the rolling pin over the top to trim the edges. Prick the base all over with a fork and place in the refrigerator or freezer for 30 minutes while preparing the frangipane.

Frangipane

Combine the dry ingredients:

In a medium bowl, sift together the almond flour, icing sugar and flour.

Beat the butter:

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, or in a large bowl with a rubber spatula, combine the butter, salt and vanilla extract.

Add the almond mixture:

Add the almond mixture to the butter mixture and stir until it is just combined.

Add the egg:

Gradually add the beaten egg and continue to mix until it is incorporated.

Add the rum:

Add the rum and mix until incorporated.

Assemble the Tart

Preheat the oven:

Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F).

Fill the tart shell:

Transfer the frangipane into the tart shell and spread evenly with an offset spatula.

Slice the pears:

Remove the pears from the poaching liquid and blot dry. Remove the cores and the inside portion of the stem. Slice each pear half horizontally in thin slices.

Arrange the pears:

Arrange the sliced pear halves on the frangipane filling, fanning them slightly, flat-side down, alternating them stem-end up and stem-end down.

arranging the poached pears into the bourdaloue tart
  • Save

Bake the tart:

Bake the tart for 35-40 minutes at 190°C (375°F). The crust and the frangipane should be golden brown and a knife or wooden skewer should come out clean when inserted.

Make the glaze:

While the tart is cooling, combine the apricot jam and water in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Once it comes to a simmer take off the heat.

Glaze the tart:

Use a pastry brush to apply a thin coat of the apricot glaze to the tart.

Let the tart cool completely and serve at room temperature. The tart should keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.