Frangipane tart with caramelised quince and pear


  • Serves 16 people

  • 200 gm caster sugar
  • 200 gm unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 200 gm almond meal
  • 1 tbsp brandy
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • To serve: mascarpone
  • Flaky pastry
  • 450 gm (3 cups) plain flour
  • 300 gm unsalted butter, chilled, coarsely chopped
  • Caramelised quince and pear
  • 750 ml (3 cups) verjuice
  • 100 gm caster sugar
  • 4 quince (about 800gm), peeled, cored, cut into wedges and placed in acidulated water (see note)
  • 4 beurre bosc pears (about 800gm), peeled, cored and quartered
01   For flaky pastry, process flour and butter in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. Combine 150ml iced water and 1 tsp salt, add to flour mixture and process until dough just comes together but is not completely smooth (you should still be able to see small pieces of butter). Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, knead gently until smooth, form into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours. Working quickly, roll out pastry to 3mm thick on a lightly floured surface, ensuring dough doesn’t get too warm. Line a lightly greased 28cm-diameter loose-bottomed flan tart tin or pie dish with pastry. Trim edges, leaving a 1½cm overhang. Fold in extra pastry, crimp edges with your fingers, prick base with a fork, then refrigerate for 1 hour.
02   Meanwhile, for caramelised quince and pear, preheat oven to 180C. Combine verjuice and sugar in a large saucepan and cook, stirring to dissolve sugar. Place quince and pear in a large baking dish, pour over syrup, cover with baking paper and foil, and bake until just tender (20-30 minutes). Transfer fruit and syrup to a large frying pan over high heat and cook, turning occasionally, until syrup is reduced and fruit is caramelised (20-25 minutes). Set aside.
03   Reduce oven to 170C. Blind bake tart case until dry (15-20 minutes, see note). Remove baking paper and weights and bake until golden (8-10 minutes).
04   Meanwhile, beat sugar and butter in an electric mixer until pale and creamy. Add almond meal and mix to combine. Add brandy, 1 egg and a pinch of salt, and stir to combine. Add remaining egg and milk and beat until pale and fluffy. Spoon into pastry case, smooth top, and bake until crust is golden and filling is set – centre should spring back when lightly pressed (45-60 minutes). Transfer to a wire rack and cool slightly in pan before turning out. Serve warm with warm caramelised quince and pear and mascarpone. Leftover tart may be kept for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Note Acidulated water is water with the addition of lemon juice, which prevents discolouration. For blind baking, line a pastry-lined tart tin with baking paper, then fill with weights (ceramic, rice and dried beans work best).
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