image overlay of pear bars

Brown Butter Pear Bars

These Brown Butter Pear Bars are a twist on two classics – a Bakewell tart and a pear frangipane tart. The bars use brown butter to add some depth of flavor and pears to give some light sweetness!

Just so you know, I am frangipane’s biggest fan. If it’s on anything at a bakery, that’s what I’m getting. If I feel like making an irresistible dessert that I just want to keep eating and eating, it will contain frangipane.

image of brown butter pear bars recipe

I first discovered my love for frangipane when I was around 13. Someone brought over a pear frangipane tart to my parents’ house. (Side note: up until that point, desserts had always felt chocolate-driven or ice cream-driven, two things that aren’t my favorites. Very controversial, I know.)

After I tried that tart, I immediately found the box it came in and ran over to my dad to tell him the bakery’s name. Quite frankly, I had no idea that a pear frangipane tart was a classic French dessert and was completely convinced that this bakery just had some random, amazing dessert that was destined for my very own mouth. From then on, I always requested a pear frangipane tart from that bakery for my birthday and my dad always made sure to try and get it. Thank you, Dad!

image of brown butter pear bars on cooling rack

Brown Butter Pear Bars: Little details

So, for this recipe, you’ll make the brown butter first. It’ll be split to use in both the crust and the frangipane. The more brown butter, the more delicious, right? If you haven’t had brown butter before, you might become obsessed like me when I made it for the first time. I tried to put it in everything I made for, like, two months. Heh.

Also, you’ll blind bake the crust! While the crust blind bakes, you’ll have time to prepare your frangipane. Then set everything up for assembling your bars for their final bake – the jam, frangipane, and pears should be ready to go.

After the finished bars cool a bit, you have the option to sift a bit of powdered sugar on top. I think it makes them dream-like and ethereal.

If you make this recipe, please comment and rate the recipe below! I love hearing from you all. Also, you can tag me on Instagram @higheralchemybaking with your bake!

image of brown butter pear bars for recipe

Brown Butter Pear Bars

These bars are a twist on Bakewell bars and pear frangipane tarts! They have a shortbread crust, a layer of jam, a layer of frangipane, and pears on top! The crust and frangipane are made with brown butter to add to the decadence…no regrets here.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 10 mins
Total Time 1 hr 25 mins
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American, French
Servings 12 bars
Calories 412 kcal

Equipment

  • 9×13" baking pan

Ingredients
  

For brown butter

  • 284g unsalted butter (2.5 sticks)

For crust

  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 124g or half of the brown butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 233g all-purpose flour

For frangipane

  • 124g or half of the brown butter
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 30g all-purpose flour
  • 100g almond flour
  • 1 diced pear

For jam layer

  • 85g raspberry jam

Instructions
 

For brown butter

  • In a small saucepan on medium heat, place the butter in the pan. Keep an eye on it and let it melt almost entirely. Begin to whisk it as it bubbles. It may foam. Keep whisking and when you see brown bits starting to form, turn off the heat and continue whisking for 30 seconds. Transfer the butter to a small bowl, making sure to get all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.

For crust

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Make sure the pan has at least an inch-high edge.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the sugar and half the brown butter. It won’t combine entirely but just stir it around. Add the vanilla extract and salt and stir some more. Add the flour and combine until the mixture forms a dough.
  • Press the dough evenly into the prepared baking dish and prick the surface with a fork. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until lightly golden. You should prepare your frangipane while the crust bakes. Don’t turn off the oven. Set aside and let it cool for 10 minutes.

For frangipane

  • In a medium bowl (I use the same bowl as I used for the crust, unwashed) combine the rest of the brown butter with the sugar. Add the eggs and almond extract and combine. Add the flours and combine until creamy and fluffy.

To assemble for final bake

  • Spread the raspberry jam over the already baked crust. Then evenly spread the frangipane on top of the raspberry jam. Sprinkle the diced pear pieces over the frangipane. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and the frangipane top is golden brown. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then slice into 12 bars. Sift powdered sugar over the top if desired.
image of flatlay brown butter pear bars

It’s like a happy sugar snow in Fall.

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