This recipe for a “Pear and Almond Tart” by Dorie Greenspan, I adapted from Bon Appétit magazine. It has a meltingly tender crust and a delicious almond filling that absorbs the fruit juices and prevents the crust from getting soggy.
In the original recipe the pears are poached but I just quickly blanched the peaches and peeled them. This way they are holding their shape a lot better. I also added almond and vanilla extract to enhance the flavor of the almond filling.
If you are in a hurry or the fruit you like to use is not in season, jarred good quality fruit can be used, just drain and dry them very well.
This tart can be made also with walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios or pecans and it will be equally delicious with apricots, apples, poached quince, and fresh figs and of course with pears like it is in the original recipe.
I like that each step in this very, very delicious tart can be made ahead, which is so convenient when we are busy cooking a Holiday feast.
To make the crust: Place powdered sugar, almonds, and salt in a bowl of a food processor and pulse until nuts are finely ground. Add butter and blend until smooth, occasionally scraping down sides of the bowl. Mix in egg yolk, add flour. Pulls until the dough comes together in clumps. Transfer the dough to a board and gather into a ball; then flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic and chill at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.
To make the almond filling: Finely grind almonds and flour in the food processor. Mix in 7 tablespoons sugar, then butter and blend until smooth. Mix in egg, almond and vanilla extracts. Transfer filling to a medium bowl. Cover and chill at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F. Roll out chilled dough on a floured sheet of parchment paper to 12-inch round. Turn out the dough into 9 or 10- inches in diameter tart pan with a removable bottom, using the parchment paper as an aid. If needed, seal any cracks in the dough and then trim overhang to 1/2 inch. Fold overhang in, making the sides double-thick. Pierce crust all over with fork and freeze it for 10 to 15 minutes.
Line the crust with buttered parchment paper or foil, buttered side down; then fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake crust until sides are set, about 20 minutes. Remove foil and beans; return the pan to the oven and bake crust until sides are golden and bottom is set, about 10-12 minutes longer. Cool crust in the pan on a cooling rack.
Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Spread almond filling evenly in the bottom of the crust; cut each half of the peaches crosswise into thin slices, and arrange on top of the filling in any pattern you like.
Bake tart until golden and tester inserted into center of filling comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Cool tart in the pan on a rack. When ready to serve, push pan bottom up, releasing tart from pan. Let stand at room temperature. Cut tart into wedges; sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired, and serve.