Almond Pear Tart

Almond Pear Tart  (Adapted from Bon Appetit & Williams-Sonoma Tools & Techniques)  Makes for one 9 1/2 inch tart  

Crust

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup powder sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter
  • 2 lg egg yolks
  • 1 Tbs heavy cream
  • 1 tsp almond extract

Almond Filling

  • 2/3 cup blanched slivered almonds
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 7 tablespoons sugar
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • Canned Pears halves
  • Powdered sugar (optional)

Almond filling:


Finely grind almonds and flour in processor. Mix in 7 tablespoons sugar, then butter, blending until smooth. Mix in egg. Transfer filling to medium bowl. Cover and chill at least 3 hours. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.

Crust:  

Now let's move on to the crust. In the food processor combine flour, powder sugar and salt, pulse 1 or 2 times to combine the ingredients. Add 1/2 cup of cold butter cut into pads.  Pulse processor about 5 times or until the mixture resembled parm cheese.  In a small bowl beat together egg yolks, cream and almond extract.  With the processor running, drizzle in beaten egg yolks, cream & almond extract mixture.  Pulse just until the mixture comes together in clumps.   Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface. Working quickly press the dough into a ball.  Flatten the dough into a 6-inch disk and wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Tart:

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F. Roll out chilled dough on floured sheet of parchment paper to 12-inch round, lifting and turning dough occasionally to free from paper. Using paper as aid, turn dough into 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom; peel off paper. Seal any cracks in dough. Trim overhang to 1/2 inch. Fold overhang in, making double-thick sides. Pierce crust all over with fork. Freeze crust 10 minutes.

Line crust with buttered foil, buttered side down, then fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake crust until sides are set, about 20 minutes. Remove foil and beans. Bake crust until sides are golden and bottom is set, pressing with back of fork if crust bubbles, about 10 minutes longer. Cool crust in pan on rack. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.

Spread almond filling evenly in crust. Drain canned pears, cut each half crosswise into thin slices. Gently press each pear half to fan slices but keep slices tightly overlapped. Slide spatula under pears and arrange atop filling like spokes of wheel with narrow ends in center.

Bake tart until golden and tester inserted into center of filling comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Cool tart in pan on rack. Push pan bottom up, releasing tart from pan. (Can be made 8 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.) Cut tart into wedges; sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired, and serve.


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