To Steal a Heart K. C. Bateman

My new historical, To Steal a Heart, is set in Napoleonic France, so what better than a dessert just like my hero, Nicolas—something decadent, irresistible, and deliciously French? I give you: Pear and Almond Galette Frangipane.

I love this recipe because it’s laughably easy, yet looks really impressive. Everyone assumes you’ve spent hours slaving over a hot oven when you have, in fact, spent most of the afternoon curled up with a cup of tea, some chocolate, and a fabulous romance novel.

The combination of marzipanny-almondy-paste-goodness and the pears is a match made in culinary heaven. Enjoy, mes enfants!


  

Oven to 375F

You will need:

  • 1 sheet ready-made puff pastry
  • 1 can sliced pears

Frangipane mix:

  • 4oz almond paste (half a small can)
  • 1 stick (4oz) butter
  • 1 oz sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

      

  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • pinch of salt

To finish:

  • Melted butter
  • Apricot jelly or jam

(P.S. If you don’t have almond paste you can use marzipan, but omit the extra sugar above.)


 

Instructions

  1. Roll out the pastry and cut into circles. (For individual tartes, use 10cm circles, or just do one big tarte.) Prick with a fork all over.
  2. Cream together almond paste, butter, and sugar (either in food processor or by hand in a bowl) then add egg and vanilla extract and mix again.
  3. Add flour and pinch of salt, and mix.
  4. Put mix in piping bag and pipe onto pastry circles, leaving a small gap of pastry (1cm) at the edge. (Or simply spoon the almond mixture on if you can’t be bothered to pipe it; a water-heated spoon works well for this to prevent sticking.)
  5. Arrange pears artfully on top in fans.
  6. Brush with melted butter and put in oven at 375F for 10-15 minutes until golden brown.
  7. Cool, then brush with apricot glaze. (Microwave a tablespoon of jelly for 30 seconds in a mug to melt.) Finish with a dusting of powdered sugar.
  8. Congratulate yourself and open a nice bottle of wine! Voila! You are a European culinary goddess. Serve with cream, if you have any.

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