Pear Almondine (Serves 6)
I have my sister to thank for finding this recipe, it’s from Raymond Blanc’s cookbook ‘Simply Raymond’. Although I had this cookbook I hadn’t noticed this particular recipe – I think I’d overlooked it as I presumed it would be laden with gluten, but it’s totally gluten-free! When my sister served it I was smitten. It has a lovely chewy crust, it’s wonderful warm or cold – for dessert or breakfast! It’s very straightforward to make, however, as Blanc suggests, it’s worth using a tart ring rather than a tin; if you haven’t got one it will be a good investment as I assure you – you will want to make this again and again (you can buy them on Amazon). The reason for a this ring, is that by having no base it ensures that the bottom of the Almondine is cooked to perfection. It will seem a bit precarious to slide the uncooked tart onto the heated baking tray but in fact, it’s rather easy, and worth it to get the heat directly underneath for a crisp bottom.
4-6 pear halves, tinned or jarred, drained
100g unsalted butter, at room temperature plus extra for brushing the ring
100g caster sugar
100g ground almonds
1 teaspoon cornflour
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
A handful of flaked almonds (lightly toasted in a dry pan)
Icing sugar for dusting
*A 18cm x 2cm tart ring and two baking trays
- First butter the tart ring, then cut a strip of greaseproof paper to line the inside of the buttered tart ring (the butter will allow it to stick). Place the ring on a flat baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper. Place the second tray on the middle shelf of a preheated oven, 180’c fan, ready to slide the pear tart onto.
- In a large bowl, mix the softened butter and sugar. Then add the ground almonds, cornflour, vanilla bean paste and egg, and mix well. Spoon the mixture into the tart ring, spreading it evenly.
- Slice the pears in half and arrange them evenly around the outside of the tart, resting them on top of the almond sponge mixture, with the tip of each half meeting in the middle. Scatter over the almonds.
- Slide the pear tart on the greaseproof paper onto the preheated tray in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.
- Leave to cool for a few minutes before removing it from the ring.
- Before serving, dust with icing sugar.