Pear Plus Pear Tart

Tart filled with pears with pear liqueur glaze

I recently wrote a post about my new Cuisinart, which I broke in this weekend making the crust for a pear tart to bring to a holiday party. As usual, I combined a couple of recipes and then tinkered with the combination to come up with a delicious tart using a fruit that is easy to obtain in at this time of year. IMHO, the flavor combination of pears and almond makes winter dessert magic.

Pear Plus Pear Tart

Ingredients

One pâte brisée, baked as directed in an 11-inch fluted tart shell (I used the recipe from page 724 of my vintage Gourmet Cookbook, Volume I)

Filling

1/3 cup almond paste (half of an Odense brand package)
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, slightly softened
1 tablespoon of flour
1 egg
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 large Bosc pears, peeled, cored and thinly sliced into about 1/4-inch slices
lemon juice

Pear Glaze

1/4 cup pear jam (apricot jam would work well too)
3/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/8 teaspoon dried lemon peel
3 tablespoons pear liqueur (I used Pere William)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1.  Arrange the pear slices on the tart shell in a spiral pattern, overlapping slightly. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until the pears have a bit of color and the edges of the tart shell are golden brown.

2.  Meanwhile, beat together the almond paste and sugar, trying to break the almond paste apart. (It does not need to be smooth; small lumps will dissolve while baking.)  Beat in the butter. In a separate bowl, mix egg, flour, salt and almond extract and beat until light. Combine almost paste mixture and egg-flour mixture. Spread this mixture over the bottom of the tart shell. It might not seem like enough, but it expands slightly while baking.

3. While the tart is baking, combine the jam, lemon peel, almond  extract liqueur in a small sauce pan and warm over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes until it is reduced and thickened. Remove from heat and set aside until tart is out of the oven. Brush the glaze over the pears, and cool the tart on a wire rack. Serve plain or with ice cream, frozen yogurt or gelato (vanilla or your choice of flavors).

Serves 8 — or more as part of a buffet.

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