Almonds add a pleasant flavor, aroma and chew to many things that needs baking, and the combination of almonds and butter is one I can’t resist. I make similar tarts with apples and blackberries and raspberries – it seems to make sense to combine fruit and nuts, and all the outcomes have been delicious.

A readymade graham pie crust is put to task here with seasonal pears because I’m in a rush, but making the crust from scratch is rewarding (certainly for the eater if not the baker) – you’re able to add almonds to it, making for unity in the flavors, and one can usually taste the difference. But we’re having friends over tomorrow night and I have already been pottering about in the kitchen making panna cotta for another evening with friends tonight. I suspect once you’ve had a taste of this tart, it will oft be made 😉

To poach pears:
  • water, 4 cups
  • half a lemon, juice of
  • sugar, 3/4 cup
  • pears, I used medium-ripe Barlett, 3, peeled

  1. Mix first three ingredients in a pan and bring to a simmer
  2. Add pears, whole, and poach for 20 mins
  3. Allow to cool in, or out of, the syrup

For the filling:
  • ground almonds, 2/3 cup
  • sugar, 3/4 cup
  • butter, 3/4 stick, softened
  • plain flour, 1 tbsp
  • almond essence, few drops
  • egg, 1
  1. Preheat oven to 375F (170C)
  2. Cream ground almonds, butter, sugar, flour together
  3. Add egg at the end,  with a few drops of almond essence
  4. Mix well
  5. Refrigerate until assembling or assemble once pears are cool
  6. Place almond filling in tart shell
  7. Arrange pears on top of the filling
  8. Bake for 45-55 mins or till golden
  9. Cool and serve, dusted with icing sugar if need be, with a dollop of ice cream

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