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Pear & Almond French Tart

Ingredients

_For pears_:

  • 6 Bosc Pears peeled and cored, leaving the stems intact
  • 1 quart Water
  • ½ cup Honey
  • 2 tablespoons Vanilla Sugar or 1 tbs vanilla extract
  • 1 Cinnamon stick
  • 4-5 whole Cloves
  • ½ Lemon

_For French tart_:

  • 3 oz. 6 tablespoons unsalted Butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon Oil vegetable or canola
  • 3 tablespoons Water
  • 1 tablespoon Sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon Salt
  • 5 oz. all-purpose Flour 1 slightly rounded cup

_For Almond filling_:

  • 6 oz. Almond paste Marzipan works too, but omit the sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Sugar if using the almond paste
  • 2 teaspoons Flour
  • 6 tablespoons Butter cubed, room temperature
  • 1 large Egg plus one Egg White, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon Lemon zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Amaretto Kirschwasser or Rum
  • 3-4 drops Almond Extract optional
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds optional

Instructions

  • Poached pears:
  • Heat the water and honey until honey is dissolved and water is bubbly. Add lemon, vanilla sugar or extract, cinnamon and cloves. Slide in the pears and cover with a round of parchment paper. Simmer on low, turning occasionally until cooked through, 20-30 minutes, depending on the pears. They should be tender but not too tender. Cool pears in syrup. This can be made two days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.
  • French tart:
  • In a medium –sized ovenproof bowl, combine the butter, oil, water, sugar, and salt.
  • Place the bowl in the oven for 15 minutes, until the butter is bubbling and starts to brown just around the edges.
  • Remove the bowl from the oven using oven mittens (the bowl will be hot and the mixture might sputter a bit), dump in the flour and stir it in quickly, until it comes together and forms a ball which pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
  • Transfer the dough to a tart mold with removable bottom and spread a bit with spatula. Reserve a small piece of dough, about a size of a raspberry, for patching any cracks.
  • Once the dough is cool enough to handle, pat it into the shell with the heel of your hand, and use your fingers or fork to press it up the sides of the tart mold.
  • Prick the dough all over with the tines of a fork, then bake the tart shell in the oven for 15 minutes on 350 degrees Fahrenheit, or until the dough is golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven and if there are any sizable cracks, use the bits of reserved dough to fill in and patch them.
  • Let the shell cool before filling.
  • Almond filling:
  • Beat the almond paste with the sugar and flour until smooth. The paste might be dry and hard to work with. Microwave it in 10 seconds intervals until soft and pliable. Gradually beat in the butter, until smooth. Add eggs, liquor and almond extract.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Place the pre-baked tart shell on a baking sheet. Carefully spread the almond filling over the tart shell. Place the pears over the filling. Press the pears slightly into the filling. Sprinkle with sliced almonds.
  • Bake the tart for about 45 minutes, or until the almond filling between the pears has browned.
  • Cool tart in pan on rack before serving. Push pan bottom up, releasing tart from pan.
  • Dust with confectioner’s sugar or glaze as desired.