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
- 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
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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.
- Add flour and pinch of salt, and mix.
- 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.)
- Arrange pears artfully on top in fans.
- Brush with melted butter and put in oven at 375F for 10-15 minutes until golden brown.
- 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.
- Congratulate yourself and open a nice bottle of wine! Voila! You are a European culinary goddess. Serve with cream, if you have any.