Thursday, April 28, 2011

Pear Frangipane Tartlettes

(with egg)

(vegan version, using flax eggs)

On to some baked goods............
Yes, I realize that after 3 months of being a "blogger of recipes" (I hesitate to use the term "food blogger" because that feels more professional than I am yet :) that I have only posted these baked goods- and they were a derivitive of another bloggers recipe! Kind of ironic that I have so few baked goods so far since I used to bake for a living!

Baking is my true passion. I love the chemistry of it (I know- nerd alert!). My husband used to actually be a chemist. I remember coming home from school and asking him to explain things to me more in depth- like what happens when an acid and an alkaline ingredient (like baking soda) react? He loved answering my nerd I guess I was a nerd who was also married to one too :)

The inspiration for this recipe was simply that I was eating a pear with almond butter and it brought me back to my frangipane eating days. For those who aren't familiar with it, frangipane is an almond filling that is used in tarts, pastries (like an almond croissant), cakes, and other baked creations. However, the primary ingredients besides almond flour are usually eggs, and butter! I no longer eat butter and my husband is allergic to eggs. So time for substitutions!

I have found in my muffin, quick bread, and cake baking that coconut oil is a good replacement for butter (which is used for structure and as a crisping agent in baked goods). Coconut or Palm shortening is also another great choice, however- I go for coconut oil most of the time because of the cost. But when I really want a buttery flavor to my baked goods I will do a combo of coconut oil and Earth Balance Spread (I use soy free). Oil and margarine do not have the same crisping effects as butter/ milk fat, but they seem to do the trick OK enough for this recipe. Also, I made this recipe with and without eggs (which makes it vegan) to show you the difference in finished product, see above pictures.

These tartlettes are Breakfast-worthy. I had two for breakfast this morning :) If you want more of a dessert version, simply replace the applesauce with 1/3 cup of honey*, but check them in the oven after about 15 minutes because they will brown more quickly.

Pear Frangipane Tartlettes

Yields: 8 (3” x 1” ramekins or small tartlette pan sized) treats

Ingredients and Equipment

- 2 oz coconut oil (1/4 cup), plus more for greasing

- 2 oz Earth Balance Buttery Spread (1/4 cup- any variety will do)

- 1 ½ oz almond butter (3 Tbsp)

- 3 ½ oz unsweetened apple sauce (1/2 cup) *can be replaced with 1/3 cup honey

- ½ tsp pure almond extract

- 1 tsp lemon zest (optional)

- 3 oz of pistachio nuts (1/2 cup) ground into a fine meal with a high powered blender, coffee grinder, or Majic Bullet type blender **

- 1 oz almond meal (1/4 cup- I used Bob’s Red Mill)

- 1/8 tsp sea salt

- 2 eggs (can be replaced with 2 Tbsp flax seed meal + 5 Tbsp hot water)

- 1 very ripe pear

- Tartlette pans or ramikins like

- This one from Chicago Metallic

- Or These brulee ramikins


- Grease the ramekins or tartlette pans with coconut oil and preheat the oven to 350°

- Blend the oils, almond butter, applesauce (or honey if using), almond extract, and zest if using for about 1 minute on medium either in your stand mixer with paddle attachment or with a hand blender in a large bowl

- Next, on low, blend in the nut meals and sea salt

- Then slowly add the eggs or prepared flax “eggs” (if using flax make sure the hot water and the flax seed meal have sat for at least 10 minutes) until combined

- Pour into the greased ramekins or tartlette pans, making sure to only fill them halfway

- Thinly slice the pear- about ¼ “ slices- and arrange like so:

- Bake for 20-25 minutes (unless using honey*). They should be browned around the edges.

- If desired to remove from pans or ramekins, wait until they are completely cooled before de-panning.

- Optional- brush with equal parts honey and hot water for extra shine (I use equal parts apple sauce and hot water and it gets the same effect). This will also keep them moist if they will be sitting out for a while.

**You may substitute the pistachio meal and make this with all almond meal (=4 oz or 1 cup). Frangipane is traditionally made with almonds and sometimes pistachios- but I prefer the more complex pistachio version. But this would be just as good with all almond meal/flour.

Happy Tartlette Making,

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