We had a nice dinner at home tonight, the night before Amanda goes to Amsterdam for a semester, and later in the evening we enjoyed this dessert of pears, almonds, and amaretto. The local pears are just coming into season, and these were sweet and flavorful. I have made frangipane (almond) tarts before, and thought that Amaretto would be a nice addition, and would go well with the pears. Success! We all had seconds.
I chose not to make a pastry crust for the tart; it is rich enough without the addition of the pastry, and the frangipane bakes up firm enough that a crust is not necessary. The pears for this dessert should be ripe and sweet but not soft. I glazed the fruit with Amaretto-flavored currant jelly after taking the tart out of the oven– this gives a little shine to the pears and a little more Amaretto flavor.
Pear-Amaretto Frangipane Tart
1 cup slivered almonds
1/3 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 egg + 1 egg white
2 Tablespoons Amaretto liqueur
3 fresh pears
2 Tablepoons red currant jelly, heated to melt
½ teaspoon Amaretto liqueur
Preheat the oven to 350° and butter a 9” tart pan with removable bottom.
I used a food processor to prepare the frangipane filling. First process the almonds and sugar until the nuts are finely ground. Then add the flour and pulse again until mixed. Add the soft unsalted butter and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary. Add the eggs and process until thoroughly mixed, then the Amaretto and mix again. Transfer this mixture to the tart pan, spreading it evenly across the bottom all the way to the sides.
Stem and peel the pears and cut them in half lengthwise. Scoop out the cores. Cut each pear half into lengthwise slices about ¼ inch thick. Press slightly to fan the slices and transfer with a spatula to arrange over the tart filling, with the smaller end toward the center of the tart. Do this with all six halves, spacing them evenly over the frangipane.
Bake the tart for 30-35 minutes. The frangipane should be slightly puffed and golden brown. Remove the tart to a wire rack and brush the pears (but not the filling) with heated currant jelly to which you have added a little Amaretto. You will not need all of the jelly—just enough to give a shiny glaze to the pear slices. Cool the tart completely, then remove the tart from the pan sides by pushing up on the bottom. Place the tart on a serving plate and cut into wedges to serve.