Rachel Allen was brought up in Dublin and left home at eighteen to study at the world-famous Ballymaloe Cookery School. Rachel is now a busy ...
6 Ripe pears, peeled, cored and cut into roughly 2cm (3/4in) chunks
icing sugar, for dusting
For the frangipane:
175 g (6oz) butter, softened
250 g (9oz) caster sugar
250 g (9oz) ground almonds
20 x 30cm (8 x 12in) ovenproof dish
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F), Gas mark 4.
First make the frangipane. Place the butter in a large bowl and beat until very soft. Add the sugar and continue to mix until soft and light, then beat in the eggs one by one. Finally, stir in the ground almonds. Alternatively, place the butter, sugar and eggs in a food processor and whiz to combine, then add ground almonds and whiz briefly until fully mixed in.
Place the pears in the gratin dish, then spread the frangipane over the top and bake in the oven (not too close to the top or it may brown too quickly) for 40–50 minutes or until the frangipane is just set in the centre. The pears by this stage should be tender. Serve warm with a dusting of icing sugar and a little softly whipped cream.