home made cakes for special days and elevenses

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Poached Pear and Frangipane Tart

My lovely friend Sarah, i.e. Scrumptious Sally, gave me the beautiful 'Tea with Bea' book for Christmas. I have never been to Bea's of Bloomsbury, but after looking at the stunning pictures in the book I am very keen to go. The chocolate cake pictured on the front cover looks especially inviting.

Though I haven't, strictly speaking, tested an entire recipe from the book as yet, I did use it to guide me through this extremely tasty pear and frangipane tart.

I used my mother-in-law's simple recipe for pears poached in red wine. This is another favourite dessert for us at Christmas time, usually served warm with a big dollop of creme fraiche. You simply bring half a pint of red wine to the boil, with a teaspoon of cinnamon, a slice of lemon rind and 3 tbsp of caster sugar, then poach six peeled pears in the red wine mix for around 40 minutes.

Two of the pears were swiftly eaten, the other four set aside to cool, before being sliced for Bea's tart.

I stuck with the pastry recipe from my GBBO walnut tart as it had turned out so well last time, but followed Bea's instructions for the frangipane. Well, sort of. I didn't have enough ground almonds so I reduced all the quantities by 20%, but still had plenty to fill the pastry case. In fact I had enough of everything to make a couple of small tarts as well.

It's not as pretty as the one in the book, but the finished tart was delicious, and I can't wait to try out some of Bea's other recipes.


  1. I love the combination of pear and frangipane and this looks lovely. I tend to poach pears in white wine these days since someone I know refused to eat red wine poached pears because the colour "wasn't right for a pear". Oh well, it takes all sorts.

  2. What a lovely warming tart- and a great flavour combination! I've been to Bea's a couple of times- it is such a delicious treat to pop there for a slice of cake (or two, or three!)

  3. I used to work about 50 metres away from Beas of Bloomsbury before I had my son, it's fortunate it wasn't there at the time as I'd have never been out of the place! Dying to take a peep inside this book!