This almond pear tart is so buttery and rich, it's the perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea on a rainy El Nino day.
Ingredients:----For the pears:4 cups water1 1/4 cups sugar1 1/2 t fresh lemon juice4 pears, pealed----For the crust:1/2 cup powdered sugar1/4 cup slivered almonds1/4 t salt9 T unsalted butter, room temperature1 egg yolk1 1/4 cups flour----For the filling:2/3 cups slivered almonds1 T flour7 T sugar6 T unsalted butter, room temperature1 egg Recipe:For the pears: Bring 4 cups water, sugar, and lemon juice to boil in large saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add pears. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until pears are very tender, turning occasionally, about 20 minutes. Cool pears in syrup.
For the crust: Blend powdered sugar, almonds, and salt in a food processor until nuts are finely ground. Add butter and blend until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl occasionally. Mix in egg yolk. Add flour. Blend until dough comes together in clumps. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic and chill at least 3 hours.
For the filling: Finely grind almonds and flour in a food processor. Mix in 7 tablespoons sugar, then butter, blending until smooth. Mix in egg. Transfer filling to medium bowl. Cover and chill at least 3 hours. Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F. Roll out chilled dough on floured sheet of parchment paper to 14-inch round, lifting and turning dough occasionally to free from paper. Using paper as aid, turn dough into 11-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom; peel off paper. Seal any cracks in dough. Trim overhang to 1/2 inch. Fold overhang in, making double-thick sides. Pierce crust all over with fork. Freeze crust 10 minutes.
Line crust with buttered foil, buttered side down, then fill with pie weights. Bake crust until sides are set, about 20 minutes. Remove foil and weights. Bake crust until sides are golden and bottom is set, pressing with back of fork if crust bubbles, about 10 minutes longer. Cool crust in pan on rack. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.
Spread almond filling evenly in crust. Stem pears and cut in half; scoop out cores. Cut each half crosswise into thin slices. Gently press each pear slightly overlapping, starting from the crust and working towards the center. This gives it a petaled effect.
Bake tart until golden and tester inserted into center of filling comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Cool tart in pan on rack. Push pan bottom up, releasing tart from pan. Serves 8 Inspired by this recipe.