Pear and Almond Frangipane – Gluten and Dairy Free

I absolutely LOVE almond and whenever there’s a frangipane or almond tart on offer somewhere you can bet that that will be the cake I choose. So when I came across this awesome recipe I just had to try it! It’s from Isa’s website but I’ve modified it to make it gluten free and substituted the margarine for coconut oil which is much healthier and less processed. My tasters almost didn’t get any of this as I pretty much inhaled it as soon as it came out the oven!

For the pastry:

2/3 cup Ground Almonds
1 cup Rice Flour / Gluten Free Plain Flour Mix / Spelt Flour (for low gluten not gluten free option)
2 tbsp Coconut Palm Sugar / Unrefined Raw Sugar
1/4 tsp Salt (ideally Himalayan Rock Salt)
6 tbsp Olive Oil
3 – 4 tbsp Cold Almond Milk

For the frangipane:

6 tbsp Coconut Oil (don’t melt it)
2/3 cup Coconut Palm Sugar / Unrefined Raw Sugar
1 and 1/4 cup Ground Almonds
2 tbsp Cornflour
pinch salt
1/4 tsp Ground Cinnamon
2/3 cup Almond Milk
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp Almond Extract
4 Pears (I used conference pears as it’s what I had in my fridge!), peeled, cored and sliced

Preheat the oven to 175 C.

Start with the pastry. Put the ground almonds into a food processor with the flour and salt and pulse to combine. Keep pulsing and add in the olive oil gradually. Add 2 tablespoons of almond milk and keep pulsing. The mixture should hold together when pressed, if it doesn’t then add some more almond milk, pulsing all the time, until it does. At this point have a taste. If you want a sweeter pastry then add some more sugar until you get the desired flavour. Press it into a pie dish. This amount should do a 9 inch pan. Using a fork prick the base of the pastry shell and place in the oven for 15 minutes to blind bake.

Now for the frangipane (my favourite bit! 🙂 ).Put the coconut oil, sugar, ground almonds, cornflour, cinnamon and salt in a food processor and pulse until well combined and all crumbly. Slowly add the almond milk, vanilla extract and almond extract whilst still pulsing the food processor until it forms a thick batter. Pour the batter into the pre-baked pastry shell. Peel and core the pears, slice them in half and then into thin slices (about a 1/4 of an inch thick). Lay the pear slices in the batter – overlap them and push them in so about 2/3 is under the batter and the top is sticking out (so you need to put them in at an angle if that makes sense!). Bake the tart for 40 – 45  minutes or until the top is golden brown, then move the tart onto a cooling rack and cool for 20 minutes.

warning - this is seriously addictive

Because I used coconut oil, not margarine, for the frangipane this came out as rather like a treacle tart in texture. Now I quite liked that but if you want something a little more cakey then you might want to use vegetable shortening instead. I’ve not tried it yet (though I will be!) but a more solid fat should help with that. Personally I love the flavour the coconut oil gives and I can cope with a nice sticky tart! 🙂


Almond, Pear and Tahini Cake – gluten and dairy free!

This is a recipe that a friend very kindly sent me from a newspaper clipping. I was a little dubious how this would turn out but I actually really like it. It’s got a lovely mix of richness and sweetness from the pear, some crunch from the almonds and then a fab very slightly savoury note from the tahini. I think you could probably reduce the amount of tahini and up the amount of date syrup if you prefer things sweeter. I tried this out on a couple of people without telling them what was in it and they all loved it so I think it’s a winner! 🙂

240g Tahini

260g Date Syrup

220g Rice flour/ gluten -free plain flour mix / spelt flour (if you want low gluten not gluten free)

100g Whole Almonds, chopped roughly (or pulversised in a pestel and mortar for a bit!)

150g Pears, peeled, cored and diced

250ml Pressed Apple Juice (the best you can get)

1tsp Gound Cinnamon

1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

Preheat the oven to 170 C and grease a 23 cm cake tin (a smaller one will also work, you’ll just have a deeper cake!)

Make sure the tahini is well stirred as the oil tends to separate out in the jar. Add to a bowl with the date syrup and mix until well combined.  In a separate bowl add the flour, cinnamon, almonds and pear and mix together. Add the bicarbonate of soda to the tahini mix and stir well. Then add a third of the flour mix and mix well. Add half the apple juice and mix again. Add another third of the flour mix and the final half of the apple juice and mix. Then finally add the rest of the flour mix.  Stir well until combined then pour into a the tin.

Place in oven and bake for 45 mins. Then turn the oven down to 160 C and bake for a further 30 mins. For the final 10 mins loosely cover with foil. Keep an eye on this cake – because it’s dark it’s hard to see when it’s starting to be a bit too well done (aka burnt!), if it starts to look too done just pop the foil on sooner, otherwise it will look like mine! I like burnt edges on my cakes though so I was happy! 🙂 Once done remove from the oven and let it cool in the tin for 10 mins before transferring to a wire rack.

fresh out the oven!

As I said before, the people I tried it on who didn’t know what was in it loved it! My loyal tasters also liked this cake, though some thought it needed a bit of something to sweeten it up. You could add more date syrup and remove some tahini, or some chopped dates or prunes would liven it up a bit too. I’d say adding a good handful of dates would do the trick! I’ll be trying that next time 🙂