Saturday, December 8, 2012

Pear Cranberry Almond Tart

Isn't that pretty?! This tart was MY special Thanksgiving dessert this year and the one that I was excited to eat.  I tend to find pecan pie too rich after the huge meal and although I love the flavor of sweet potato or pumpkin pie, the texture is not my FAVE.  I prefer fruit pies --- I usually would make apple, but my dad was making an apple crisp so I wanted to do something different this year.  Knowing I loved the Pear Almond Tart I made recently, but not wanting to have something so labor intensive or rich, I decided to do a spin on that, adding a cranberry layer for tartness and using a less rich tart crust.  I turned out wonderfully and was unusual and so pretty!

Instead of using a usual tart crust recipe, I omitted the egg and ground nuts that I use in the Pear Almond Tart recipe and instead made a simple pate sucre -- simply adding a tablespoon of sugar to a half recipe of Butter Pie Crust.  This decreased the richness of the tart and tasted great.

I freezed the pie shell for 30 minutes, then prebaked it for 20 minutes in a 375 degree oven lined with foil and filled with pie beans, and then removed the foil and beans and baked another 10 minutes. There she is:

To make the cranberry jam layer, I used 12 oz of fresh cranberries, 3/4 cups of water, 6 Tbs sugar and some minced ginger and sauteed it over medium heat for 20 minutes or so.  Transfer it to a bowl and  let it cool on a rack.   Check out the color!

For the almond filling layer, I used the same almond filling recipe as I did in the Pear Almond Tart.  I made that ahead and refrigerated it for a couple hours, although I am not sure how necessary this step is.

 I sliced up some bosc pears (2 large or 3 small), like so:

Once crust and cranberry filling are pretty cool, you can assemble.

First, lay down a layer of cranberry jam:

Top it with almond filling:

Decoratively arrange pear slices on top.  (I think this part is so fun and it is really easy... and it looks so professional after you finish and people are so impressed and go "WOWWW!!" and you can feel rewarded and super cool even though all you did is slice some pears and make a circle)... anyways...

Paint it with some hot water and honey glaze (mix 2 Tbs each to combine):

And bake that beauty for 45 minutes to an hour.  The almond filling should be golden and the pears cooked.  YUM!

Serve and enjoy!

-- Anya

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