This is a parve recipe that brings together three key elements – pastry, frangipane, and poaching pears. Each part can be done separately in advance and then combined. The finished pie keeps for two to three days or can be frozen until you need it.
I like to use Gefen Passover Vanilla Sugar and ground almonds in the filling as the vanilla and almond flavours make a delicious combination with poached pears.
Make the pastry by placing all the ingredients into the food processor. Whizz together until a ball has formed.
Roll the pastry between two pieces of cling film so that it fits a 22-centimeter loose bottom tart tin. Line it with the pastry.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius / 400 degrees Fahrenheit / Gas mark 6.
Bake blind by covering the pastry with foil, and either fill with Kosher for Passover baking beans or sit a small glass plate inside the pastry case. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until cooked and looks firm and golden.
Place the pears in a deep saucepan. Add about one litre of water or until covered, sugar, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes or until just soft. Drain and set aside to cool. Let the pears rest on kitchen roll to absorb excess liquid.
For the frangipane filling, combine all the ingredients in a food processor and whizz together until smooth. Spread the almond paste on the cooked pastry base.
Cut the pears in half, removing the stem and any core. Slice the halves into long, thin slices. Using a spatula, carefully lift each sliced pear and place on the frangipane. Position the narrow end of the pear facing the centre of the pan, slightly fanning the slices as you work, spacing them evenly around the pie.
Bake for 40 to 55 minutes at 190 degrees Celsius / 375 degrees Fahrenheit / Gas mark 5 and cook until the filling has set and the pears are golden.
Using a pastry brush, glaze the top of the cooked pie with melted apricot jam.
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