It is my opinion that pears and almonds belong together....or at least that is what I learned from making this tart. The two flavors are complimentary foods and were quite delicious together. This tart had a couple of steps to it.
The first was making the crust which was amazing. The key ingredients are butter and powdered sugar. Those flavor combinations made for a rich crust that tasted great. I had a challenging time with a few of the steps because I don't own a large food processor and a few steps called for using that so I used my kitchen aid with the whisk attachment. My dough ended up a little dry. I was surprised to see that it didn't call for any liquid, just egg yolk...so I cheated a bit and used a little bit of ice cold water to help make it more of a dough. I also don't have a tart pan and it just isn't in our budget to buy a bunch of new things for one recipe so I used my spring form pan. The spring form worked well, but the end product did not look as beautiful as I would have desired.
The next step was an almond cream. Given the title of the filling I thought it would have called for cream or milk or something similar, but it didn't. It was still quite delicious. The base of the flavors were ground almonds and butter. I almost licked out the kitchen aid after making it but made myself wait for the end product when it was combined with the pears.
Then of course the pears. I am still not sure if I arranged them how it was described in the book, but I think it ended up beautifully. Here are the pictures. Sorry about the lighting...I finished it after dark and we were having it for dessert that night...sorry.
The crust is supposed to be partially baked before adding the almond cream and pears and the top of my crust got darker than I wanted so when I finished baking it I put tinfoil over the top to help with burning. It helped a little but I wish I had done it initially. (lesson learned)
The edges are not the beautiful design from a nice tart pan, but I actually ended up liking the look of the crust this way too.
Here is the end result. We ate it for dessert and both Glenn (my husband) and Spencer (visiting brother-in-law) were surprised that it was so good. They were coming off spaghetti squash served with dinner and both were less than impressed so the pear tart made both boys happy.
I learned more about my baker self this time around. I really enjoy baking. It is fun and I love the yummy creations that come from it....but I also learned that I like making treats that aren't so time consuming. I found myself feeling guilty spending time in the kitchen when my hubby was home or a child wanted to be read to, played with, or diaper changed. The types of desserts I like to make in this stage of life have to be a one bowl type deal. However it is good for me to stretch myself. I guess it is good I only do this every four or five weeks. I also learned that I am not much of an aesthetic baker. I do not have a finesse for making my work beautiful. That is something I am sure I will get better with time.
This week's TWD was chosen by Dorie herself, which made the task a little more intimidating...but I made my way through it okay. Here's the link to the full recipe.