So, I canned a bunch of pears back in September. (Recipe here). Now that it’s February it’s really sinking in how delicious they are.Out of all my canning projects from 2013, they’re one of my favorites. Before they were ever in jars, these pears were some of the best I’ve ever tasted. Ever! They were grown right in Redwood Valley by a lovely couple that I met at the farmers market a few years ago. (They’re basically the embodiment of the kind of fruit I want to be preserving all the time). A lot of the time we just eat them out of the jar, but I needed to take a dessert to a friend’s house yesterday and whipped together this tart with some of them. An almond crust combined with sliced canned pears and a rich vanilla custard (with eggs from our chickens!) made for a really lovely tart that tastes delicate and luxurious at the same time. This recipe is a combination of a couple recipes: the crust is an adaptation from Deborah Madison’s nut crust in Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, p. 695 and the filling is based off of this pear tart recipe from Williams Sonoma.
PEAR ALMOND TART
Cook Time: 1 hr.
For the Crust:
- 1/2 c. slivered almonds, roughly chopped
- 3/4 c. flour
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 3 tbs. sugar
- 5 tbs. butter
- 2 tbs. water
For the Filling:
- approximately 6 canned pear halves
- 3 medium eggs
- 2/3 c. sugar
- zest from 1 lemon
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 1/4 c. heavy cream
- 3 tbs. flour
- 2 tbs. butter, melted
Combine the almonds, flour, salt, and sugar in a mixing bowl. Cut in the butter with a fork. Add 2 tbs. of water and use your hands to form the dough into a ball. Press the dough into a 9″ tart pan.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put the crust into the freezer for 15 minutes to firm up, and then bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
While the crust is baking, prepare the filling:
In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the eggs until they’re frothy. Add in the sugar, lemon zest, vanilla, heavy cream, flour and butter. Mix to combine everything thoroughly. Slice the pear halves into 1/4″ thick slices. (Depending on the size of your pears, you may need slightly more or less to cover the tart shell with a layer of pears.)
After the crust has cooked for ten minutes, take it out of the oven. Raise the oven temperature to 400 degrees. Arrange the pear slices to make an even layer covering the crust. Pour the custard mixture over the top of the pears. Put the tart in the back in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, until the filling is set and golden brown.
Note: I served this tart after it had fully cooled. I’m not sure how it would be still hot; I think the custard sets a bit while it’s cooling.