by Karin Calloway
Pears reign supreme as the baking fruit in winter. From warm pear crisps to this week’s recipe for Pear and Almond Tart, pears turn up often in my desserts from fall to winter. This recipe takes advantage of pears’ natural affinity combining with almonds for a sublime, yet quick tart. Prepared pie crust is fitted into a tart pan with a removable bottom. The crust is topped with crumbled almond paste, then sliced pears are arranged decoratively on top.
The pears are topped with a buttermilk custard, which brings a natural tartness to the dessert. Since the recipe calls for a small amount of buttermilk, feel free to substitute whipping cream if you’re not going to be baking up a chocolate cake or a batch of biscuits.
This is a great recipe to double. The prepared pie crusts come in packages of two, and the recipe only calls for half a can of almond paste. Double the remaining ingredients and serve at a dinner party, or take your extra tart to welcome new neighbors.
- 1 prepared pie crust
- 1/2 cup almond paste (half of an 8-ounce can)
- 3 ripe Bosc pears, peeled, cored and sliced
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons flour
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup buttermilk or whipping cream
Optional Almond Crunch Topping
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F on convection bake. Place pie crust in a 10-inch tart pan with removable bottom and trim to fit pan. Crumble almond paste over bottom. Arrange pears decoratively on top of almond paste.
- 1/3 cup slivered almonds
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup crystallized ginger
In a small bowl, combine sugar, egg, flour, vanilla and buttermilk. Pour over tart. Prepare optional Almond Crunch Topping by combining ingredients in a food processor, pulsing several times to coarsely chop the almonds and ginger. Sprinkle over top of pears. Or, omit the topping and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon granulated sugar.
Bake tart for 45 minutes. Allow to cool 15 minutes before slicing and serving. Tart also can be refrigerated and served cold.
Makes 1 tart.