Pear Almond Tart
1 recipe paté sucrée for 10” tart pan with removable bottom
3 large, ripe, firm pears (suggest Bosc)
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup (5 tablespoons) butter, softened
1 egg white or yolk
2/3 cup (3 oz.) ground almonds
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons kirsch
1/2 cup apricot jam, strained and heated
Prepare tart shell and chill 1/2 hour.
Peel, core, and halve the pears. Rub them with lemon juice so they won’t brown too quickly, and to enhance flavor. Set aside.
Cream 1/3 cup sugar and butter; add egg and egg white and mix. Add ground almonds (can use coffee grinder), almond extract, kirsch, and mix well.
Place pear halves cut side down on a cutting surface and slice them into thin pieces horizontally, keeping the slices together.
Put the almond-cream mixture into the well chilled pastry shell and fan out the pear slices on the top with the narrower tops of the pears toward the center and the wider bottoms toward the outside. Use two pears to form a cross and fill in the spaces with the remaining slices. Sprinkle pears with the remaining sugar and bake the tart in the lower third of a preheated d350 degree oven for 35 minutes. Then move the tart to the upper third of the oven and continue baking until it is puffed and brown, 15-20 minutes more. Cool.
For the glaze, heat apricot jam to boiling for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and separate the larger fruit in the jam. Glaze tart with the mixture.
Paté Sucrée (Rich Pie Pastry)
This makes enough or one 10-12” tart shell. It is a rich, cookie-like crust.
1 1/2 cups white flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar or 1/3 cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons butter, softened
2 egg yolks
cold water as necessary
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine flour, sugar and then add butter and mix well until crumbly. Beat egg yolks in bowl with tablespoon of cold water and vanilla. Blend by hand or food processor. If necessary add more water by the tablespoonful until dough begins to form a ball. Too much water will make the dough tough. Remove and shape into a thick patty; wrap in wax paper and chill for at least 1/2 hour before using. After rolling out dough to a 1/4” thickness, line tart pan with it. Use foil to line tart shell and fill with pie weights. Partially bake in preheated oven of 425 degrees for 15 minutes to keep the crust from becoming soggy. If shell needs to be totally cooked through continue until baking until done. Otherwise, remove foil and pie weights and fill tart shell with desired mixture and continue baking according to recipe.
WINE: Serve with a dessert wines such as Late Harvest Riesling or French Sauterne. Remember the wine should be about the same sweetness as the dessert, otherwise the wine will taste dry and coarse.