A heavenly flavour combination and one cracking dessert, you should add this gluten free pear & pistachio frangipane tart to your “must bake” list asap! From the perfectly short pastry, to the slightly squidgy pistachio frangipane filling and juicy pears, the elements of this dessert are the perfect marriage.
I love pistachios and have been experimenting with them in some bakes recently. I wasn’t sure how this tart would turn out, but I’ve now baked it multiple times and fed it to various friends, all declaring it a success.
I should also add, that all of my friends were shocked to discover that this tart is gluten free. The pastry and filling and so lovely any old gluten eater can enjoy them just as much as us coeliacs!
My hunch that a pistachio frangipane tart would turn out well came good, and I’m so glad I decided to match it up with pear. Pear season is in full swing in the UK at the moment, and this tart is the perfect way to showcase that juicy, sweet fruit.
If you’re not a pear fan, perhaps try my Blueberry Frangipane Tart instead, which is more of a classic ground almond-based frangipane packed with pops of fruit blueberries.
Can I Use Ground Almonds Instead of Pistachio?
Not a pistachio fan? Then sure! I would use 1 less tbsp of water for the pastry, and reduce the baking time to 30-35 minutes. You could also follow my the blueberry frangipane tart recipe I’ve linked above and sub pears in for blueberries if you prefer.
How Do I Make Ground Pistachios?
It’s really easy, you’ll just need a small blender like this Kenwood Mini Chopper. It’s a handy piece of kitchen kit to have and it really great value. Then you blitz blitz blitz those nuts! Give them a couple of good minute-long blasts at least, until you’ve got a really find crumb like ground almonds.
They won’t have a perfectly even consistency, but that’s fine in this recipe. You just want to make sure you’ve made it as even as possible and have broken down any large chunks.
Are Ground Almonds & Almond Flour the Same?
Noooo, they are very different so please don’t try using almond flour for this recipe. I use ground almonds like this variety, and they are essential for this pear & pistachio frangipane tart recipe.
Gluten Free Pear & Pistachio Frangipane Tart Recipe
This gluten free pear & pistachio frangipane tart serves about 6-8 people, depending on how generous you want to be with your slices! Any leftovers will keep well for a couple of days, stored in an airtight container.
You’ll find a full method below, with lots of pictures to guide you through the recipe. If you have any questions feel free to get in touch. You can contact me at email@example.com or message me on Instagram/Facebook @myglutenfreeguide.
Lastly, if you enjoy this tart, I would be really grateful if you could leave a star rating or review on the recipe card below. Thank you!
Pear & Pistachio Frangipane Tart (GF)
This gluten free frangipane tart has a twist of being made partly with ground pistachios, which taste wonderful with the soft baked pear. The soft, almost squidgy pistachio filling is encased in a golden gluten free pistachio shortcrust pastry.
Great as an afternoon treat or as a dessert with ice cream or chocolate sauce.
For the shortcrust pastry:
- 200g gluten free plain flour (I used FREEE)
- 1 tsp xanthan gum
- 20g ground almonds
- 20g unsalted shelled pistachios, ground (see method below)
- 1.5 tbsp caster sugar
- 120g unsalted butter, chilled
- 1 large egg
- 2-3 tbsp water
For the filling:
- 100g unsalted butter, softened
- 100g caster sugar
- 1 large egg
- 0.5 tsp vanilla bean paste (or vanilla essence)
- 50g ground almonds
- 50g unsalted shelled pistachios, ground (see method below)
- 40g gluten free plain flour
- 1-2 large, ripe pears (I used conference pears)
- 2 tbsp apricot jam (or caster sugar)
- 1 tbsp hot water
- A small handful of pistachios, roughly chopped
- Place the 70g unsalted, shelled pistachios into a small blender (I use a mini chopper). Blitz on full power for at least a couple of minutes, until they are the consistency of ground almonds. You'll get a finer, denser grind at the bottom of the blender, so just give it all a good stir before you add to the mixture, to break up any clumps.
- Sift the 200g flour, 1 tsp xanthan gum and 1.5 tbsp sugar into a large mixing bowl, then add the 20g ground almonds and 20g of the ground pistachios. Stir to combine.
- Grate the 120g chilled butter into the bowl (use the large grater setting on a cheese grater) and toss the butter strands through the flour with a spoon. Once the butter is coated with flour, use your finger tips to rub the butter into the flour until you have a coarse breadcrumb-like texture.
- Beat one large egg and add to the bowl. Stir through with the spoon.
- Add 2 tbsp water (you may not need the third) and use your hands to bring the ingredients together to form a nice ball of dough. It should come away from the sides of the bowl and be a slightly sticky dough, but will form into a ball. If it is still a bit crumbly, add half a tbsp water (and a second if needed) and work to combine.
- Take a large piece of greaseproof paper (approx 30cm long) and place the ball of dough on the waxed, non-stick side. Press it down gently with your hands to form an oval shape a couple of cm thick. Now fold the paper over to cover the other side of the dough and then fold the edges over so that you have a nice little dough parcel. Now place into the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes (up to an hour).
- Preheat your oven to 180C (fan) and lightly grease a 24cm loose-bottomed tart tin.
- Unwrap the chilled dough and place the greaseproof paper on your worktop. Pop the dough on top and place a 30cm piece of cling film on top of the dough. If the dough is sticky (esp if you've not chilled it enough), you can dust it with a little flour, but if chilled properly it won't need it.
- Use a rolling pin to roll the pastry out to 0.5cm thick in a large circular shape - wide enough to completely cover the tart tin and sides. You can roll this pastry quite thin, it's pliable enough to take it, so be bold :). If there's any breaking or uneven edges you can just patch them up easily with other pieces of pastry. It's a very nice pastry to work with.
- Carefully flip the greaseproof paper and dough over onto the tart tin, then peel the greaseproof off. Gently tuck the pastry into the tin, pressing down to completely cover the base and around the sides. Use a sharp knife to slice off any excess pastry (you can save these offcuts in the fridge for later use, or make a couple of little jam tarts at the same time). You should be left with a nice neat edge.
- Use a fork to gently prick holes in the base of the pastry tart (image below). Place the used greaseproof paper on top of the pastry and tin, adding baking beads to fill (see image below) so that you can "blind bake" the tart. Place it into the oven to blind bake for 10 minutes at 180C.
- Now remove the tart case from the oven, lift out the baking beads and greaseproof paper and return to the oven (uncovered) to bake for 10 minutes at 160C (fan).
- While the case is baking, you can whip up the frangipane filling. First cream 100g butter and 100g caster sugar together until smooth. Then add one large egg and 0.5 tsp vanilla and beat to combine. Finally add 50g ground almonds, 50g ground pistachios and 40g plain flour, then give everything a really good mix until thick and smooth. The mixture will be quite sticky.
- The shortcrust case should now be cooked through (add 5 minutes to the cooking time if it still looks raw on the bottom). Remove from the oven and place onto a wooden board or heatproof mat, and allow to cool slightly for a few minutes. If you are in a rush, you can put the filling straight in, but it's harder to spread the filling when hot as the heat starts to melt the butter.
- While cooling, peel the pear(s), remove the core and chop into long segments.
- Scoop the frangipane mixture into the pastry case and use a small palette knife or back of a spoon to spread it right to the edges and level the top.
- Place the pear segments on top and use your finger to push them into the frangipane so that they are still showing but two thirds sunken into the mix.
- Bake the tart for 40-45 minutes at 160C (fan), on the middle shelf. until cooked through and golden.
- Transfer the cooked tart onto a wire rack to cool. Mix 2 tbsp apricot jam and 1 tbsp hot water together to create a glaze, then lightly glaze the top of the frangipane using a pastry brush or similar. Scatter the roughly chopped pistachios on top. Allow to cool fully, then cut into slices and enjoy!
Serving ideas: have a slice by itself with a hot cuppa on the side. Top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Or drizzle with chocolate ganache (finely chop 50g dark chocolate, warm 50ml double cream, pour over the chocolate and allow to stand for 5 minutes, then whisk with a fork until smooth and glossy).
For more delicious gluten free bakes, please check out some of my other recipes and save any favourites for later:
Happy baking! Laura xxx