Pear tart with almond cream
Simple to prepare, lovely to behold, this tart is a variation on the French dessert known as tarte aux poires Bourdaloue – the difference being that in the classic version the pears are poached, whereas in this recipe they are not.
If possible, choose pears that are not too juicy. Use a medium-sized tart pan, no more than 10 inches (25 cm) in diameter. The tart shell is a pâte sablée, or sweet pie crust, and may be prepared in advance.
3-4 large pears
3/4 cup (20cl) crème fraîche or heavy cream
3 egg yolks
6 tbsp. sugar
1/2 cup powdered almonds
1 pâte sablée
Start by preparing the pâte sablée. When you have patted the crust into your tart pan, set it in the fridge to chill.
Preheat the oven to gas mark 6 (400 F, 205 C).
Using a vegetable peeler, peel the pears. Cut them in half and gently remove the stems and cores. On a plate, slice the pear halves crosswise into slices about 1/4 inch (0.5 cm) thick. Keep each pear half as intact as possible. Set aside.
Make the almond cream: In a small bowl, whisk the cream and yolks together. Add the sugar and powdered almonds. Stir to blend.
Carefully place the sliced pears into your chilled tart shell, keeping each half together as a unit. Arrange the pears in a circle with the rounded bottoms toward the rim of your tart pan and the tapered tips toward the center. Pour the almond cream over the pears.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the cream is set and golden brown in color. Serves 6-8.