The Chef in the Hat

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The Chef In The Hat is Thierry Rautureau, the talented force behind Loulay Kitchen & Bar and Luc restaurants, bringing a French twist to the best of Pacific Northwest cuisine.


Pear and Apple Frangipane Tart with Caramel and Huckleberry

Chef Thierry created this beautiful Pear and Apple Tart (below) and his guests went crazy for it (rightfully so!). He's adapted a recipe for home use, which utilizes a triple threat of Northwest ingredients: pear, apple and huckleberry. 

1/2 recipe pâte sucrée (sweet dough) (below)

Apple Compote

  • 1 Granny Smith apple
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar, more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons Calvados or brandy


  • 3 ounces almond paste
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, sifted

Caramel Sauce

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Huckleberry Sauce

  • 8 ounces huckleberries
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup tawny port
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

To garnish:

  • 1 to 2 ripe Comice pears
  • 1 tablespoon sugar


For the apple compote, peel, core, and chop the apple. Put it in a medium saucepan with the water and cook over medium heat, covered, until the apple is soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Purée the apple and any cooking liquids in a food processor until very smooth. Return the purée to the saucepan, add the sugar, butter, and Calvados and cook over medium-low heat until the compote is thickened, 12 to 15 minutes, stirring often to help avoid sticking on the bottom. Set aside to cool completely; meanwhile, make the frangipane.

For the frangipane, combine the almond paste and sugar in a food processor and pulse until the almond paste is in fine bits. Add the butter and egg and pulse until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the flour in 2 or 3 batches, pulsing just until it is fully incorporated. Transfer the frangipane to a medium bowl, stir in the cooled apple compote, cover with plastic, and refrigerate until needed.

For the caramel sauce, combine the sugar and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally to help the sugar dissolve. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook, without stirring, until the mixture has a deep caramel color and aroma, 5 to 7 minutes. Take the pan from the heat and slowly add the cream, whisking gently and taking care to avoid the hot steam that will rise from the pan. When all of the cream has been added, set the pan back over medium heat and cook to thicken slightly, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the sauce to a bowl and set aside to cool.

For the huckleberry sauce, combine the berries, sugar, water, port, and lemon juice in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to help the sugar dissolve. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the berries are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Purée the mixture in a blender and press through a fine sieve into a bowl. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface to about 1/16 inch thick. Use the pastry to line 8 4-inch tart pans and set them on a rimmed baking sheet for easy handling.

Spoon the apple-frangipane mixture into the tart shells, spreading it out evenly to about two-thirds full. Peel, core, and thinly slice the pear and arrange the slices, slightly overlapping, on top of the frangipane (trim the slices as needed so they cover neatly). Sprinkle the sugar over the pear slices and bake the tartlets until the frangipane is set and the tops are lightly browned, 25 to 30 minutes.

To serve, spoon a pool of the caramel sauce onto half of each plate and spoon the huckleberry sauce onto the other half. Draw the tip of a knife back and forth between the sauces to form a pattern place the tart on top and serve right away.

Makes 8 servings


Pâte Sucrée (Sweet Pastry Dough)

Care to keep the dough chilled while rolling it out. Be sure to refrigerate it until firm, then work quickly to roll it out. If the dough becomes too soft to work with, rechill it for 10 or 15 minutes.

The dough makes enough for two tarts or about 16 3-inch tartlets. Extra dough can be well wrapped in plastic and frozen for up to 2 weeks; thaw for a day in the refrigerator before using.

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Pinch salt


Cream together the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the eggs one at a time, incorporating one well before adding the next, and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Stir together the flour and salt in a small bowl and add it to the batter in 3 batches, working at low speed to evenly blend. Form the dough into 2 equal flat disks, wrap each in plastic, and refrigerate at least 1 hour before rolling out.

Makes about 1 1/4 pounds dough

Copyright: 2016 Thierry Rautureau, The Chef in the Hat ™