Almond Pear Tart

Almond Pear Tart

Poach two or three pears, depending on size, in a pan of water to which you add the juice of 1/2 lemon and 1/4 cup sugar. Let it simmer together for about 10 or 15 minutes or until the pears are tender. Remove and drain the pears.

Chocolate Crust

1  nine-ounce box chocolate cookie wafers

5 T. butter, melted and cooled slightly

dash of salt

1/2 tsp. vanilla.

Place all ingredients in a food processor and whir until everything is crushed into fine particles. Spray a 9-inch tart shell with PAM (or butter it lightly) and gently press the crumb mixture into the pan. Set aside.

Frangipane Filling:

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened

1/3 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 cup finely ground blanched almonds or almond flour (I found almond flour at my local health food store)

1 tsp. almond extract

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the ground almonds or almond flour and almond extract and mix until a smooth batter forms.

Assembly:

Spread the frangipane mixture carefully over the chocolate crust. It’s best if you take dabs of it and place them all over the crust, rather than put one big lump in the center. That way you won’t loosen as many of the chocolate crumbs, which are still pretty loose in the shell, since it’s unbaked. Spread the mixture all over the tart shell.

Take the cooled pears and slice them evenly. With the palm of your hand, press them flat. Pick up the slices altogether and arrange them on the frangipane mixture, covering as much of the shell as you want, and in any design you want. If you have small pears, it may take three or more. With large pears, it might take only two.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 35-45 minutes or until the filling is golden. Remove from the oven and glaze with some apricot, orange or other light-colored jam or jelly.