Some desserts have the power to evoke memories and transport you to another place. These pear & frangipane tartlets are that type of dessert – one rich bite of brown butter crust and creamy almond filling conjure up visions of a Parisian cafe, no plane ticket required.
These tarts are exceptional and well worth making for yourself, your Valentine, or to share with friends. If you are pastry averse, you’ll appreciate the press-in brown butter crust, and the filling comes together quickly in a food processor. In lieu of tartlets, use a 9-inch round tart pan.
Pear & Frangipane Tartlets
Brown Butter Crust
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted and finely ground
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
6 Tbsp unsalted butter
5 ounces almond paste
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg + 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp flour
pinch of salt
1 tsp Disaronno (or 1/8 tsp almond extract)
1 tsp lemon zest
1 Anjou pear, peeled and cored
Preheat oven to 350°F and spray six 3 1/2-inch tartlet pans with nonstick spray; place on a baking sheet. Whisk together flour, ground almonds, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Cook butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until it foams, turns clear, and then turns a deep brown, about 6 minutes.
Add brown butter to flour mixture and stir until incorporated. Press 1/4 cup mixture in the bottom and up the sides of prepared tartlet pans. Bake for 10 minutes, until slightly puffed and set. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Increase oven temperature to 375°F. Place almond paste and butter in a food processor; process until blended. Add egg and egg yolk; process until smooth. Add sugar, flour, salt, Disaronno, and lemon zest; process until combined. Divide mixture evenly among cooled tartlet shells; spread into an even layer with an offset spatula.
Slice pear crosswise into 1/8-inch thick slices; arrange slices over filling and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake for 15 minutes, until puffed and golden. Cool tartlets completely on a wire rack before releasing from the pan. Store leftovers overnight in an airtight container in the refrigerator; bring to room temperature before serving.
Yield – 6 tartlets
Calories – 445 (per tartlet)
Carbs – 45