Bourbon Creme Anglaise & Pear Frangipane Tart

by grainnep

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I am going to be honest – this recipe is all about the creme anglaise, The pear tart is just a vehicle to deliver the taste – a custard delivery system really – the tart is great and full of flavour but definitely taking second stage to the creme anglaise. My other half rescued the bourbon from a party and I’m not sure he quite intended for it to be used for cooking but it is now in the kitchen – possession being 9/10ths of the law and all that. This is delicious, warming, creamy and with a delicious adult only sweet kick from the bourbon. This will be great with lots of autumn and winter desserts apple tart, mince pies and Christmas pudding too, come Christmas.

Bourbon Creme Anglaise
1 vanilla pod
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
3 large egg yolks
30ml Bourbon

Scrape the vanilla seeds into a pan with the milk and add the pod.
Bring to a simmer over a medium heat
Whisk the eggs and sugar together until the mixture is pale yellow
Whisk a little of the hot milk into the egg sugar mix to warm the eggs
(It is handy to put a damp cloth under the bowl to stop it moving round when you are pouring).
and then slowly whisk in the rest of the milk.
Pour back into the pot, put back on the heat but turn the heat down so it is gently heating the mixture. Stir all the while until the mix thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.
Strain the mixture into a bowl and set it over a bowl of ice to cool it for about 10 minutes.
Stir in the bourbon and use or store in the fridge in an airtight container with some cling on the top to prevent a milk skim forming.

Pear Frangipane Tart
Pastry
225g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
110g butter
50gr icing sugar
2 egg yolks
For the frangipane
125g butter, softened
125g caster sugar
2 eggs
125g ground almonds
1 tbsp plain flour
For the pears
250g caster sugar, plus 2 tsp extra
4 good-sized pears
1/2 vanilla pod

Oven at 190C / Use a 23cm loose bottom tin.

For the pastry
Tip the flour into a food processor. Add the butter and sugar and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolks and, pulse until it comes together. Tip out, Knead lightly, until it comes together in a smooth ball – you might need to add 1 teaspoon cold water if the dough is dry and crumbly. Wrap in cling film and chill for at least an hour.

Make the frangipane
Cream the butter and sugar together. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then fold in the ground almonds and flour. Mix well and chill until needed.

Poach the pears
Put the sugar in a saucepan, pour in 500ml water and place over a medium heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Peel the pears and add to the pan. Scrape in the vanilla seeds. If needed add some more water to just cover the pears.
Cover with a piece of parchment paper and simmer for about 15 mins until tender.
Remove the pears to a plate to cool.

Finish the tart
Roll out the pastry to a circle large enough to line the tart tin. Patch it together in the tin and mould it up the sides if it breaks a bit. Trim off any excess pastry and spread the frangipane evenly on top. Cut the pears in half lengthways and scoop out the core.
Cut each pear half in slices, fan them out and arrange on top.
Bake for about 50 minutes until the filling is set. Sprinkle with some caster sugar and a few slivered almonds if you like and bake in the oven for a further 10 minutes to finish off the browning. Cool in the tin slightly, then remove and transfer to a wire rack.

Serve with the bourbon anglaise