I have a little secret: did you know that calories don't count on Fridays? It's true! I asked. Which means that this recipe has landed on SMP Living at the perfect time. The Cook's Atelier, who are notorious for deliciously delicious recipes by the way, have outdone themselves with this one. Captured by Emily Johnston Anderson, my mouth is watering already. And per usual, there's more tasty photos in the gallery!
Pear & Almond Tarts
Yields 8 tartlettes
For the pears
4 cups water
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
4 medium pears, peeled
For the almond filling
2/3 cups ground almonds
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
6 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg
For the pâte sucrée (makes enough for 12)
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 large egg yolks
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
A pinch of sea salt
8 ounces unsalted butter, cut into pieces
For the pears
1. Bring 4 cups water, sugar and lemon juice to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.
2. Add pears and reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the pears are tender, about 20 minutes.
3. Cool the pears in the syrup.
For the almond filling
1. In a medium bowl, mix the ground almonds, sugar and butter until smooth.
2. Add the egg and mix until incorporated.
3. Cover and chill at least 3 hours.
For the pâte sucrée
1. Whisk the cream and the eggs together in a small bowl and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt and butter. Using your fingers, incorporate the butter until you have a coarse meal.
3. Gradually add the cream and yolks, and mix until just combined. Be careful not to overwork the dough.
4. Bring the dough together with your hands to incorporate completely. Place it in the fridge for at least one hour.
To prepare the tart
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Position a rack in the center of the oven.
3. Place the chilled pâte sucrée on a lightly floured work surface, and sprinkle with a little bit of flour.
4. Roll it into a 1/4-inch-thick circle, flouring as needed.
5. Cut the dough into circles slightly larger than the tart pans.
6. Gently press the dough into the pan, being careful not to stretch it as this will cause it to shrink when baking.
7. To remove the excess dough, work your way around the edge pinching it off with your fingers.
8. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour, or the freezer for 10 minutes before baking.
9. Once chilled, spread the almond filling evenly in crust.
10. Stem pears and cut each in half lengthwise; scoop out cores. Cut each half crosswise into thin slices. Gently press each pear half into the tart to fan the slices (keep them tightly overlapped).
11. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the filling comes out clean, about 20 minutes.
12. Cool tart in pan.
13. To serve, sprinkle with powdered sugar and add a dollop of whipped cream.
From The Cook's Atelier... The Cook's Atelier is a small cooking school in the heart of Burgundy, France that highlights the connection between the farmer and the cook through market tours, hands-on cooking classes and workshops. Their cooking school is at the forefront of this international movement in support of local farmers and sustainable food. In celebration of that simple idea, we have created a film series honoring our favorite artisan food producers. Over the last five years in Beaune, we have created a strong network of artisan food producers that we work with - farmers, organic gardeners, butchers, cheesemakers, bakers, beekeepers - both to support small, local businesses as well as to give our clients the chance to see (and taste!) the best that Burgundy has to offer. Yan, the shepherd and cheese maker in this first film, is one of The Cook's Atelier's favorite artisan food producers. We began working with Yan several years ago when he first started his organic farm, Ferme du Jointout. We promote Yan and his small farm by utilizing his organic vegetables and cheese in our cooking classes and recipes. Check out this amazing video we recently put together to highlight some of Yans incredible work