Poached Pear and Almond Tart

Published September 1, 2002.

Why this recipe works:

Since a poached pear and almond tart requires a substantial investment of time, we wanted our pear tart recipe to be worthwhile. During our testing, we determined that ripe yet firm Bosc or Bartlett pears gave our pear tart recipe the best flavor, especially when poached in white wine spiced… read more

Since a poached pear and almond tart requires a substantial investment of time, we wanted our pear tart recipe to be worthwhile. During our testing, we determined that ripe yet firm Bosc or Bartlett pears gave our pear tart recipe the best flavor, especially when poached in white wine spiced with a cinnamon stick, black peppercorns, whole cloves, and a vanilla bean. For the frangipane in our pear tart recipe, we processed blanched slivered almonds in a food processor with sugar, so they could be ground superfine without becoming greasy. We made sure to dry the pears before setting them on the frangipane—otherwise, they released moisture, turning the dessert sticky and wet.

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Makes one 11-inch tart, serving 10 to 12

This tart has several components, but each can be prepared ahead, and the tart is baked several hours before serving. If you cannot find blanched slivered almonds, use whole blanched almonds, but chop them coarsely before processing to make sure they form a fine, even grind. The pears should be ripe but firm, the flesh giving slightly when gently pressed with a finger. Purchase the pears a few days ahead and allow them to ripen at room temperature. If they ripen before you need them, refrigerate them and use them within a day or two, or poach them and hold them in their syrup (they will keep for about 3 days). Many tasters liked the bright, crisp flavor of pears poached in Sauvignon Blanc. Chardonnay-poached pears had deeper, oakier flavors and were also well liked.

Ingredients

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