Pears are poached in mulled wine here, infusing the fruit with spices and giving the exteriors a deep crimson hue. When sliced and nestled into the rich frangipane filling, they create a glorious ombre effect.

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Ingredients

Pears
Pie

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Pears:

    Peel pears; transfer to a saucepan. Add wine, sugar, vanilla bean, orange juice and zest, cloves, and enough water to cover pears (2 to 3 cups). Top with a parchment round to keep pears submerged and bring to a simmer over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until pears are easily pierced with the tip of a paring knife, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a heatproof bowl; cover with poaching liquid. Let cool completely.

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  • Pie:

    On a lightly floured piece of parchment, roll out dough into a 13-inch round, about 1/8 inch thick. Fit into a 9-inch tart pan. Trim dough flush with rim; lightly prick bottom with a fork. Refrigerate 30 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees, with a rack in lower third. Arrange almonds on a rimmed baking sheet; toast until golden and fragrant, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool completely. Transfer to a food processor; add flour and salt and process until finely ground.

  • Beat butter with sugar on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg and vanilla; beat until combined. Add almond mixture; beat until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

  • Increase oven temperature to 375 degrees. Line dough with parchment; fill with dried beans or rice. Bake until edges begin to turn golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove beans or rice and parchment; bake until bottom and sides are golden brown, about 15 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely. (Crust can be made up to a day in advance and covered tightly in foil.)

  • Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees; place a foil-lined baking sheet below rack. Spread crust with almond mixture; smooth top with an offset spatula. Working with one pear at a time, remove from poaching liquid; pat dry with a paper towel, then slice in half lengthwise, remove stem, remove core with a measuring teaspoon or a melon baller, and cut crosswise on a slight bias into 1/8-inch slices. Fan pear slices in a random pattern to completely cover top of frangipane. (You may not use them all.)

  • Place tart pan directly on oven rack; bake until frangipane is golden, puffed, and just set, 50 minutes to 1 hour. (If crust is getting too dark, shield with a foil ring.) Transfer to wire rack; let cool completely, at least 4 hours.

Cook's Notes

To shield the pie rim from darkening too fast, make a foil ring: Cut a 13-inch round of foil, then cut out the center to create a ring about two inches wide. Center it over the crust; gently fold the edges down to secure. The pears can be poached up to three days ahead and refrigerated in an airtight container, submerged in their liquid. (Their color will become deep red throughout; for more contrast -- dark-red exteriors, beige interiors -- use pears poached the day of baking.)

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