Pear Almond Cream Tart. Well, Christmas is coming and I wish to share today my favourite french tart to these special days. This glorious tart makes a truly indulgent dessert. It might be varied according to the season -it equally successful made with pears, nectarines, peaches, apricots or apples.
Ingredients for the pastry:
200g/ 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
25g/1/4 cup icing sugar
100g/1/2 cup butter
2 egg yolks
15ml/1 tablespoon chilled water
Ingredients for the tart:
3 firm pears (or nectarines, peaches, apricots or apples)
a little lemon juice
15ml/1 tablespoon peach brandy or rum or water
60ml/4 tablespoon peach or orange preserve
Ingredients for the almond cream filling:
100g/3/4 cup blanched almonds
50g/1/4 cup caster sugar
65g/5 tablespoon butter
1egg, plus 1 egg white
a few drops of almond essence or rose water
Pear Almond Cream Tart Method:
To make the pastry, sift the flour with the salt and sugar. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Mix the egg yolks and water, sprinkle over the dry ingredients and mix to a dough. Knead for a few seconds until smooth. Wrap in clear film and chill for 30 minutes.
Roll out the pastry and use to line a 23cm flan tin, then chill. Meanwhile, make the filling.
Pulse the almond and caster sugar in a food processor until finely ground but not pastry. Add the butter and process until creamy, then mix in the egg, egg white and almond essence.
Place a baking sheet in the oven and preheat to 190c/Gas 5. Thinly peel and halve the pears, remove their cores and rub them lightly with lemon juice. Put them cut side down and slice thinly crossways, keeping the slices together.
Pour the almond cream filling into the pasty case. Slide a palette knife under one pear half and press the top with your fingers to fan out the slices. Quickly transfer to the tart, placing the fruit on the filling like spokes of a wheel. Remove a few slices from each half before arranging and use to fill in any gaps in the center.
Place the tart on the hot baking sheet and bake for 500-55 minutes or until the filling is set and well browned. Cool on a wire rack.
Meanwhile, heat the brandy or water and the preserve in a small pan, then brush over the top of the hot tart to glaze. Serve at room temperature.