After day dreaming about a pear and almond tart at work last week (hello there 3pm sugar cravings!) I just had to make one the next chance I had.
I had a Sunday visit planned to see family out at Kurrajong, however I was told not to bring a dessert this time as my Aunty was making some Golden Syrup Dumplings (!!!).
So.. when I arrived home after being fed extremely well I was definitely not in the mood for dessert, but still felt like baking.
I really need to start reading recipes further down than the ingredients list, otherwise I end up losing focus and overcooking crusts at ridiculous hours of a Sunday night.
Thankfully I poached the pears the day before!
I have borrowed this recipe from Epicurious. :)
4 cups water
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 medium-size firm but ripe pears, peeled
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup blanched slivered almonds
1/4 teaspoon salt
9 tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg yolk
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
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
For the pears:
- Bring 4 cups water, sugar, and lemon juice to boil in large saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves.
- Add pears. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until pears are very tender, turning occasionally, about 20 minutes.
- Cool pears in syrup.
Note: Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.
- Blend powdered sugar, almonds, and salt in processor until nuts are finely ground.
- Add butter and blend until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl occasionally.
- Mix in egg yolk.
- Add the flour and then using the pulse function, blend until dough comes together in clumps
- Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 3 hours (I cheated and only left it for 2 – GASP)
Note: Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep refrigerated.
For 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.
Note: Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.
- Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 190°C
- Roll out chilled dough on floured sheet of baking paper to 12-inch round (lifting and turning dough to free from paper)
- Put dough into a 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom
- Trim overhang to 1/2 inch. Fold overhang in, making double-thick sides. Stab crust all over with fork.
- Freeze the crust 10 for minutes
- Line the crust with buttered foil, buttered side down, then fill with pie weights
- Bake crust until sides are set, about 20 minutes
Note: When I took my crust out at this stage it was pretty well cooked then, so I’d drop this down to 15 mins and then maybe 5 mins more for the next step (for me – you know your ovens better than I do).
- Remove foil and beans and 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 175°C
- Spread the almond filling evenly in crust.
- Stem pears and cut each in half lengthwise; scoop out cores. Cut each half crosswise into thin slices.
- Arrange pears however you fancy ontop of the filling (the recipe called for a nice fan pattern, not on a Sunday night – sorry).
- Bake tart until golden and tester inserted into center of filling comes out clean, about 55 minutes.
Note: I wrapped tin foil around the edge of the pan to protect the crust from burning.
- Cool tart in pan on rack. Push pan bottom up, releasing tart from pan.
Note: Can be made 8 hours ahead. Keep at room temperature in an airtight container