I couldn’t be more happier seeing this Almond Pear Tart on the table. It has a buttery almond tart, a nice almond filling (frangipane) and a soft sweet pear neatly arranged on top.
I’m eating this tart while I’m writing this post and I am at lost or words on how I can do justice explaining how delicious this tart is, it’s just over the too without any exaggeration. I’m literary analyzing every bite I make to find the word to express my happiness with this tart.
The Almond Base Crust
Let me start with the base Almond crust. It’s so buttery and creamy with a nice almond flavor. It’s not as smooth as regular pie crust which in my opinion set this apart from the regular pie crust. It’s like a shortbread but with the subtle flavor of almond, it’s wonderful.
The Almond Filling
It’s creamy, soft and it feels like it’s melting in my mouth in every spoonful. It’s not sweet which made the almond taste standout, it’s buttery it’s just plain delicious.
The Pear Toppings
I never knew that I would like pear as much as I like this now. But in fairness, these past few days I had been eating fresh pears almost everyday since I found the variation that I like. It’s the xxx, it’s smaller compared to other pears and it’s juicy and most specialty it’s soft rather than crunchy. Anyway, back to this pie. I used canned pear for this recipe and I strongly suggest it, or a poached pear will work too. Fresh pear will not work as much because it’s hard and it might end up not cook yet even before the entire pie is fully baked. Besides, canned pears are not only soft, it has a nice subtle sweetness which will make the pie taste even better. I have to tell you, this pear when baked turned out so soft, so delicious and so perfect with this pie.
I love everything about this pie, from the base crust, to the filling and to the fruit topping. There is something about almonds that I love when used in baking. It doesn’t have the smooth texture but that kind of coarse grainy texture have some appeal to me specially in tarts and cookies. I love the subtle creamy taste of almonds and I find that using it in tarts and cookies are the best way to go. I do like using it for cakes sometimes, but for me the almond grainy texture does not always play well with cakes, with the exception of some like my Almond Torte Cake.
Most of my baking recipes are small batch or portion for two or even one sometimes. For this Pear Almond Tart, I made an exception since I will be serving this for a gathering, so big is the way to go. I have always dreamed of making a huge pie like this but never got the chance to actually do it. I bought this pie pan years ago when I was planning to bring a pie a get together. To cut the story short, the get together did not happen and so my pie pan stayed un-open in my cabinet. This kind of pie is perfect for bottom release pan, so that’s a sign for me to finally open and use it.
Although this could work in regular pie pan, using a bottom release pie pan is recommend if you want to retain the nice fluted edge of the tart. Also, if you are serving it for a get together, it looks 100% better and more appealing. When it comes to food presentation, I am also for make it beautiful.
This pie looks beautiful, but don’t be scared in making it. It’s really pretty simple, you can even make this part by part in different days or everything on the same day.
So if you are looking for a perfect Fall pie, go outside of the regular pumpkin and apple pie. There’s nothing wrong with those two, a lot of people love them but the challenge is to date to be different, I’m telling you, it’s worth it. You will be thanking me for this.
The Process Behind the Beauty of This Tart
First – Make the Tart Crust: Have you made any kind of Pie Crust before? or maybe a Shortbread Cookie of some sort? This part is similar to making a pie or tart base which is really simple. For a better texture and strong base, I strongly suggest you blind bake (pre-bake) the tart crust before using it, about 20 minutes then let it cool completely. This will make a solid base and will not soften easily when the filling is added. This part can be made ahead of time, cool, cover and store in the fridge until ready to use.
Second – Make the Frangipane (Almond Filling): This one could also be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge overnight until ready to assemble. This is basically an almond paste filling made from almond flour, flour, sugar, butter and egg. It’s similar to almond shortbread but it’s a lot loose and runny.
Third – Assemble: The most exciting part! Now that you have all the 3 parts done, you are now ready to assemble it, bake it and enjoy it!
Are you ready to give it a try? Let’s have a closer look at the steps involved in these four parts. Let’s get started!
Let’s make the Sweet Almond Pastry Tart Crust
- 1 cup All-Purpose Flour
- 1/4 cup Almond Flour
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1 tablespoon granulated White Sugar
- 1/2 cup cold unsalted Butter, cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces
- 2 tablespoon ice COLD Water
- 1 Egg Yolk
- In a food processor, place the flour, salt, and sugar and process until combined. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
- Mix egg yolk and water and in pour in a slow, steady stream through the feed tube until the pastry just holds together when pinched. Add remaining water, if necessary.
- Turn the pastry out onto your work surface, gather it into a disk, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about one hour or until firm.
- Once the pastry has chilled sufficiently, remove from refrigerator and place on a lightly floured surface and mold in a 9-inch tart or pie pan. If you have a removable bottom tart pan, that is the best choice for this as the tart cab be lifted easily for clean cutting.
- Cover with plastic wrap or put in a ziplock bag and place in the freezer for about 30 minutes – 1 hour before baking. This can also be kept frozen for 2-3 months. Bake without thawing.
Let’s Make the Frangipane/Almond Filling
- 1/2 cup icing Sugar – sifted
- 1/2 cup/(1 stick) unsalted Butter, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 large Egg, room temperature
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1/2 cup Almond Flour – sifted
- 1 tablespoon All-purpose Flour – sifted
- 3 medium size Pear – pealed and sliced thinly
- 1 teaspoon sliced Almond – for garnishing
- Beat butter and powdered sugar until smooth and pale in color. Add vanilla extract and continue mixing until just combined.
- Add the beaten egg slowly and continue mixing for another 2 minutes.
- Add all-purpose flour, almond flour, salt and mix for another 2 minutes. Store in container and keep refrigerated until ready to use. This can be made 2-3 days ahead of time.
Let’s Assemble the Tart
- Pre-heat oven to 350F.
- Spread the frangipane onto the tart crust. Scrape and level to distribute as evenly as possible.
- Arrange the sliced Pear on top of the tart. Lightly press on top, do not push down too much.
- Bake for 55 – 65 minutes (adjust baking time as needed as it will depend on how thick your frangipane layer is, your oven configuration and the size of the pan). Take out from the oven at 45 minutes and cover the top with aluminum foil. Return to the oven and bake for another 15 – 20 minutes or until the center is set.
- Remove and let cool completely before serving. I like making this ahead of time to allow more time to set in the refrigerator so that it gives a more stable crust and clean cut.
- Dust the top with icing sugar and sprinkle sliced Almonds – (optional)
There you go! a delicious and elegant dessert that is sure to dazzle your guest. Enjoy!
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