This pear tart tastes amazing and is really easy to make. You don’t even have to roll out the pastry - although of course you can if you want to! It is one of those recipes that doesn’t always turn out looking beautiful, but it always tastes really, really good. Sometimes I sprinkle it with a little confectioner’s sugar just to pretty it up a bit - in fact I did that this time but as I served it at a dinner party I didn’t get round to taking a photograph with the sugar on it!
The original recipe for this is actually from a blue binder of favourite family recipes my husband and his sister made when they were little, complete with illustrations, and therefore it is really part of my Family Food History and Recipe Project. Incidentally, my goals for next year include continue working on and expanding this much neglected project and also to make an index page for it - as well as developing a recipe index for both my main site and The 21st Century Housewife’s Kitchen so favourite recipes will be much easier to find. Watch this space!
When I first began making this tart I followed the recipe to the letter, but I’ve been making it for such a long time now I’ve played around with it quite a bit and developed some yummy variations. Here is my current recipe for this constantly evolving family favourite. It got rave reviews when I made it last night!
You need an 8 inch flan or pie dish.
For the pastry:
1¾ cups flour
½ cup butter, cut in small cubes
2 teaspoons sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons milk
For the filling:
2 to 3 tablespoons apricot or peach jam
½ cup granulated sugar
1¼ cups ground almonds (almond flour)
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
¼ cup butter, melted and cooled a bit
1 tablespoon Amaretto liqueur (or 1 teaspoon almond extract)
3 tablespoons cream or half and half
2 medium tins of pear halves in juice or syrup, well drained
(you need about six nice pear halves)
about 1 tablespoon Demerara sugar, for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 325℉ or 160℃.
Cut the flour and butter together in a bowl (or use a food processor) until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the sugar, and then gradually add the milk until you have a soft pliable dough that you can make into a large ball. If you want to roll out your pastry, you’ll need to pop it into the fridge to chill for about an hour before rolling. However, I just press this easy pastry into the flan dish, working it up the edges. Pop in the fridge while you make the filling.
Mix together the sugar, ground almonds, egg and egg yolk, melted butter, cream and the liqueur or almond flavouring until you have a smooth batter.
Get the pastry out of the fridge and using a pastry brush, coat the pastry in the apricot jam. Pour the filling on top of this and spread it evenly to the edges. Arrange the pears on top of this mixture, gently pressing them into it so it comes up round the edges of the pears, but leaves the tops uncovered.
Sprinkle with demerara sugar and put in the oven for twenty to thirty minutes, until the tart is lightly browned and the filling set. Cool on a wire rack.
You can serve this warm or at room temperature and it is lovely with a bit of cream or (my personal favourite) ice cream.