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07 February 2015

Pear and Chocolate and Almond Tart

During our Christmas celebrations, we made and ate a lot of pies, and this one really stood out and was a clear favorite with most of us. It is based on this recipe from the New York Times. I made it again for a work party, and conveniently remembered to take pictures also. This time I made it in a 9" springform pan because my pie dish was already occupied, so the crust is a little wonky, but that certainly didn't affect the flavor .

Chocolate Pear Almond Tart
3-4 pears, ripe but firm
juice of 1 lemon
3/4 cup sugar, divided
4 oz bittersweet chocolate
3 Tbsp butter, softened
2 eggs
1/2 cup almond flour
7 or 8 oz package almond paste or marzipan
1 pie crust, par baked (we used this sour cream pie crust - so easy)
Preheat oven to 350.

Prepare the Pears:
Peel, halve and core the pears, place in a saucepan, and cover with cold water, add the lemon juice and 1/2 cup of the sugar. Heat on medium to a simmer, let cook for 7-10 minutes, until the pears are just getting a little softer. You don't want them very soft because they will bake some more with the whole pie. Drain well.

While the pears are cooking, prepare the Chocolate Filling:
Melt the chocolate, add the softened butter 1 tablespoon at a time. Add the eggs 1 at a time, then stir in remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and the almond flour.

Roll out the almond paste to a circle the size of the inside of your pie crust, place on the bottom of the crust. Spread the chocolate filling on top. Slice the pear halves into long quarters (each slice should be about 1/8 of a pear) and arrange on top of the chocolate in a nice pattern. The 3 times we made this, we only ended up using about 2 1/2 pears total.

Bake for 30 minutes, the chocolate filling should get a little puffy and look dry on the outside.

Serve warm or cold, whipped cream makes it even better. Try to get a second piece before it's all gone. Make it again tomorrow.