Rich and cake-like almond filling encircles whole pears, half-poached to tender-crisp perfection, and baked into a buttery (yet paerve!), melt-in-your mouth shortcrust to create a gorgeous medley of fall-friendly flavors. With a quick brush of sweet Amaretto-honey syrup and a sprinkle of crunchy toasted almond slices, you’ve got a rustic and delicious gourmet tart that is truly a work of art.
- Prep Time
- 8 ServingsServings
Parve Sweet Shortcrust
- 8 ounce (2 sticks) margarine
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 12 ounce (scant 3 cups) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
- zest from half a lemon
Amaretto & Honey Poached Pears
- 4-6 Bosc pears, peeled
- 5 cup water
- 1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3-1/2 cup honey
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Amaretto
- juice from half a lemon
- 6 ounce (1 1/2 sticks) margarine, softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon dark rum
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 6 ounce (about 1 1/2 cups) almond flour
- 1 1/2 ounce (about 1/3 cup) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup seasonal fruit preserved (ex: Red Currant Pomegrante)
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
For the Sweet Shortcrust:
In a large bowl, turn margarine on medium low speed to soften, gradually adding sugar and salt, creaming the ingredients together. With the mixer on low, pour small amounts of the beaten egg into the creamed mixture. If this causes the mixture to start to separate, add a pinch or two of flour to the mixture, and then continue to add the beaten egg until it has been completely incorporated. Mix in the vanilla and almond extracts, as well as the lemon zest. Add the flour and mix on low until the dough has just come together. Turn the dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap and shape it into a small square or rectangle mound. Wrap the mound of dough securely and chill in the refrigerator for at least 10 minutes (Wrapped dough will keep in the refrigerator for about 10 days, or frozen for months).
Unwrap chilled dough and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. If you’ve not already done so, form the dough into a square or rectangular shape (it is easier to create this shape now while the mass of dough is one thick mound). Use a floured rolling pin to roll out the dough into a large rectangle of desired thickness (I prefer as thin a crust as possible, although, thinly-rolled doughs are difficult to maneuver and work with.). If needed, the dough can be reshaped into another mound a refrigerated for a bit. Chilling the margarine in the dough makes it easier to roll out and shape. When desired thickness is reached (as long as the rectangle is larger than 14”x11”), wrap the dough around the rolling pin to transfer it over top of and eventually into a 12x8½-inch rectangle tart pan with a removable bottom. After the dough has been laid into the pan, gently handle the outer edges of the dough to adjust it, ensuring that each inner corner and inner edge of the tart pan is covered by the dough. Trim away the excess dough (there should be quite a bit of excess dough leftover to be wrapped and used again!) and place the dough-line pan into the refrigerator to chill while preparing the remainder of the dessert.
For the Pears (and Syrup):
Starting at the bottom of each peeled pear, use a fruit corer or a small paring knife to hollow out the core each one, keeping the stems in tact (if desired). Then, slice the bottom third or so of each pear to allow it to stand up on its own and not to tower too tall over the height of the edges of the tart pan. Set aside.
Stir together water, sugar and honey in a large pot and place over medium-high heat until sugar has dissolved and the liquid is just simmering. Stir in Amaretto and lemon juice and reduce heat to medium - medium-low. Gently drop pears into the simmering water. To keep any part of the pears from turning brown, cut a circle of parchment paper that fits perfectly inside the pot to sit directly on top of the surface of the simmering water and covers any portions of the whole pears that may be exposed to air while poaching. While keeping the liquid at a gentle, very low boil, allow the pears to simmer in the poaching liquid for about 13-15 minutes, or until they’re relatively tender and almost completely cooked through (the pears will continue to cook through later once they’re baking in the tart). Lift out each of the pears, setting them on a paper towel to cool completely before proceeding to incorporate them into the tart.
Once the pears have been removed from the poaching liquid, bring the liquid up to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Allow liquid to continue to simmer and reduce while preparing the final components of the tart. When it has reduced to about 1-1½ cups of syrup, remove from heat and stir in a generous splash or two of Amaretto. Set Amaretto-Honey Syrup aside to cool completely.
For the Frangipane Filling:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, cream together the soft margarine, sugar and salt until fluffy and pale yellow, about 4 minutes. Beat in rum, lemon zest, and vanilla until thoroughly combined. Gradually mix in small amounts of the almond flour, alternating with additions of each of the eggs, mixing well after each new addition of almond flour and egg. When all of the almond flour and each of the eggs have been incorporated, stir in the all-purpose flour until combined into the mixture.
Remove the chilled Sucree tart shell from the refrigerator. Spread the fruit preserves into the shell directly onto the surface of the Sucree. The preserves should barely form its’ own layer in the shell, but, rather a very thin line. Next, arrange each of the cooled, poached pears into the tart shell, placing them directly onto the line of fruit preserves glossing over the Sucree. Pour or spoon the Frangipane into the tart shell around the pears until the shell is almost completely full, but allowing for a bit of room for the filling to expand. Keep in mind that all of the Frangipane may not be needed.
Place the tart pan onto a sheet tray and into the preheated oven for 40-50 minutes, or until filling is firmly set and both filling and crust are golden brown. The Frangipane can test similar to cake, so when a toothpick is inserted into the center of a fully-baked tart, it will come out clean. Place tart onto a wire rack to cool. Tart can be served slightly warm or is wonderful at room-temperature.
Before serving, brush the surface of the Frangipane (and the pears themselves, if desired) with the reduced Amaretto-Honey Syrup to add a pretty sheen and a sweet, nutty bite. For a beautiful, rustic finish and a delicious crunch, sprinkle the tart with toasted almond slices immediately after brushing on the fragrant syrup.
Yield: One 12x81/2-inch tart