Saturday, September 13, 2014

Autumn Pear Tart


I didn't intend to have a hunkin' slice of pear tart for breakfast this morning. However, that's how it turned out.  I'm leaving for Portland in less than two weeks and I have a ton of things to do to get ready, but I really wanted to share a pear tart recipe with you and today was my window of opportunity. 

There's something so perfect about pears- their feminine shape, their soft skin, their ethereal flavor.  What do you do with it that doesn't overpower the pear's gentile nature?  For this tart I firmly grounded it in a flaky whole wheat crust filled with a light frangipane and once baked simply gave each slice a drizzle of caramel sauce.  

Was it overkill?  You'll have to decide for yourself.  I only know that when all was said and done and the next to the last photo was taken, I decided that, with the morning quickly disappearing and a looming to-do list ahead, this pretty pear tart would be the perfect breakfast.

Autumn pear tart

filling

4 tablespoons soft butter
1/2 cup cane sugar
2 eggs
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 cup almond flour 
2 or 3 firm, ripe pears
caramel sauce (optional)


In a large bowl whisk together soft butter and sugar.  Add eggs and almond extract and continue whisking.  Fold in almond flour with a spatula until completely combined.  Cover and chill for one hour.

tart dough

1&1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon raw cane sugar
2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into tiny pieces
1/4 cup cold vegetable shortening
1 to 2 tablespoons ice water

In a large bowl whisk together flour and sugar.  Cut in butter and vegetable shortening unto mixture resembles course meal.  Add enough ice water to form dough.  Chill for 1/2 hour. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Using a small amount at a time, work the dough evenly into the sides and bottom of a 3 1/2 by 7 inch long tart pan or a 6 inch round tart pan.  Prick with a fork along the bottom.  Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until dough is just baked through.  Cool thoroughly before continuing.

assembly

almond filling
baked tart shell
pears
raw cane sugar
caramel sauce (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Peel pears and slice in half.  Spread almond filling in baked tart shell (keep shell in pan).  Slice each half, starting from just below the top of the pear, in thin slices.  Fan pears and lay on top of almond filling.  Sprinkle with sugar.  Place tart shell on cookie sheet.  Bake tart for 35 to 40 minutes or until filling in set and golden.  Cool tart on wire rack before removing from tart pan.  Serve with caramel sauce or vanilla ice cream.  Makes about 6 servings.


             






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