I always buy some extra pears and make sure that they are ripe. I use Bartlett pears that are juicy. I grind the almonds in my Vita Mix , or you can use a food processor.
A 10-11 inch tart shell with a removable bottom.
This tart makes 8-10 servings.
10 TBS (140 g) softened butter
a pinch of sea salt
½ cup (55 g) powdered sugar
1 large egg at room temperature
1 vanilla bean or ½ tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ cup ( 220g) all-purpose flour
4-5 soft ripe pears depending on size. (Bartlett’s are a good choice.)
6TBS (90g) soft butter
½ cup (90g) sugar
1 cup (110g) ground almonds
1 vanille bean or ½ tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp almond extract
1-2 TBS Turbinado sugar or ¼ cup apricot jam
Slice the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with a knife or spoon. Grease the tart shell with butter.
In a stand-up mixer (fitted with a paddle attachment), blend the softened butter and salt. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla seeds, almond extract ,and beat until combined. Mix in half the flour until just absorbed and add the remaining flour and mix until a ball forms. Do not over mix. Flatten the dough into a circle, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour. The dough has to be well-chilled before being used. The dough can be refrigerated for up to five days and frozen for a month.
Cream the butter and sugar in a stand-up mixer fitted with a whisk attachment until fluffy. Add the scooped-out vanilla bean seeds, almond extract and egg and beat until combined. Gently, on a low speed, mix in the ground almonds.
Assembling the Tart:
Lightly butter a 10-11inch (25 cm)) tart pan with a removable bottom. Roll out the dough between two pieces of plastic wrap or parchment paper. Pull off one piece of wrap and invert it onto the greased tart pan. Evenly pat the dough onto the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Put the tart pan in the fridge for about 20-30 minutes. Prick the tart with a fork. Spread the almond cream evenly into the pastry shell and return it to the fridge for another 10 minutes.
Peel the pears, cut into halves and remove the cores. Cut each half lengthwise into ¼-inch slices, being careful not to cut through the stem end. Arrange 6 halves spoke fashion on top of the almond filling, placing one half of the pear in the center. Depending on the size of the pears I sometimes cut off the ends to fit the pear half into the tart. Sprinkle the tart with 1- 2 TBS of raw turbinado sugar. Bake the tart in the middle of a preheated oven at 355 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until the filling and pears are slightly browned on the top.
The tart should have a golden brown color when it’s done. Instead of sprinkling the tart with raw sugar you can heat up about ¼ cup apricot jam pour it through a sieve, and brush it over the warm tart.