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Old 12-11-2004, 08:08 AM   #1
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REC: Pear and Almond tart

This is our Christmas dessert!

PEAR AND ALMOND TART

8-10 servings

Crust:

2 large egg yolks
2T apple cider (I use 1T cider vinegar)
1 ¼ cups AP flour
2T sugar
½ tsp salt
9T chilled unsalted butter, cut in small pieces

Filling:

½ cup packed almond paste (about 5 oz.)
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup AP flour
4T unsalted butter, room temp
2 large eggs
½ tsp vanilla
½ cup toasted almond slices
4 medium bartlett or Anjou pears (about 1 ¾ lbs)
Apricot jam for glaze

For Crust: Whisk egg yolks and cider/vinegar in small bowl. Blend flour, sguar and salt in processor. Add chilled butter and process til mixture resembles coarse meal. Add egg yolk mixture and process til moist clumps form. Gather dough into a ball, press into a disk; wrap in plastic and chill 1 hour. Press dough evenly into bottom and up sides of 11 inch diameter tart pan with removeable bottom. Chill while preparing filling.

For Filling: Preheat oven to 375. Blend almond paste and sugar in processor til paste is finely ground. Add flour and 3T butter, and process til a thick paste forms. Add eggs and vanilla and process til smooth. Spread flling in crust, and cover and chill while preparing pears.

Peel pears – Cut each pear in half lengthwise, and core (melon baller is great for this!); slice 1 pear half crosswise into 1/3 inch thick slices toward the wider end; don’t cut all the through the top, narrower end. Press the pear half to fan the slices toward the wider end. Slide a spatula under the pear and plate on top of the filling, positioning narrow end of pear in center of tart and wider end against crust. Repeat with remaining pears. Melt the remaining 1T butter and brush over the pears.

Bake til pears are tender and crust is brown, about 50 minutes. Cool 30 minutes. Remove from pan. Melt the apricot jam in a small pan, and brush over the top of the tart. Sprinkle almonds all over the tart, or make a border around the edge of the tart with the almonds. Serve warm or at room temp.

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