Pear frangipane cake or tart?

We would like both, thank you very much.  We didn’t feel like having the rich and velvety custardy or ganachey filling, so we found a recipe on the BBC The Hairy Bikers site but have tweaked it a little and replaced the ready made puff pastry with our own home made chocolate pastry.

This pear and almond tart has swirls of melted chocolate marbled through and we had it with double dollops of vanilla (store bought) ice-cream!


You will need a 26cm/10 1/2 inch loose-based fluted tin, roughly 3.5cm/1 1/4 inch deep. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

Ingredients – chocolate pastry 

  • 280g plain flour
  • 200g cold butter
  • 50g cocoa powder (I used Dutch Processed)
  • 120g icing sugar
  • 1 egg yolk, pinch of salt

To make the pastry, whiz all ingredients in a food processor and mix until the pastry forms a ball around the blade. Turn it out onto your bench top and knead it gently to bring it together. Flatten it into a disc and wrap it tightly in plastic film. Chill for 45-60 minutes or until pastry is firm, but supple enough to roll.

(Alternatively, you can put the flour in a mound on a board and make a well in the middle. Cut the butter into pieces and place it in the well with the cocoa powder, icing sugar, the yolk and salt. Mix these ingredients with a fork, working in a little flour at the same time. using your finger tips, gradually work in the flour, until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Knead the dough until smooth. Form into a ball, wrap in cling film, and refrigerate.)

Roll out the pastry and use to line the tin. Bake blind for 15minutes. Remove the beans and parchment paper, and allow to cool.


Ingredients – filling

100g plain dark chocolate, broken into pieces

  • 150g softened butter
  • 150g castor sugar
  • 150g ground almonds (almond meal)
  • 50g self raising flour
  • 3 free range eggs
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 firm pears (about 500g) – I used 2 Bosch pears
  • 15g flaked almonds (I omitted this)
  • 1tsp icing sugar, to sift
  1. Melt the chocolate – use either the microwave or a double boiler until the chocolate is smooth.
  2. Put the butter, ground almonds, sugar, flour and eggs in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric whisk until smooth and fluffy.
  3. Spoon all the mixture into the tart shell, working it around the outside before working towards the middle of the pastry case. Drop spoonfuls of the melted chocolate on top and draw the tip of a knife through the mixture to lightly marble.
  4. Put lemon juice in a large bowl. Peel, core and cut into quarters. Toss the pears with the juice to prevent discolouration. Arrange the pears around the tart, cut side down, with the pointy ends towards the middle, pressing gently into the almond batter.
  5. Bake on the baking tray for 30 minutes If you are using almond flakes, scatter over the tart and lower the temperature to 180 degrees and cook for a further 30 minutes.. As I did not want to add the almond flakes, I have continued to let it bake at the same temperature for another 20 minutes until it is nicely brown and firm to touch.

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