This recipe for Agostino’s Almond Pear Tart has been on my to-do list for quite some time now. Once I actually got to the business of making it, I was pleasantly surprised to discover how easily it all came together.
Every year, around this time, I look at my pear tree in the backyard and I think to myself, I have to make Agostino’s almond pear tart. Well, I am happy to say that I can finally check that one off my to-do list!
Here is this amazing dessert in three easy components. What’s even more convenient about this recipe is that you can make the separate ingredients up to 2 days before you need it.
The poaching of the pears for Agostino’s Almond Pear Tart
I always thought that poaching pears was a somewhat delicate procedure. In reality it’s nothing more than allowing pears to simmer in a sugar syrup. It’s important to choose pears that will keep their shape, such as bosc pears. If the pears are not of a firm variety, they will literally fall apart when they are poached. I am very fortunate to have a pear tree in my backyard and thankfully they are of the firm type. Keep in mind that once you have poached your pears, they can be kept covered and refrigerated for up to 48 hours.
There are of course different liquids and spices you can poach your pears in. Today, these pears are being poached in water with the simple addition of lemon juice.
The sweet shortcrust for Agostino’s Almond Pear Tart
I can honestly say that I am not a great fan of shortcrust. I find it too rich. But I really wanted to give this recipe a try as it was written and so here it is, the shortcrust for this wonderful tart. As you can see, I probably rolled it out a little too thin. But I think it should hold the filling and the pears. Since the crust needs to be refrigerated for at least 3 hours, I made this the evening before I baked my dessert.
The almond cream for Agostino’s Almond Pear Tart
The almond cream can sometimes be referred to as frangipane. With help of a food processor, the whole process of making this almond filling takes just a few minutes. Grind the almonds with the flour in the food processor. Mix in the icing sugar, followed by the butter, and the egg. Transfer in a bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to 2 days.
ORIGIN OF THE RECIPE FOR AGOSTINO’S ALMOND PEAR TART:
Agostino was my brother-in-law, and passed away almost fifteen years ago. He was a person who truly appreciated good company, good food and good wine, and was passionate about so many things, cooking among them; when he retired, in fact, he went back to school to become a professional chef just for fun! Maybe you remember the recipe I posted awhile ago for Zia Michelina’s Panettone? Zia Michelina was Agostino’s mom – so I guess the apple (or should I say the pear?) doesn’t fall far from the tree.
Over the years, this almond pear tart became one of Agostino’s signature desserts. Everyone loved the tart, but no one more than my mom. And much to her dismay, it seemed like Agostino was determined to keep the recipe a secret! I use the word “seemed”, because in reality, it was obvious he had a plan for her all along.
It was an August afternoon when the bell at my mom’s house rang quite unexpectedly. When Mom opened up the door, there was Agostino, with a box in hand and a chef’s hat on his head! He had come to make some tarts with my mom. The box he held was full of all the ingredients they needed, which included his very own pears.
I can’t help but smile when I think of my brother-in-law, Agostino, and his infamous Almond Pear Tart. Thanks Antonella for sharing your dad’s recipe.
Agostino's Almond Pear Tart
- 50 grams icing sugar ⅓ cup + 1 tablespoon
- pinch salt
- 50 grams butter 3 tablespoons, unsalted
- 1 egg
- 125 grams all purpose flour 1 cup
- 5 cups water
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 3 medium pears peeled
The almond cream:
- 50 grams butter unsalted, softened (3 tablespoons)
- 50 grams almonds ½ cup, ground
- 50 grams icing sugar ⅓ cup + 1 tablespoon
- 10 grams all purpose flour 1 tablespoon
- ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon rum extract
- In a food processor, pulse together the icing sugar, salt and the butter until smooth. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add the egg and pulse until combined.
- Add the flour and pulse until combined.
- Gather dough and form into a disc.
- Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to 2 days.
- Combine water, sugar and lemon juice in a medium sized saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Once the sugar has dissolved, reduce heat to medium.
- Add the pears and simmer for approximately 20 minutes.
- Occasionally, turn the pears around in order for them to cook evenly on all sides.
- Remove from heat and let cool in the syrup until ready to use. (If not planning to use right away, can be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days).
The almond cream:
- Using a food processor, simply combine the ingredients, one by one until a smooth consistency is obtained.
- If not planning to use right away, can be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days,
- When ready to assemble, place rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375° F.
- Between 2 sheets of parchment paper, roll out dough to fit a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom (I sprayed my pan with a non-stick spray).
- Pierce entire crust with a fork.
- Freeze for about 10 minutes.
- Fill pie with pie weights or dry beans and bake for about 20 minutes.
- Remove weights or beans and bake for another 10 minutes or so. (You can place a piece of foil over the top if you find the crust getting too dark).
- Remove from oven and let cool for about 15 minutes.
- While the pie shell is cooling, prepare your pears. Stem and scoop out the center of each pear. Cut into thin slices.
- Reduce temperature of oven to 350 F.
- Spread almond filling over crust with the help of a spatula.
- Arrange thin slices of pears over the almond filling.
- Bake for about 60 minutes.
- Cool tart in pan.
- Tart can be served at room temperature.
Thanks for droppping by.
Ciao for now,