Pear and Almond Frangipane Tart with Honey Semifreddo


Omigod - let me tell you (very quickly) about my morning...well I was up super early and primed to shoot a gorgeous recipe I have coming soon which I did for Bonds (vibrant green pizza - the topping is green not the base, it's not some broccoli base...). Anyhoo, 7:30am, shot set up, camera ready, tethering working (long story), pizza in the oven looking delicious, aaaand then I bumped a reflector board which bumped a backboard and hey-ho dominoes, dived to save my camera while a glass of red wine tipped over and slo-mo glug glug glugged into the carpet and spattered up the curtain. Arrggghhh. So, camera all good, arm scraped and a wee bit tender, carpet stained and curtain ruined.  All by 7:45am. I contemplated a bit of a chin wobble then thought 'stuff it', cleaned it up as best I could (oh lordy the curtain...) and rang the carpet cleaners who said they'd be with me by 1:30pm. Back on track I looked forward to seeing the cleaners until they phoned around 3pm to say they wouldn't make it today. Blergh. Big glass of wine coming up (I'm writing this Thursday evening not Friday morning), and I shall be getting that big glass to my mouth with a steady hand and no spills!!!

Right then - to the you may know I’m a sucker for tarts of any kind, big, small, sweet, savoury – you name it, I’m in. This recipe is one I shot for Fairax, and a real favourite, perfect for this time of year with a bit of an autumnal vibe. I’m not quite ready for a steamy hot pud, but I do crave something with a little more comfort factor and the sweet soft pears nestled in almond frangipane achieve it perfectly, topped with the honey semifreddo the result is outrageously good. The pears can also be served whole once poached, with a little of the semifreddo, and if you boil the poaching liquid for an extra 15 minutes once the pears are removed, you will have a lovely pear syrup to pour over them too! If you can't be faffed with the semifreddo just serve with a little vanilla bean ice cream :)

Pear and almond frangipane tart:
 5 cups water
1 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped out with the tip of a knife
1/2 tsp almond essence
peel from 1 lemon
3 Berre Bosc or William pears

Put all ingredients, (including vanilla bean seeds) except the pears in a big wide pot and bring to the boil stirring for a few minutes to dissolve sugar, then reduce to a simmer. Peel the pears then put into the simmering liquid, if they are not fully covered add a little more water to cover them, and if they bob above the surace, cut a circle of baking paper to place on top. Leave to cook for about 8-10 minutes if you have almost ripe pears and 25minutes for very firm. Test for doneness by piercing one to ensure the it is just soft but not mushy. Gently remove from the poaching liquid and stand upright to cool. Once cool core and cut into eighths - you may not use every piece, but the left over slices are delicious. Sometimes one or more of the pears may be a little brown in the centre – but fear not it will still taste wonderful! Serves 8-10

1 cup plain flour
1/4 cup ground almonds
1/2 cup icing sugar
60g chilled butter, chopped
1 egg yolk (keep white)
1/2 tsp almond essence
1 tbsp ice water

100g butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 egg and 1 egg yolk
1 1/3 cups ground almond
1 tbsp plain flour
1/2 tsp almond essence

1/4 cup icing sugar for dusting

Put flour, almonds and icing sugar in a food processor and whiz to combine. Add butter and pulse to form breadcrumbs. Add egg and yolk, almond essence and water and pulse until pastry just comes together. Tip out onto a floured bench and form into a disc. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for half an hour. Spray a 25cm removable base tart tin with cooking oil and roll pastry out with a rolling pin between two sheets of baking paper to slightly larger than the diameter of the tin. Remove one sheet of baking paper and carefully roll over the rolling pin, then unroll pastry-side-down into the tart tin. Remove top sheet of baking paper and trim, squashing any broken pieces into place. Prick the base with a fork and refrigerate for at least half an hour before baking.
Preheat oven to 180˚C. Whiz second lot of butter, caster sugar, eggs, almonds, flour and almond essence in a food processor. Line the pastry shell with baking paper and fill with baking beans or weights. Bake for 10 mins then remove paper and beans, return to the oven for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and spread frangipane evenly into base then arrange pears on top and bake for a further 25 minutes, until the frangipane is lightly golden. Cool before removing from base, sprinkle with icing sugar if desired and serve with honey semif-freddo.

Honey semifreddo:
1/3 cup runny honey
4 eggs, separated
300ml cream
1/2 cup Greek yoghurt

Put the honey and egg yolks in a bowl over a pot of simmering water and whisk until thickish and paler then take off the heat. In a separate bowl whisk egg whites with a pinch of salt until firm peaks. In another bowl whisk cream to soft peaks. Fold the yoghurt and cream together. Add egg yolks, honey and egg whites, continue folding until the mixture is smooth. Pour into a sealable container and freeze for 6 hours or over night. 


  1. It is on the list to make this weekend - it looks amazing.
    Re your red wine saga - I learnt a new tip the other evening (at the french restaurant with the tart!) if you put soda water on red wine stains it removes it. It worked a treat on hubby's jacket and shirt which got splattered with half a glass of shiraz!
    Hopefully your cleaners did the job ☺
    Now I'm dreaming of that tart ☺☺☺☺

    1. Argh - thanks so much Debbie, I wished I had tried the soda, I tried salt to draw it out, and it wasn't particularly successful! Hope you enjoy the tart, and thanks again for the tip :)

  2. Better the carpet than the camera tart looks amazing definitely one of my favourite flavour combos

    1. So true Rebecca - and the carpet cleaners have been so it's all fixed, I just need to work out how to deal with the curtain! Thanks :)

  3. sharon claussen13 June 2016 at 15:59

    I need recipes that show carbs, sugare,vitamins,and etc can you help me with this

    1. Hi Sharon, no I'm sorry I don't analyse the recipes, but I think there are some sites and apps that can do that for you - maybe worth a google? :)