Remove from the heat, pour through a sieve into a bowl, whisk in the almond extract, then blend in the almonds. Lay wax paper on the surface of the cream to prevent a skin from forming. Cool before adding to the tart shell, or cover and refrigerate up to 2 days.
When this jelly has set, smooth the Frangipane Cream into the shell.
1 1/2 cups sugar
12 firm-ripe Seckel pears of the same size
Add enough water to the sugar to make 1 quart, stirring until the sugar dissolves, then pour the syrup into a 3-to 3 1/2-quart saucepan.
Peel the pears and cut in half lengthwise. With a small sharp knife, make a V-cut to trim out the cores. Drop the halves into the syrup as you go.
Bring the syrup to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the pears test tender with a thin skewer, 10 to 20 minutes. Skewer them and lift each out as it is ready.
You can keep the pears in the syrup, covered and refrigerated, up to 3 days. If using right away, cool them before adding to the tart.
Lift the pears from their syrup and pat thoroughly dry. Lay them on the cream layer, starting with a row of rounded bottoms against the sides, thin edges pointing toward the center; finish with a small pear in the center. For help in lifting and moving pears, use a thin skewer.
If the pomegranate jelly has set, melt it over lowest heat, whisking until smooth. Spoon about 1/4 cup over the pears and cream, covering them completely but steering clear of the pastry rim.
1/4 cup sliced almonds
Seeds from 1/8 medium-size pomegranate
Toast the almonds in a dry skillet over medium heat until golden, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle the almonds around the outer edge of the tart in a 1 1/2-inch border. Strew pomegranate seeds over the almonds.
8 servings. Each serving: 662 calories; 78 mg sodium; 336 mg cholesterol; 25 grams fat; 11 grams saturated fat; 103 grams carbohydrates; 9 grams protein; 6.32 grams fiber.
European-style butter, called for in these recipes, contains less moisture than regular butter. Several brand-name dairies make it now, and it can be found in most supermarkets.