Pear Frangipane Tartelettes

Right, the first ever recipe on this blog! Phew, the pressure is on folks! Seriously, it’s like choosing what to wear back on the first day at school, it will set the tone for the rest of your life (or so you think, but then you realize highschool was just highschool, and no one really cared). But, first impressions count! So, what to choose as my first blog recipe?

Something nice. Something yummy.  And something pretty.

The problem is everything fits into that category!! So, Friday at work I was daydreaming… In my mind I was back home, in Luxembourg, with the feeling of being little and coming home from school and really not feeling like doing any homework. It kinda felt like autumn in that memory, and a freshly baked apple cake was standing on the kitchen table. You know, one of those really amazing apple cakes that my mum makes, one that’s got whole half apples on top of a buttery cake base, glazed with apricot jam and almonds. Oh yuuuuuum. I loved those days!

And suddenly it hit me. That’s what I want my blog to feel like. It should feel like home. And so should my first recipe!

Still, all that doesn’t explain why I chose to make Pear and Frangipane Tartelettes as my first recipe. Well, I still don’t know exactly why, but it must have been a combination of many things. Last week I bought these small tartelettes molds at Habitat, and hadn’t had the opportunity to put them into action yet. Then, my housemate had brought back this big bag of pears that had been reduced to 30p, and were just lying around waiting to be eaten. And then there’s the fact that I absolutely love the sweetness  of frangipane, combined with the subtle flavour of pears and the butteriness of shortcrust pastry…

The recipe is a mix-and-match one, inspired from various sources.

I used my mum’s divine recipe for sweet shortcrust pastry as the base. For the frangipane, I did some good old googling and found this version by Angela Hartnett. I just added some cinnamon, since I love cinnamon in almost everything! As for the pears, I decided to poach them in some white port wine and star anise. Yum!

Hey, notice the tea-pot in the picture up on the left? That was a proper coup-de-coeur! You know, one of those moments where you just instantly fall in love with something and know you need to have it… I was at this second-hand thrift store up in Seven Sisters Road (the worst road in the whole of London, but I love it for its grimness), and I was shopping around for some vintage crockery for my food pictures, when suddenly this tea-pot caught my eye. Actually, I think it was R. who pointed it out. I saw it and *boom* I was in love! So preeeeeetty!!! But £55!!! Totally out of my crockery budget for the day… But R. saw the twinkle in my eyes and just said “Go on, haggle! Try to get a price!” So I did (and I’m sooooo bad at haggling), so I just used my charm and awkwardly asked if they could maybe reduce it a tiny bit? All along I was just thinking ‘oh dear, I won’t be able to spend more than £35 on this, they’ll never just chip £20 off it… But they did!!! The lady came back and said “For £35 it’s yours.” Wooooohooooo. So now the tea-pot stands on my window-still next to my bed and wishes me a very good morning every day…

Anyway, enough rambling about tea-pots, I know you’re dying to get to the recipe!


February 28, 2010