*  Exported from  MasterCook  *
                          Pear Tart with Fragipane
 Recipe By     : Peter Kump
 Serving Size  : 8    Preparation Time :0:00
 Categories    : Desserts                         Pies
                 Fruit                            Nuts
   Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
 --------  ------------  --------------------------------
    1                    (9-in) pre-baked tart shell
    1 1/2  cups          Sugar
    1                    2 piece of vanilla bean -- split open
    2                    Strips of lemon zest -- (1 x 2 each)
    2      tablespoons   Freshly squeezed lemon juice
    3      large         Ripe pears -- (Bosc, if possible)
      1/2  cup           Whole blanched almonds
    2      cups          Milk
    1                    2 piece of vanilla bean
    2                    Eggs
    2                    Egg yolks
      3/4  cup           Sugar
    1      cup           Flour
    6      tablespoons   Butter -- in 1/2-in bits
      1/2  cup           Dry or stale macaroons -- pulverized
      1/2  cup           Kirsch
    1 1/2  cups          Apricot jam
      1/4  cup           Kirsch
    3      tablespoons   Finely chopped pistachios -- (blanched)
 IN A MEDIUM-SIZE, NON-REACTIVE saucepan, combine the 1 1/2 cups sugar, the
 split vanilla bean, lemon zest, lemon juice and 4 cups water. Bring to a
 boil, reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved and
 the syrup is clear. Peel the pears, cut in half lengthwise, seed, core and
 stem. Shape 1/2 of 1 pear into a peach-like round by cutting off the stem
 end. Poach the pear halves in the sugar syrup until tender. Drain on a rack.
 Preheat oven to 350F. On a baking sheet, toast the almonds to golden brown,
 cool and pulverize in a food processor. Heat the milk with the remaining
 2-inch piece of vanilla bean. Meanwhile, beat the eggs, yolks and 3/4 cup
 sugar until thick and lemon colored, then add the flour. When the flour is
 absorbed, add the milk, return to the heat, stirring, and cook 3-5 minutes,
 or until nicely thickened. Pour pastry cream into a bowl and stir in the 6
 tablespoons of butter. Add the almond powder, macaroons, and 1/2 cup kirsch.
 Allow to cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally; cover with plastic
 wrap and refrigerate to chill. Heat the apricot jam, then rub through a fine
 sieve and add the 1/4 cup kirsch. Heat again and stir constantly until clear.
 Spread a thin layer of apricot glaze on bottom of the baked and cooled pastry
 shell. Spoon in the frangipane (almond pastry cream) and smooth it out. Set
 the pear round in the center and arrange around it the pear halves, stem end
 facing center. Press pears gently into the frangipane. Brush the apricot
 glaze over the pears; mix the pistachios and sprinkle over the pears.
 Refrigerate until 15 minutes before serving.
 (Can be made 1 day in advance.) 
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