Recipe from Cheryl Janz
FOR THE CRUST
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted, cooled for pan
¾ cup whole blanched almonds
3 tablespoons sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon almond extract
FOR THE FILLING
3 tablespoons sliced blanched almonds
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons almond flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
FOR THE PEARS
1 cup dry white wine
3 cups water
¼ cup honey
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise and seeds scraped
5 ripe but firm Anjou, Comice, or Bartlett pears
Make Vanilla pears:
- Bring wine, water, honey, and vanilla bean seeds and pod to a simmer in a large saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cut a round of parchment the same diameter as the saucepan.
- Peel pears and halve lengthwise. Use a melon baller to scoop out cores, seeds, and stems. Trim fibrous strip from the center with a paring knife. Gently lower pears into pot. Place parchment round directly on pears to keep them submerged. This will help them from turning brown.
- Cook them until a paring knife slides easily into the pears without resistance (15 min.+/-) Remove from the heat and let cool in the liquid for 30 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer pears to a large bowl; cover with the cooking liquid and let cool completely.
MAKE THE CRUST:
- Brush 1 T. of melted butter into bottom and up sides of an 11 x 8 inch tart pan with a removable bottom
- In a food processor combine whole blanched almonds with1 T. sugar, pulse until finely ground
- Add flour, remaining 2 T. sugar, salt, and almond extract, and pulse until combined
- Press dough evenly into bottom up sides of pan. Refrigerate or freeze until firm
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake crust until golden. Transfer to wire rack to cool.
MAKE THE FILLING
- Spread sliced almonds in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet, and toast in oven, tossing occasionally until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
- In a large bowl, whisk together ½ cup sugar, salt, flour, almond flour, and baking powder. Whisk in eggs and yolk, butter, and milk until well combined. Pour filling into crust.
- Blot each pear half lightly with paper towels to remove excess syrup. Arrange halves, cut sides down, over filing, packing fruit closely together (3 rows of 3 pears; reserve remaining half for another use.) Sprinkle tops of pears with remaining sugar, and sprinkle toasted almonds over tart.
- Transfer tart to a rimmed baking sheet (if you place parchment paper on the baking sheet it will collect juices that cook out of the tart and it keeps the pan clean)
- Bake until filling is puffed and golden brown, about 50 min+/-. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Unmold just before serving.