Pear & Chocolate Frangipane Tart
Ripe pears are the perfect match for the decadent chocolate frangipane filling. Serve this pear and chocolate frangipane tart warm, with a dollop of vegan cream for a comforting Autumn dessert.
Pear season is here, so they’re ripe and ready for picking! I have a pear tree near my house, so I couldn’t resist picking a basket full of fresh, ripe pears. I made this tart last year and it was a hit with my family so I made it again this year to share on the blog. This tart is super easy to make, it's vegan, and can easily be made gluten-free by using a gluten-free flour alternative to make the crust.
How Does Chocolate & Frangipane Tart Taste?
A flaky shortcrust pastry case is filled with a rich and velvety chocolate frangipane made of ground almonds, cocoa powder, and melted chocolate. This tart is topped with fresh pear slices and baked until the top is golden and the pears have softened. The delicate flavour of the pears is complimented beautifully by the chocolate frangipane. If you're a chocolate lover, you'll be sure to like this dessert.
What is Frangipane?
Frangipane is a variation of soft, spreadable custard that bakers commonly used as a filling in tarts, galettes, and puff pastries. Frangipane is a mixture of butter, eggs, ground almonds and sugar. I created an egg-free frangipane for this recipe, and it turned out just as delicious!
How to Store Pear & Chocolate Frangipane Tart
This tart is best eaten on the day its baked, as the crust will lose its crispness the longer it’s left to wait. If you’re not eating it right away, you can store it for 2-3 days in an airtight container at room temperature, and it can be served either hot or cold.
Can this Tart be Frozen
Yes, you can freeze tart, but as I’ve mentioned already, this tart is most delicious when it’s eaten fresh. If you’re going to freeze it, then wait for it to cool down completely once it’s been baked, then place it in a container or wrap it in cling film, and store in the freezer for up to a month. To defrost, remove it from the freezer and leave out room temperature for around 4 hours, or until it’s thawed. If you’d like to serve the tart warm, then you can bake it after 180C for 10 minutes.
Can I Use Store-Bought Shortcrust Pastry for this Tart?
Yes, ready-to-roll shortcrust pastry can be used instead of making your own. If you want to save even more time, you could use a ready baked pastry crust, but I promise you it won’t taste as good as a homemade pie crust.
Pear & Chocolate Frangipane Tart Ingredients
Here’s everything you’ll need for this recipe – consider it your shopping list!
For the Shortcrust pastry:
Plain flour – Used to make the vegan shortcrust pastry.
Sugar – A bit of sugar will give the shortcrust pastry a subtle sweetness and a rich taste. You can use either caster sugar or granulated sugar.
Vegan block butter – I used the Flora vegan butter block, but ant plant-based butter will do. using a block butter will give the shortcrust pastry a light and crumbly texture. I wouldn’t recommend using margarine as it won’t create the same outcome.
Sunflower or Vegetable oil – I find that adding a bit of oil to the dough helps to give to shortcrust pastry a flaky texture.
For the filling:
Ground Almonds – the ground almonds are what gives the frangipane a velvety and light texture.
Baking powder - Additional raising agents will help lighten the texture of the frangipane.
Plain flour – flour is added to the bind the ingredients in the frangipane and to give it a firmer texture.
Unsweetened Almond Milk- Unsweetened almond milk is my go-to plant-based milk when it comes to cooking and baking. Depending on which brand you use, the taste is quite mild so it’s great for both sweet and savoury dishes. You could substitute almond milk with other neutral tasting, unsweetened plant-based milks such as oat or soy milk.
Maple Syrup – used to sweeten the frangipane. Alternative you can use agave syrup or golden syrup.
Vanilla extract – the vanilla extract adds a lovely flavour, but it is optional. You could use almond extract instead.
Cacao powder: I've used cacao, which is the raw, unprocessed version of cocoa, but either one can be used in this recipe.
Chocolate: You'll need some good quality vegan chocolate. You can use either milk chocolate or dark chocolate. I prefer to use chocolate chips as they melt faster.
Espresso Powder: Espresso powder has a magical ability to bring out the rich caramel and darker spice notes of chocolate, making this tart taste even more chocolaty.
Lemon Juice: A bit of lemon juice will help to enhance the chocolaty flavour.
For the toppings:
Fresh pears – not only do the pear slices look beautiful on top of the tart, but they also add extra tartness and a lovely texture when baked.
How to Make Pear & Chocolate Frangipane Tart
To make the shortcrust pastry, place the flour, sugar, salt, vegan butter, sunflower oil and 2-3 tbsp cold water in a large bowl and mix until the ingredients start to come together. Knead the dough for a few minutes until a smooth dough has formed. Cover the dough with cling film and place in fridge to chill for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/356°F/gas mark 4. Lightly dust a clean surface with flour and use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to create a ½ cm thick circle big enough to fit an 8-9 inch tart tin. Lift away the dough using the rolling pin and place into the tart tin. Don’t worry if the dough breaks apart – just use leftover pieces of the dough to fill in any cracks. Press the edges down and trim away the excess dough and prick the base of the pastry shell with a fork.
Line the pastry case with a large piece of baking paper. To make it easier to remove the baking beans, make sure the baking paper is large enough to extend out from the sides of the pastry case. Fill the lined pastry case with baking beans, and then place in the oven to bake for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove the baking paper and baking beans, and bake for 7 more minutes until lightly golden. Use any leftover dough to create decorative shapes to add on top of the frangipane, and bake them for 5 minutes.
Remove the shortcrust pastry from the oven and let it cool down for 10 minutes while you prepare the chocolate frangipane. To make the frangipane, combine the ground almonds with the plain flour, baking powder, vanilla extract, maple syrup, cacao powder, espresso powder, melted chocolate, lemon juice and almond milk until you get smooth and creamy consistency. Spoon the frangipane into the tart shell and spread it evenly. Poach the peeled pears in boiling water for around 10 minutes, then cut into wedges and arrange on top of the tart in a circular pattern.
Bake the tart at 180°C/356°F/gas mark 4, for 30-35 minutes, or until the filling has set and the pears have softened. Brush the top of the pears with the melted apricot jam to create a glaze. Allow the tart to cool down for 10-15 minutes before slicing.
Notes and Tips
I’d recommend you use a tart tin with a Removable Loose Bottom so that the tart is easier to remove once it’s baked.
I recommend using the gram measurements, rather than the cup conversions. When it comes to baking, accuracy is key, and cup conversions are never as accurate as grams.
For the best, crispy pastry, make sure that you don’t overwork the dough. Before rolling the dough out, place in the fridge to chill for 15 minutes.
When rolling out the dough, make sure to keep it about ½ cm thick – if the pastry is too thick, it won’t cook through, and it’ll be difficult to slice.
Make sure your vegan butter and milk are chilled when preparing the shortcrust pastry as it’ll give it a crisper texture when baked.