Pear & Fragipane Tart

Mondays were made for pâte sucrée. A little overdone but color = flavor!

INGREDIENTS

Tart Shell
121 g powdered sugar
190 g unsalted butter
2 eggs (75 g)
1 vanilla bean
279 g plain flour
70 g cornstarch
2 g salt

Filling

2 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 1⁄2 cups raw unblanched whole almonds, finely ground
2⁄3 cup sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon almond liquor
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1⁄4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
2 pears, peeled, quartered and cored
1/3 cup apricot jam

DIRECTIONS

Grease fluted pie plate with butter and set aside.

In a bowl, add flour, cornstarch, and salt and stir until combined.  Set aside.

Using stand mixer with paddle attachment cream sugar and butter. Add eggs one at a time until evenly combined.

Slice vanilla been in half and scrape out and add to butter sugar mixture.

Add the flour mixture to stand mixer and on a low speed, mix until just combined then use a spatula to ensure flour is mixed in.

Transfer to parchment paper, flatten into a disk and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Roll out dough to 13×13 sq and press into greased, fluted pie pan. Leave the dough hanging over and trim after baking. Prick base and freeze for 10 minutes.

Line pastry with parchment paper/aluminum foil.  Fill with pie weights and bake for 20 minutes. Remove paper/foil and then bake for 5 min more. Remove from oven and let cool while making filling.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and cook until golden brown. Remove and let cool. In a bowl, stir together the ground almonds, sugar, eggs, almond liquor and vanilla extract, salt, lemon zest and melted butter. Spread evenly in the tart shell. Slice each pear quarter crosswise into slices 1/8 inch thick, keeping each one together. Lift using an offset spatula and place where desired on top of filling.

Bake the tart until the filling is firm to the touch in the center and slightly golden, 40 to 45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Cover sides of crust with foil of browning too quickly.

Warm jam in a small saucepan over low heat until it liquefies. Pour through a sieve over a small bowl. Using a pastry brush, gently brush the top of the tart with a thin coating of jam when it comes out of the oven.