Cranberry Pear Tart with Almond Cream

Sunday, January 27, 2013


I love the new series, Bringing Back Sunday Dinner, on Simple Bites.  When I first saw it, I couldn't help but nod my head in agreement as I read along - yes, let's bring back Sunday Dinner! My Grandmothers always put on big mid-afternoon meal every Sunday when I was growing up and I always think of those gatherings with such fondness.  I'm ready to Bring Back Sunday Dinner too!

So what makes Sunday dinner different than dinner every other night of the week?  It's the extra preparation! For me, the main dish part of the meal is easy - I normally put a lot of effort into the main dish anyway.  At our house, dessert is not a normal part of our regular meals.  Just having dessert at all will make Sunday Dinner a little more special, but having a really nice dessert will make Sunday Dinner really memorable.


Thanks to the new Simple Bites series, I'm committing myself to real Sunday Dinners this year.  We will enjoy a meal made more special by inviting family and friends, prepared with extra special care, and dressed up a bit with our nicest tableware.  Best of all, we are going to have Dessert on Sunday.  I'm getting excited just thinking of all the dessert recipes that will be gracing our Sunday table this year. 


To start us off right, we are enjoying this Cranberry Pear Tart with Almond Cream.  It takes a little more time than the simple brownies and puddings we normally whip up after a meal, but it is well worth the extra effort.  The kids definitely knew something special was happening when I brought this beautiful tart out!

I'm looking forward to all the Sunday Dinners ahead of us.  I'm really looking forward to the memories and traditions that this extra effort once a week will pass on to my children.  But if I'm being honest, I am most looking forward to Dessert on Sunday - I think the kids would say the same thing!

Cranberry Pear Tart with Almond Cream


Ingredients

2 cans Libby’s Pear Halves, well drained and patted dry
1 cup fresh cranberries, washed and dried

For the Crust:
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup powdered sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
9 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk

For the Almond Cream:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
¾ cup ground blanched almonds
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom

Directions

For the crust:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter a 9 inch fluted tart pan and set aside.

Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse twice. Add the pieces of cold butter to
the dry mixture and pulse until mixture resembles coarse corn meal. Lightly beat the yolk and slowly
add it to the flour mixture, pulsing after each addition. When the yolk has been added, pulse until
dough begins to form large clumps. Remove dough from food processor and knead it on a lightly
floured surface until it is well combined.

Press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the buttered tart pan. Freeze the crust for at least
30 minutes before baking.

Cover the tart with a buttered piece of aluminum foil. Bake on the center rack of preheated oven for 25
minutes. Carefully remove the foil and cool.

For the Almond Cream:
Combine the butter and sugar in a food processor until smooth. Add the ground almonds, flour, and
cornstarch being sure to process after the addition of each ingredient. Add the egg, vanilla, and spices
and process until the almond cream is well combined.

To assemble the tart:
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Spread the almond cream evenly onto the bottom of the baked crust. Thinly slice 6 to 8 pear halves
crosswise. Scoop each half onto a spatula and slide it onto the almond cream in the center of the tart,
placing the wide end of each pear toward the edge of the crust. Gently press down on the pear to fan
out the slices forming a circle of pear spokes in the center of the tart. Pour the cranberries over the
almond cream and arrange evenly over the tart.

Bake the tart for 50 or 60 minutes or until the almond cream is puffy and golden. Cool tart on a wire
rack and serve at room temperature.

Do you have Sunday Dinners?  What makes them special?
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