Monday, June 7, 2010

French Pear Tart

The title of this post should actually read French Peach Tart, because I used fresh peaches instead of pears but a better an even better title would be The Most Delicious Tart! I didn't have any pears, canned or fresh and in her recipe Dorie Greenspan suggests any summer fruit would work. Pears are, apparently, the more traditional fruit to use but peaches or apricots work just as well.

This tart is not only the most delicious tart I've ever eaten, but it's really not all that difficult to make. The food processor does all the work and you can make the crust ahead of time, partially bake it and throw it in the freezer til you're ready ( which is exactly what I did). And even making the dough for the crust is fool proof. You really can't mess it up because you don't even have to roll it out if you don't want to. You can just place the dough into your tart pan and press it out!

The almond cream that is sandwiched between a buttery crumbly tart dough and the fresh peaches has the most amazing almond flavor. I urge you to try it. And in advance let me just say, you're welcome!

Place the almonds in a food processor and process til finely ground.
Remove the almonds and set aside for a minute.
Place the butter and sugar in the processor and mix til smooth and satiny.
Add the ground almonds and process til well blended.
Add the flour and cornstarch and process.
Add the egg and process 15 seconds. (Then add the rum or vanilla) and process just to blend.
Pour almond cream into a small bowl and chill while you make the dough.
Or if you've already made the dough, still place into the fridge while you peel and slice your fruit.

I used 3 peaches which was too much. I would cut back to 2 peaches.

Slicing the peaches turned out to be a little bit messy of a job but it all turned out fine!
(Be careful, when you're trying to cut the pit away from the flesh, that you don't get any of the pit pieces.)
I did place the slices onto some paper towels to absorb some of the excess moisture of the peaches.
Fill the partially baked tart crust with the almond cream.

Then place the fruit slices onto the cream, making a nice pattern ( unlike mine!).

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes til the almond cream gets puffy and golden.

So good!
French Peach Tart ( from Dorie Greenspan)

2-3 medium peaches, firm but ripe
Dorie's partially baked sweet tart dough recipe from here

Almond Cream

6 tbsp. unsalted butter, room temp.
2/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup ground blanched almonds ( I used sliced toasted almonds and it worked fine).
2 tsp. AP flour
1 tsp. cornstarch
1 large egg
2 tsp. dark rum or vanilla ( I used vanilla).
To make almond cream:
1. Place butter and sugar in food processor and process til mixture is smooth and satiny.
2. Add ground almonds and process til well blended.
3. Add flour and cornstarch and process.
4. Add the egg and process 15 seconds or til mixture is homogeneous.
5. Add rum ( or vanilla) and process just to blend.
6. Chill mixture til firm ( 2 hours) or use immediately.
Preheat oven to 350.
1. Peel and slice peaches thinly and place on paper towels to absorb some of the juiciness.
2. Fill crust with almond cream, then place peach slices onto cream in a pattern, preferably in 5 rows.
3. Place tart onto a baking sheet and bake 50 to 60 minutes or til the almond cream is puffy and golden brown.
Let cool on wire rack, then remove from tart pan.
She suggests dusting with confectioner's sugar or making a glaze. I didn't bother with either and it was still fabulous!

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