Pear frangipane tart

18 February 2010
by Phuoc

Last year for Christmas I offered to bake something for Ant’s family for afternoon tea. One of his aunties has an intolerance to gluten so my challenge was to bake something that was GLUTEN-FREE so everyone could enjoy it. I am fortunate enough to not have an intolerance to gluten but I’m sure that doesn’t stop those that are from having something sweet. Gluten-free does not have to equate to taste-free. I must admit, I didn’t go all out and purchase tapioca starch, rice flour, amaranth flour, xanthan gum… (I wouldn’t know where to start looking!) but instead, I substituted flour with gluten-free flour. In the weeks leading up to Christmas, I’ve been searching for a perfect dough recipe that isn’t too fiddly and this one seems promising.. I stumbled upon this recipe from Anita of Dessert First and found it to be pretty easy.

Oh and did I mention that I had to make this tart thrice?! The tarts turned out fine the first two times but the third time wasn’t so great; I used a different shape tart tin and had to rush off to somewhere, so I left it to my sister to look after.. Big mistake. It wasn’t fully cooked in the middle so when I served it the day after, the centre turned into a sloppy mess (it still tasted nice regardless)! Luckily I don’t have photographic evidence for this misfortune. Lesson learnt; don’t leave it to your siblings to do things for you OR teach them how to bake properly..


Makes a 36x13cm tart


Poached Pears

3 ripe medium pears

3 cups water

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 cinnamon stick

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon salt


1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour

1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

9 tablespoon butter, very cold, cut into small pieces

1 egg


6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

2/3 cup caster sugar

3/4 cup ground blanched almonds

2 teaspoons gluten-free flour

2 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 teaspoons almond extract


For the pears:

  1. Combine the water, sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon stick, vanilla, and salt in a saucepan large enough to hold all the pears and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
  2. Meanwhile, peel the pears, cut them in half and then remove the seed core and fibrous cores.
  3. Add the pear halves to the simmering syrup and reduce heat to low. Cover, and let pears poach for about 10 minutes. The pears will become slightly translucent, very tender, and easily pierced with a knife or skewer.
  4. Let the pears cool in the liquid until room temperature before using. Or, you can store them in their liquid in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Also, leftover syrup can be used again.


For the tart shell:

  1. Put the flour, confectioner’s sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse a few times to combine.
  2. Add the pieces of cold butter and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  3. Add the egg and combine in several pulses until the dough starts to turn from dry to clumpy. [Do not let the dough form one giant ball or it will be be overworked – just keep checking after every pulse and when the dough pieces look like they will stick when you press them together, stop].
  4. Butter a tart tin with removable bottom. Tip the dough out into the tin and press into the bottom and up the sides with your fingers. [You probably will not need all the dough – save the extra for patching the shell after you bake it. Do not press the dough too hard – just enough for it to form to the tin].
  5. Freeze the tart shell for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven to 160°C (320°F).
  7. Partially bake the tart shell with pie weights (or rice) and bake for 20 minutes, until the shell is dry and lightly colored. [If any places have cracked, repair with the extra dough. Let cool on a rack until room temperature].


For the frangipane:

  1. Combine the butter and sugar and mix until smooth.
  2. Add the ground almonds and flour and blend together. Then add the eggs, proceeding until the mixture is combined.
  3. Add in the vanilla and almond extracts just to blend. The frangipane can be used immediately or you can store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. If it becomes too firm in the fridge, let it sit at room temperature for a while to soften before using.


To finish the tart:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C (320°F). Spread the frangipane evenly into the cooled tart shell.
  2. Take the poached pears out of their liquid and drain them on paper towels.
  3. Cut each pear half crosswise into 5mm-thick slices. Do not separate the pear half yet.
  4. Slide a spatula or other flat utensil underneath the pear so you can transfer the entire half onto the tart.
  5. Lightly press on the pear to fan the slices. Slide the pear half onto the frangipane carefully.
  6. Repeat with other pear halves, spacing them evenly beside one another.
  7. Place the tart on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 45-50 minutes, until the frangipane is puffed, golden brown, and a skewer comes out clean.
  8. Cool the tart on a wire rack.
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  1. Paris Pastry

    Yum! I love fruit tarts! Yours looks delicious! Beautiful blog!

  2. Phuoc

    Thanks Paris Pastry for dropping by!

  3. Nook

    Hey Phuoc! hehe. This fruit tart looks yummy. I want to get back into baking too >< I pulled out some of my old dessert books and have been flipping through. The photos are soo good! hehe =)

  4. Phuoc

    Nhung, I want you to get back into baking! At least try to make something once a month. You have no excuse now.. It doesn’t take that long. I know how much you loved it and know much joy it brought to you. Otherwise, I’m going to have as my guinea pig and make you fat! NO EXCUSES! 🙂

  5. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella

    Wow you did a great job! Hehe yes I agree don’t leave cooking babysitting duties to the wrong people. I left a Chinese NY cake with my mum and she promptly cut it up before I had a chance to photograph it. Then she tried putting the pieces back together -it didn’t quite work! 😛

  6. rarrarla

    Omg I totally didn’t realise they were gluten-free! Must have mind blanked when you told me… It was yum! I should stop bagging out gluten-free stuff then… haha

  7. Phuoc

    Lorraine: Hehe.. Yeah that’s a fail moment right there.. Parents.. they seem to think they know what’s right 😛 I hope you still managed to get a good shot though.

    Amy: Well the first batch (the one you got) probably wasn’t but they pretty much tasted the same anyway! I had a really yummy flourless cake (which I didn’t even know it was flourless) from Zumbo last week and definately has turned my view around with gluten-free food.

  8. Anh

    I am so HAPPY to find a Aus viet blogger! yay!!

    And yes, I know your pain about leaving my sister to cook!

  9. Phuoc

    Hey Anh! Thank you for popping by for a visit. Do you know if there are many of us? Seems like most are Malaysian…

  10. Emma

    This tart looks delicious, it’s one of my favorite associations:pears and frangipane, hmmmm!!!(It’s called a “tarte Bourdaloue” in France)
    Lovely pictures, I am hungry now!

  11. Phuoc

    Bon Soir Emma! Thank you for dropping by. I totally agree with you; there’s something special about poached pears and frangipane, especially when the pear is poached with cinnamon… Mmm…

  12. Jen (

    Haha, delegation is a tough job! Gorgeous tart by the way – it makes me really want to whip out my Julia Child book again!

  13. Leona

    Hey Phuoc!

    YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY you have a food blog whoo hoO!!! its great to finally put a name a face. My god that tart looks pro and soo good. Look forward to reading more of your entries.

  14. Phuoc

    Jen: You should definately try it out. I love pastries but sometimes they look so hard (especially puff pastry). I recently bought a Michel Roux pastry book and he makes everything seem so easy. Will definately try out his recipes.

    Leona: Thanks for dropping by. YAY for the food blog!! HAHA.. 😀 Oh it is good.. Sweet, buttery, crumberly (if that’s a word).. it’s got it all 🙂 Looking forward to meeting you one day..

  15. silvia bedrossian (sydney) (australia)

    Complimenti vivissimi, cara Phuoc!
    Davvero Bravissima!
    I love your Blog and I am definitely going to be a regular visitor of your site.
    The Pear Tart looks absolutely scrumptious…. I’d looooove to attempt making it…. but with my culinary experiences… I’m pretty sure it will be a flop….But the temptation is really great!
    Looking forward to seeing you tonight.

  16. Trissa

    Thanks for the recipe – more and more of my friends I have discovered are gluten intolerant so having something like this will come in handy!

  17. betty

    good work on the tart- as long as it taste nice im sure no one minded the tiny mess :O)

  18. Yen

    Hi Phuoc, your tart looks delish!

    Yay, for another Aus Viet blogger! I’m also out there in inner west sydney.

  19. Phuoc

    Silvia: Grazie per i tuoi complimenti! Spero che ho inspirato tu.
    I really want you to try it out and you have to tell me how it goes!

    Trissa: Hi! Thank you for visiting my blog. I know what you mean by that. I think the way food and society has become nowadays is not that great; there are so many kids out there that are severely alergic to so many different foods and people are developing an intolerance to either gluten or lactose. I want to try make some more yummy gluten-free products..

    Betty: Hehe.. Thanks Betty! Yeah, the boy’s aunt was very appreciative of the efforts that I went through to make this for her and everyone seem to enjoy it. Although there were a few comments about the almond flavour being strong; maybe I’ll reduce it next time..

    Yen: Hi Yen! Thanks for popping by *hi5* to another Viet food blooger! I’ve had a quick look on your site and it looks cool! I need to start learning how to make more Vietnamese food.. I’ve only tried Banh Xeo.. One day I’ll tackle Pho 🙂

  20. Cheri

    I love frangipane tarts. This pear one looks delicious!

  21. Phuoc

    Hi Cheri! Thanks for the visit.. They are delicious, you have to give them a go when you get the chance 🙂

  22. Jackie at

    absolutely love frangipane! I recently made the same version but with homemade hazelnut cream. Yum!

  23. Emma @CakeMistress

    Ooh, lovely Pear & Frangipane Tart. Glad I found your blog. Nice to see another Australian baker!

  24. Phuoc

    Jackie: Mmmmm… I gotta try that out. Love hazelnut!

    Emma: Thanks for popping by 🙂

  25. Kitchen Butterfly

    My mum always said, if you want something done… it yourself! This photo evidence looks good…..though I’m not a big fan of frangipane…even though I love ALMONDS

  26. Phuoc

    Yeah I’ve learnt that so many times… That’s weird hey? How you like certain foods prepared one way, even though it’s the same thing Eg my boyfriend doesn’t really like hommus but likes chickpeas whilst I’m the reversal..

  27. Bex

    That looks so good. You have so many recipes for bex kitchen to try!

  28. Phuoc

    Bex: Thank you and good luck!

  29. The Cooking Chook

    I’ve been searching for a pear and frangipane tart and I do have a few friends that are also gluten intolerant so this recipe ticks the boxes with me. Can’t wait to have a crack at this! It looks amazing!

  30. Phuoc

    The Cooking Chook: Awesome! I hope you and your friends enjoy this 🙂

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