Monday, September 6, 2010

A tale of two twittering tarts

Last week after picking up two bushels of pears from a fruit stand, I sent a tweet out into the vast cosmic void: Researching all things pear. What's YOUR favorite way to eat the fruit (besides straight up, of course)?

Two people responded with recipes, both of which were tarts, one chocolate (thanks, Jan!) and the other almond cream (thanks, Cousin Zoe!). I made them both.


That night I told my family that they must eat some of each kind and choose their favorite. They took their orders seriously, applying their forks most industriously.


The result? They chose the almond cream, and I chose the chocolate.

Though the next day, after the almond cream had spent the night firming up in the fridge, I found myself wavering, and after splitting the last piece with Mr. Handsome this afternoon, I’ve joined the ranks of the almond cream lovers.


The almond cream tart sports an almond crust, a thin layer of cream cheese, slices of juicy pear, and a heavy dusting of cinnamon sugar that, after baking, melts into a glorious golden glaze. It’s like cheesecake, only more refined and delicate.


Almond Cream Pear Tart
From my cousin Zoe

While delicious at room temperature, this tart is best after a twelve hour rest in the fridge.

For the crust:
3 tablespoons butter
7 tablespoons (or ½ cup minus 1 tablespoon) sugar
3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup finely ground almonds
pinch of salt

Cream together the butter and sugar. Mix in the flour, ground almonds, and salt. Press the crumbs into the bottom of a 10-inch springform pan.

For the filling:
8 ounces cream cheese
3 tablespoons sugar
1 egg
1/4 t almond extract
3 pears, cored, peeled, and sliced
2 tablespoons sugar mixed with 1-2 teaspoons cinnamon

Beat together (no need to wash the beaters after using them to make the crust) the cream cheese and sugar. Add the egg and almond extract. Pour the filling over the crust. Arrange the pear slices on top of the filling. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the pears.

Bake the tart at 425 degrees for 10 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue baking for anther 15-20 minutes. Cool the tart to room temperature before serving, or, better yet, chill it overnight in the refrigerator. As Zoe says, “It's a long, hard wait but you'll get through it.”

This same time, years previous: a quick rundown, spilt marbles, part II, and say cheese!

4 comments:

  1. If it came from Zoë, I have no doubt it's delicious. Now I need an occasion.

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  2. ThyHand: You could celebrate my daughter's birthday on Friday :) Or wait, isn't JJ turning a year older soon? Or did that already happen?

    I have 6 pears left. I think half of them will go into one of these tarts to serve to the men harvesting corn.

    Glad you liked the tart, JJ! And why on earth are you eating your dried pears already?!

    Oh, and the original recipe came from Taste of Home and it called for canned pears so this is a year-round tart. Woohoo!

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  3. Oh, I'd definitely vote for the Almond Cream Tart. Even without tasting. (I think my mouth is watering right now.) But no offense, Jan. I'm sure your recipe is highly edible(!), too.

    Funny, when I read the title of this post, a totally different picture came into my mind.

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  4. Do you think you would notice if you had a 5th child at your house? I don't think it would be THAT obvious. I could wear clown wigs and cut up my clothes to make pants, and hammer myself, etc. Granted, the age difference would make it a little unbelievable, but (sob), I (sob sob), need (sob sob sob) TARTS!

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