Pear Tart

Pear TartCourtesy of Susan DeMara

For the Dough:
½ cup finely chopped hazelnuts
12 T. butter, slightly softened
½ cup powdered sugar
1 lg. egg
1 ¾ cup flour

Using an electric mixer w/paddle attachment beat the butter and powdered sugar at high speed until fluffy. Add the egg, mix to combine. Lower the speed to slow and add the flour, mix until barely combined. Add hazelnuts and mix until dough comes together. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

For the Almond Mixture:
½ c. whole unblanched almonds
¼ c. granulated sugar
½ stick plus 1 T. unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1 inch cubes
¼ c. almond paste
1 lg. egg
1 T rum or brandy
½ t. pure almond extract

In a food processor combine the almonds and 1/8-cup of the sugar to a fine meal. In the bowl of an electric mixer w/the paddle, cream the butter on low until softened. Add the remaining 1/8-cup sugar and the ground almond mixture, and mix on medium 2 to 3 more minutes until light and fluffy, scrape the bowl as necessary. Crumble in the almond paste one teaspoon at a time, mixing on medium, until combined. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, rum, and almond extract. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add the liquid in a thin steady stream, mix until incorporated. Chill until set about 1 hour.

For the Pears:
6-8 unpeeled Bartlett pears, firm but ripe
3 T. sugar
1t. Cinnamon

To Assemble:
Preheat the oven to 350 degree
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. You will need a 4-5 inch fluted cutter.

Divide the dough in half. Roll out on floured surface to ¼ inch. Cut with fluted cutter. With a spatula, place the rounds on cookie sheet.

To each flat tart add approximately 2 tsp. of almond cream on each round, keeping it within about ¼ inch of the border.

Cut the pear in 4 parts lengthwise, slice very thinly. Layer the pears on the tart; you will layer about 10-15 thin pieces of pear.

Sprinkle with the sugar, cinnamon mix. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until brown.