Cranberry Pear Frangipane

This recipe has some impressively professional results! While it does have multiple steps, each one is fairly simple and can be done ahead of time.

Cranberry Pear Frangipane

Category: Food & Drinks, Food Recipes, Holiday Recipes

Cranberry Pear Frangipane


  • For the poached pears:
  • 3 unripe Riviera pears
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 star anise
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • For the tart crust:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup and 3 tablespoons butter, cold
  • For the frangipane filling:
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup and 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom


  1. Making the tart crust: In a food processor, combine all dry ingredients and orange zest, and pulse until well combined.
  2. Add cubed, cold butter, and pulse until the butter is in fine pieces.
  3. Add the egg yolk and vanilla extract, and pulse until the dough comes together.
  4. On a clean counter, knead the dough until it is smooth.
  5. Roll the dough to fit a 10-inch tart pan – it should be a little less than 1/4-inch thick.
  6. Butter the tart pan, and press the dough into the pan, trimming any excess.
  7. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.
  8. Once done chilling, blind bake the crust. This can be done by lining the inside of the dough with parchment paper before filling the tart with baking weights (pie weights or dried beans), and baking at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove the weights and parchment paper, and bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until golden. To prepare ahead of time: Once the dough has been kneaded, shape into a disk, cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to two days.
  9. Poaching the pears: While the tart crust is chilling, combine water and sugar in a medium pot.
  10. Bring to a heavy simmer, and allow the sugar to dissolve completely, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to a light simmer, and add spices and zest.
  11. Peel the very ripe pears, rubbing them with an orange, so they do not brown.
  12. Use a melon baller or knife to core the pears from the bottom.
  13. Gently place the pears in the poaching liquid.
  14. To prevent browning: cut a circle of parchment paper to fit the pot, and place over top of the pears, smoothing out any air bubbles.
  15. Cook on a low simmer for 15-20 minutes, turning the pears occasionally. Because the pears are not ripe, they will not become soggy, but should be tender when done poaching.
  16. Remove from heat, and allow the pears to cool completely in the poaching liquid. If using the same day, add the dried cranberries to the poaching liquid at this point, to soften. To prepare ahead of time: Once cooled, gently transfer pears and liquid into an air-tight storage container. Refrigerate for up to two weeks. After removing the pears for use, return the poaching liquid to a pot on medium heat, and add the dried cranberries. Bring to a low simmer, stirring occasionally until sauce is reduced to a syrup.
  17. Strain the cranberries to place in tart, and reserve the poaching liquid for a serving sauce, if desired.
  18. Making the frangipane: In a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Alternately add the almond flour and eggs until incorporated evenly.
  19. Add the flour, vanilla extract and zest, and mix until just incorporated.
  20. Pour over top of dried cranberries in tart pan. To prepare ahead of time: Place in airtight container and refrigerate up to two days.
  21. Assembling the frangipane tart: Carefully cut the pears in half, and thinly slice.
  22. Layer the softened cranberries into the bottom of the tart pan, cover with frangipane filling, and neatly place pear slices atop the filling.
  23. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes, rotating occasionally to cook evenly. The frangipane should have risen and cooked to a golden brown, and the pears will be softened.
  24. Transfer to a cooling rack, leaving the sides of the tart pan on until it is room temperature. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, slice, and drizzle with poaching syrup.
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