Classic Tart Recipe
Pears And Almonds – A Classic Tart Combo Gets A Gluten-Free Makeover
Pears and almonds make such a classic flavor combination. When the sweet juiciness of perfectly ripe pears, is matched with the toasty nuttiness of almonds, it is truly a match made in Heaven! Pear Almond Tarts have been a favorite in my family for years.
Like many people, my schedule is sometimes too full to enjoy a whole day spent preparing a single dessert, no matter how delicious it is. It is at times like that I am happy to take shortcuts, as long as they do not compromise the quality of my recipe. Read also: Tiramisu Cake Recipe
The beauty of pears is that in the United States there is hardly a month when some variety is not in season. And even if the pears purchased from the grocery store are not perfectly ripe at the time of purchase, a few days in a bowl on the kitchen counter or dining room tables will yield beautiful, juicy, lush pears.
With ripe pears and a can of Almond Paste, you can whip up a beautiful, classic pear tart in half the time and a fraction of the effort of traditional pear tart recipes.
And this tart has the added advantage of being gluten-free. With 25% of the population currently adhering to a gluten-free diet, it is a good chance that you may have to accommodate someone on such a diet should you host a dinner party.
1 cup superfine white rice flour
3 tablespoons potato starch
1 tablespoon tapioca starch
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
(Or you can substitute 1¼ cups of all-purpose gluten-free flour for the above ingredients)
1/2 teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
Up to 1/2 cup ice cold water
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1 – 8 ounce can Almond Paste (not marzipan)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 large eggs
3 large Pears
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon apple, pear, or red currant jelly, melted – optional
Easy Gluten Free Pear Almond Tart
Place the flour, starches and xanthan gum (or all-purpose gluten-free flour) in the bowl of a food processor along with the salt. Pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter and process until the mixture looks like coarse meal with a few larger pieces of butter in it. With the machine running add the water, a little at a time, just until the dough starts to form a ball around the blades. The dough should be soft but not sticky. Read also: Cakes Decorating Ideas
Gather the dough into a ball and wrap with plastic wrap. Flatten the ball into a disk and refrigerate for an hour. Can be made several days ahead at this point and stored in the fridge. If refrigerated for more than an hour, remove the dough from the fridge about 10 minutes before rolling to let it soften a bit.
Spray a 10 or 11-inch tart pan with removable bottom lightly with gluten-free, non-stick cooking spray.
Roll the dough between two pieces of parchment paper or plastic wrap to about ¼ of an inch thick and a little larger than your tart pan. Remove the top piece of paper and flip the dough into the tart pan then remove the other sheet of paper. Gently push the dough into the pan to fill it and remove any excess. If the dough splits, just push it to pack together.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare the filling.
Crumble the almond paste into the bowl of a food processor and pulse several times to break it up. Add the powdered sugar, melted butter, and eggs. Process until the mixture is smooth. Pour the mixture into the tart crust and smooth the top with a spatula.
Peel the pears cut them in half and remove the core and the bottom end with a melon-baller or paring knife. Lay each pear half flat on a cutting board, cut side down, and cut into 1/2 inch slices. Gently push the slices down with your hand to fan them out a bit. Slide a large spatula under the sliced pear half and place it on the filling with the top of the pear half facing the center of the tart. Repeat with remaining pear halves. Brush the pears with the lemon juice and sprinkle the granulated sugar on top.
Bake for 40 – 45 minutes or until the filling is set. Brush the tops of the pears with melted jelly if desired. Let cool in the tart pan then remove the outer ring and serve.
Serves 8 – 10.
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