Pear Chocolate Frangipane Tart

A walk on the dark side.

The deeply dark chocolate base in this tart is perfectly complimented by sweet juicy fruity pear slices in each bite.

Toasting, cooling and grinding your own almonds may seem an unnecessary step, but I really do think it’s worth it. It gives a chew and mouth feel that you just don’t get with shop bought ground almonds.

Ingredients

Tart dough :

190g plain flour

3 tbsp / 20g cocoa powder – plus extra for dusting

50g caster sugar

1/4 tsp salt

150g cold unsalted butter, cut into 1cm cubes

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

Frangipane :

100g almonds

3 tbsp / 40g granulated sugar

85g unsalted butter

2 eggs

1/2 tsp fine sea salt

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

110g dark chocolate, 70% cocoa solids

1 tbsp cocoa powder

1 tin pears in juice

flaked almonds, for decorating

rectangular tart tin, 12cm x 34cm / 4in x 12.5in

Tart Shell. In the bowl of a food processor blitz the flour, salt, cocoa powder and sugar until combined and lump – free. Add the cubed butter and blitz until no large lumps remain, then add the egg and vanilla and mix until it forms a ball. Tip out onto a clean work surface, knead gently with the base of your palm, then either wrap in cling film or place into a covered container and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Dust your work surface with cocoa powder (not flour, or you will lose the lush dark brown chocolate colour) and roll out the dough until it fits the tart tin. Gently press in with your fingers and place back in the refrigerator for at least another 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 180°C. Cover chilled tart shell with parchment paper, fill with baking beans and bake for 30 – 40 minutes, until fully cooked.

Frangipane. Put the dark chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and leave to melt, stirring frequently. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a food processor. blitz the almonds, sugar, cocoa powder and salt until it is like dust. Add the butter, and mix until lightened in colour, then add the egg, and vanilla. Once the chocolate has cooled slightly add it to the frangipane and blitz until no white streaks remain.

Assembly. Drain the pears and slice finely. Pour the frangipane into the now slightly cooled tart shell and arrange the pear slices on top, fanning out so they form a thin, even layer. Scatter flaked almonds over the frangipane

Bake in oven preheated to 180°C for 35 – 45 minutes. You can tell the frangipane is done when it is all slightly poofed up and has a uniformly spongey look.

Allow to cool before slicing.