Thursday, November 24, 2005
A couple of weeks ago my sister-in-law Stephanie mentioned a pie she'd heard advertised on the radio that really appealed to her. It was an Apple Pear Chardonnary Pie. A week or so later when I was planning what to bring to their house for Thanksgiving dessert, I decided I would look for a recipe for something similar. Only problem was, what I remembered her saying was pear and hazelnut.
So I went looking on the web and found a number of recipes for pear and hazelnut tarts. I was thinking, "boy, this seems to be the flavor pairing of the moment". In fact, I found a bakery review that talked about the most popular item being the pear and hazelnut tart. I settled on a recipe for Hazelnut Frangipane Pear Tart which I originally found on an Australian recipe site, but I've linked to the Food Network recipe, which I found when looking for the Pate Sable recipe and which I think is the original.
As Bob said, when I was describing what had happened, this was serendipity. I went looking for something I thought I'd remembered (but I hadn't) and never would have dreamed up on my own (but I did) and found a really wonderful recipe that I will surely make again.
The recipe is not that difficult. The pate sable is easy to work with and making the frangipane is a snap. The hardest part is neatly slicing the pears and the most nerve-wracking part is removing the still hot tart from the pan (you must remove the ring and the bottom). I did lose one good-sized chunk of crust during this exercise, but I stuck it back on with a little jam and you could hardly tell.
This was my first experience with frangipane and I am sold! This variation using hazelnuts is really wonderful - the toasted hazelnuts are so fragrant and the roasted pears on top are the perfect complement to the sweet, nutty confection below. A nice little touch in this recipe is the thin layer of raspberry jam between the crust and the frangipane.
You know what the best part was? Stephanie bought that Apple Pear Chardonnary Pie - but she liked my tart better! :)