This Pear and Almond Tart marked my first time using almond paste as an ingredient. Yummy! I love almond flavor so I’m not sure why I waited so long. Now I’m trying to think of other things to bake using this fantastic ingredient!
This tart was a great, the almond flavor really came through and the pears made this dessert seem a little lighter…..not a bad thing since it followed a very filling Christmas dinner. I decided to throw a handful of cranberries on top which gave this tart a nice punch of color and also a bit of tang to balance the sweetness of the almond paste.
3 cups all-purpose flour
5 tbsp cold water
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
~Divide the dough in half. Form 2 evenly sized balls of dough and place each dough into a large ziploc bag. Using a rolling pin, slightly flatten each ball of dough (about ½ inch thick) to make rolling easier later. Seal the bags and place them in the freezer until you need them. (If you will be using it immediately it’s still a good idea to put in the freezer for about 15 to 20 minutes to chill.)
When you are ready to use the dough to make a crust, remove from the freezer and allow to thaw for 15 minutes. On a floured surface roll the dough, starting at the center and working your way out. (Sprinkle some flour over top of the dough if it’s a bit too moist.) If the dough is sticking to the countertop use a metal spatula and carefully scrape it up and flip it over and continue rolling until it’s about ½ inch larger in diameter than your tart (or pie) pan.
With a spatula, lift the dough carefully from the surface of the counter into the tart pan. Gently press the dough against the edges of the pan. Refrigerate crust while preparing the filling.
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 medium Bartlett or Anjou pears (about 7 ounces each)
~Peel pears. Cut each pear in half lengthwise and core. Slice 1 pear half crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Press on pear half to fan slices toward wider end. Slide spatula under pear half and place atop tart filling, positioning narrow end of pear in center of tart and wider end against crust. Repeat with remaining pear halves. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Brush over pears. Sprinkle with a handful of fresh or frozen cranberries if desired.