---------- Recipe via Meal-Master (tm) v8.02
  Categories: Desserts, Pies, Fruits/nuts
       Yield: 8 servings
       1    (9-in) pre-baked tart shell
   1 1/2 c  Sugar
       1    2 piece of vanilla bean
            - split open
       2    Strips of lemon zest
            -(1 x 2 each)
       2 tb Freshly squeezed lemon juice
       3 lg Ripe pears
            -(Bosc, if possible)
     1/2 c  Whole blanched almonds
       2 c  Milk
       1    2 piece of vanilla bean
       2    Eggs
       2    Egg yolks
     3/4 c  Sugar
       1 c  Flour
       6 tb Butter; in 1/2-in bits
     1/2 c  Dry or stale macaroons
            - pulverized
     1/2 c  Kirsch
   1 1/2 c  Apricot jam
     1/4 c  Kirsch
       3 tb Finely chopped pistachios
            - (blanched)
   IN A MEDIUM-SIZE, NON-REACTIVE saucepan, combine the 1 1/2 cups sugar, the
   split vanilla bean, lemon zest, lemon juice and 4 cups water. Bring to a
   boil, reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved
   and the syrup is clear. Peel the pears, cut in half lengthwise, seed, core
   and stem. Shape 1/2 of 1 pear into a peach-like round by cutting off the
   stem end. Poach the pear halves in the sugar syrup until tender. Drain on a
   rack. Preheat oven to 350F. On a baking sheet, toast the almonds to golden
   brown, cool and pulverize in a food processor. Heat the milk with the
   remaining 2-inch piece of vanilla bean. Meanwhile, beat the eggs, yolks and
   3/4 cup sugar until thick and lemon colored, then add the flour. When the
   flour is absorbed, add the milk, return to the heat, stirring, and cook 3-5
   minutes, or until nicely thickened. Pour pastry cream into a bowl and stir
   in the 6 tablespoons of butter. Add the almond powder, macaroons, and 1/2
   cup kirsch. Allow to cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally; cover
   with plastic wrap and refrigerate to chill. Heat the apricot jam, then rub
   through a fine sieve and add the 1/4 cup kirsch. Heat again and stir
   constantly until clear. Spread a thin layer of apricot glaze on bottom of
   the baked and cooled pastry shell. Spoon in the frangipane (almond pastry
   cream) and smooth it out. Set the pear round in the center and arrange
   around it the pear halves, stem end facing center. Press pears gently into
   the frangipane. Brush the apricot glaze over the pears; mix the pistachios
   and sprinkle over the pears. Refrigerate until 15 minutes before serving.
   (Can be made 1 day in advance.)