The butter for the frangipane should be about the same firmness as the almond paste so the two combine smoothly; otherwise, you will wind up with lumps of almond paste in your frangipane. This tart is best eaten the day it's made.
Try these chocolate-filled bite-size wonders, which make clever use of shredded coconut to form the crust, for a delicious, unique Passover dessert. This recipe was adapted from "Martha Stewart's Pies and Tarts."
The berries should look as though they have simply tumbled onto the tart, so don't be fussy when arranging them on the custard filling. Recipe adapted with permission from "Williams-Sonoma Family Meals: Creating Traditions in the Kitchen," copyright 2009 by Maria Helm Sinskey and Williams-Sonoma, published by Weldon Owen, San Francisco.
Pastry chef Sandra Holl, owner of Floriole Cafe & Bakery, prefers to use non-homogenized dairy products in her desserts for the extra richness. Here, she shares a decadent recipe for a sweet ending to a Valentine's Day meal.
Setting a mold on top of the dough keeps it from puffing up in the oven, eliminating the need for pie weights. The ganache should be warm when poured in, in order for it to set smoothly. So work your way to step 5, and fill the tartlets with jam before making the ganache.
Any variety of firm-ripe pears works in this recipe, but Anjou will hold up especially well when poached. You will need a kitchen torch or a broiler setting on your oven to finish off the tart; the crackly sugar layer has just the right crunch over the soft fruit and creamy filling.