A rustic free-form tart, like this one with pears delicately fanned across a layer of frangipane, is a beautiful dessert for the fall table, and will impress your guests at any dinner party or after the Thanksgiving meal. If you like, you can garnish the galette with toasted sliced almonds or finely chopped candied ginger.
For the frangipane:
1 1/2 cups (6 oz./185 g) sliced almonds
2/3 cup (5 oz./155 g) sugar
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract
2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
3 firm but ripe pears, preferably Comice or Anjou
1 batch Basic Pie Dough
1 egg beaten with 2 tsp. water
1/4 cup (2 1/2 oz./75 g) apricot jam
Position a rack in the upper third of an oven and preheat to 425°F (220°C).
To make the frangipane, in a food processor, combine the almonds, sugar and salt and process until the
almonds are finely ground. Add the eggs, vanilla and almond extracts and melted butter and process until the mixture comes together. Set aside.
Cut the pears in half through the stem end and remove the cores with a melon baller. Slice the pears very thinly vertically, stopping 1/2 inch (12 mm) from the stem so the pear slices stay attached at the stem end.
On a sheet of parchment paper, roll out the pie dough into a round 13 inches (33 cm) in diameter and about 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick. Trim off any ragged edges to make an even 12-inch (30-mm) round.
Evenly spread the frangipane over the dough, leaving a 2-inch (5-cm) border uncovered. Fan the pears in a decorative pattern on top of the frangipane, cutting the pear halves in half vertically if necessary to make them fit. Fold the edges of the dough up and over the filling, forming loose pleats all around the edge and leaving the center open. Using the sheet of parchment paper, transfer the galette and parchment to a rimmed baking sheet. Using a pastry brush, brush the edges of the galette with the egg wash.
Bake the galette until the pears are tender when pierced with a knife and the crust is golden brown, 50 to 55 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
While the galette is cooling, in a small saucepan over low heat, warm the jam until it is liquefied. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve set over a small bowl. Using a pastry brush, gently brush the top of the tart with a thin coating of the jam. Cut the galette into slices and serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 6 to 8.
Williams-Sonoma Test Kitchen