“If you are in need of something to end a meal with a lot of ‘WOW’ factor, but don’t have hours to spend in the kitchen, this is the dessert for you,” says recipe creator Carol Kicinski. Bosc pears are a great choice for this tart, as they hold their shape when baked, and their honey-sweet flavor shines in combination with the almond paste.
1 cup superfine white rice flour
3 tablespoons potato starch
1 tablespoon tapioca starch
½ teaspoon xanthan gum
(Or substitute 1¼ cups of all-purpose gluten-free flour for the above ingredients)
½ teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
Up to ½ cup ice cold water
1 8-ounce can Solo Almond Paste (not marzipan)
¼ cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 large eggs
3 large Bosc Pears
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon apple, pear, or red currant jelly, melted – optional
To make the crust: Place the flour, starches, and xanthan gum (or all-purpose gluten-free flour) in the bowl of a food processor along with the salt. Pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter and process until the mixture looks like coarse meal with a few larger pieces of butter in it. With the machine running, add the water, a little at a time, just until the dough starts to form a ball around the blades. The dough should be soft but not sticky.
Gather the dough into a ball and wrap with plastic wrap. Flatten the ball into a disk and refrigerate for an hour. Can be made several days ahead at this point and stored in the fridge. If refrigerated for more than an hour, remove the dough from the fridge about 10 minutes before rolling to let it soften a bit.
Spray a 10- or 11-inch tart pan with removable bottom lightly with gluten-free, non-stick cooking spray. Roll the dough between two pieces of parchment paper or plastic wrap to about ¼-inch thickness and a little larger than your tart pan. Remove the top piece of paper and flip the dough into the tart pan then remove the other sheet of paper. Gently push the dough into the pan to fill it and remove any excess. If the dough splits, just push it back together. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
To make the filling: Crumble the almond paste into the bowl of a food processor and pulse several times to break it up. Add the powdered sugar, melted butter, and eggs. Process until the mixture is smooth. Pour the mixture into the tart crust and smooth the top with a spatula.
Peel the pears, cut them in half and remove the core and the bottom end with a melon baller or paring knife. Lay each pear half flat on a cutting board, cut side down, and cut into ½-inch slices. Gently push the slices down with your hand to fan them out a bit. Slide a large spatula under the sliced pear half and place it on the filling with the top of the pear half facing the center of the tart. Repeat with remaining pear halves. Brush the pears with the lemon juice and sprinkle the granulated sugar on top.
Bake for 40–45 minutes or until the filling is set. Brush the tops of the pears with melted jelly if desired. Let cool in the tart pan, then remove the outer ring and serve.
yield: Serves 8–10.