Pear Frangipane

Pear season in the UK starts in September and lasts through December. Fragrant, juicy, sweet, melting pears are my favourite autumn pick. I grate them into drop pancakes, use them in smoothies with spinach and nut milk, poach them, etc.  I love them.

In the UK pears are one of the most sprayed fruit, apparently about 23 times.  Try to get them organic, if possible.  All those pesticides can't be good for our bodies.

For this recipe I am using Red Williams which is a native to this country, but any pear variety will work for the frangipane.

I really like coconut sugar and I think it's a good healthy alternative to cane sugar. However, it can be quite expensive.  You could also use maple syrup or fruit extract.

For the pastry:
100g butter (or coconut oil)
200g  gluten free flour
1tsp of chia seeds
5 tbsp of water
1 tbsp of coconut sugar (or maple syrup)

for the filling
100g coconut sugar
4tbsp maple syrup
130g ground almonds
125g butter (or coconut oil)
2 eggs
1tbsp of gluten free flour

for the pear topping
4 pears sliced
200ml water
50g coconut sugar
2 tsp maple syrup
3 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 vanilla pod

Put all the pastry ingredients in a blender and blend for 30 seconds. Wrap in a film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Heat up the water with coconut sugar, maple syrup, cloves, cinnamon stick and seeds from the vanilla pod. Bring to boiling point, remove from heat and allow to cool down slightly.

Peel the pears, cut in half and scoop out the middle with a teaspoon. Cut them into 2mm thick slices, spread out in a shallow dish and pour over the marinade. Leave to soak for 10-15 minutes.

Make a filling by mixing eggs, sugar and butter together until creamy. Add ground almonds and flour and mix altogether.

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees.

Take the pastry out of the fridge. As this is a gluten free pastry it will not stretch like a gluten one. What I do is to put it between two sheets of cling film and roll with a rolling pin until it's all stretched out and about 3mm thick. Grease your dish,  lay the pastry on top and gently press it inside the dish. It doesn’t matter if some bits break, simply patch them back together.  Now move the rolling pin over the edges of the dish so that all the excess pastry is removed and the base edge looks neat.

Pour the filling into the base and arrange the pears over the top – you don’t need to pat dry them, simply pull out of their marinade and arrange in any shape you like. Sprinkle with flaked almonds and bake for 50 minutes.


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