I found this pear and almond tart recipe on my way home, on tram 11. Someone left behind a Food & Travel magazine behind, and curiosity made me pick it up to flip through. Two tram stops latter, I had already decided to try all recipes. As pears are at its prime around A.’s birthday, it has become her official birthday cake. Well, sort of.
Pear and almond tart
For the pastry
- 200g plain flour
- 2 table spoons caster sugar
- 100g cold unsalted butter cut into pieces
- a pinch of salt
- 100g unsalted butter
- 100g sugar
- 2 eggs
- 100g ground almonds
- 2 table spoons flour
- 3-4 ripe pears
To make the pastry, put the flour, sugar, butter and salt in a food processor, and, using the pulse button, process until the butter is broken down (about 5-10 pulses). Add 3 tablespoons of cold water, and pulse just until the dough forms coarse crumbs; add one more tablespoon of water if necessary, but do not do more than 10 pulses. Transfer the pastry to a sheet of backing parchment, form into a ball and flatten to a disk. Wrap in the paper and let stand for 30-60 minutes.
Roll out the pastry to the diameter of the baking tin (a tarte tatin or other round flame proof baking dish). Turn the tin upside down and on the rolled out pastry and press down and trace around the edge with a sharp knife.
Alternatively, just use pre made pastry. It might not be so good, but it does the trick.
Preheat the oven the 200oC. Prick the pastry all over, line with baking parchment, and fill with baking weights. Bake for 15min, then remove the paper and weights (I used beans), and bake for 10-15min more, until just golden. Let the tart shell cool slightly before filling.
To make the almond cream, put the butter and sugar in a bowl and mix with the electric mixer, until fluffy and lemon coloured (it takes some time and patience. I start with melted butter). Beat in the eggs one at a time. Using a spatula, fold in the almonds and flour until well mixed.
Preheat the oven to 190oC. Spread the almond cream evenly in the tart shell. Peel and core the pears, and slice into 8-12 pieces, depending on the size of the fruit. Arrange the pear slices on top of the almond cream. Bake for about 20-30min, until puff and golden. Serve warm.