Friday, April 5, 2013

Pre-birthday pear tart!

We had a favored treat today from the Vienna Bakery in Barrington Road Island. It is their pear almond torte.  It is described as almond frangiapane with pears. What is frangiapane, you ask?
Frangipane is a filling made from or flavored like almondsThis filling can be used in a variety of ways including cakes, tarts and other assorted pastries. Originally designated as a custard tart flavored by almonds or pistachios it came later to designate a filling that could be used in a variety of confections and baked goods. These days it is normally made of butter, sugar, eggs, and ground almonds: beat butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy, gradually beat in the eggs, fold in the ground almonds. In some anecdotes it was the kind of sweet that the noblewoman Jacopa da Settesoli brought to St. Francis of Assisi in 1226, when he was dying.  If the frangipane back then was as good as the stuff we had then St. Francis must have been very comforted.   It is very similar to Marzipan but not as dense.
A classic cake hour treat - Pear Almond Torte!

Well laid out bears on a bed of frangipane!

Thin tart crust as the base.

Slightly roasted pears after baking!

Cutaway view showing the layered construction.  
This is a favored treat of cake hour and as the person who brought it was celebrating his birthday on the next day, we were happy to indulge in his honor.  We even sang the Happy Birthday Song to him in a few languages, the easiest to learn of which is German. To sing this the way the Germans do just sing it in English with a German accent and you are there!

About a quarter to the bundt cake was still to be eaten!
For good measure we also had the remnants of yesterday's bundt cake available. As the pear torte usually is pretty popular and you can't always get the coveted second piece, we had the cake to whet the appetites of those who wanted a little more.  

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