Many people are put off by French patisserie recipes because they seem very complicated. It's usually because they consist of several stand alone recipes, combined to make something very special. But really what this means is if you get a handle on a few relatively simple recipes, you'll be able to wow your friends and family with seemingly complicated ones dishes.
Take a classic cooked fruit and almond tart. There are 3 elements. The pastry base (usually a blind baked sweet crust pastry), poached or fresh fruit, and almond cream. All, individually, very simple to make, and can be made before hand and kept in the fridge. And putting them together is much easier than assembling a piece of flatpack furniture. But I bet most people would attempt that before attempting to bake this tart.
To make an Almond and Pear Tart
Poach approx 4 pears
Make a short crust pastry and blind bake in a 24cm baking tin or ring.
Make an almond cream
(click on the above links for relevant recipe)
Pre-heat the oven to 160ºC (Gas mark 3)
Arrange the pears artistically in the pastry case
Smooth the cream (at room temp) around the pears.
Bake in the oven for 35 minutes or until the almond cream is golden brown.