Pear and almond crostata with bittersweet chocolate sauce

Yield: 12 Servings

Measure Ingredient
½ cup Butter; softened
¼ cup Granulated sugar
1 large Egg yolk
2½ cup Unsifted all-purpose flour
⅛ teaspoon Salt
4 larges Ripe pears; peel, core & slice
2 tablespoons Bear brandy
3 larges Eggs
¼ cup Prepared almond paste
2 tablespoons Granulated sugar
½ cup Unsifted all-purpose flour
½ cup Heavy cream
4 ounces Bittersweet chocolate bar; chopped
1 tablespoon Butter
1 tablespoon Heavy cream
2 tablespoons Confectioner's sugar





Several hours or day before serving, prepare Pastry: In medium-size bowl, with electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in yolk until well mixed. Reduce mixer speed to low.

Gradually beat in flour and salt. Gather dough into a ball, flatten to a 5-inch round, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate pastry at least 1 hour or overnight.

When pastry has chilled, between 2 sheets of floured waxed paper, roll out pastry to 13-inch round. Remove top sheet of peper and invert pastry into 11-inch tart pan with removable botton, allowing excess to extend over edge. Remove remaining sheet of waxed paper. Fold excess pastry inside so that it is even around top edge with rim of pan; press pastry against the side to make an even thickness. Wrap and refrigerate pastry crust until ready to bake (no longer than 24 hours).

Heat oven to 350°F. Prepare Filling: Cut pears lengthwise into 1-inch-thick slices. In medium-size bowl, combine pears and brandy. In another medium-size bow, with electric mixer on medium speed, beat eggs, almond paste, and granulated sugar until well mixed. Beat in flour and cream until smooth.

Arrange pear slices spoke fashion in chilled pastry crust. Place several slices in center. Add any brandy remaining in bowl to egg mixtrue and pour over pears. Bake tart 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool tart completely on wire rack.

Up to 30 minutes before serving, prepare Chocolate Sauce: In top of double boiler over hot, not boiling, water, heat chocolate and butter until melted. Remove from heat and stir in cream until smooth mixture forms. Keep warm in double boiler over hot water. Just before serving, pour sauce into pitcher.

To serve, remove rim from tart pan and place tart on serving plate. Sift confectioners' sugar around edge of tart, if desired. Cut tart into 12 wedges and serve with chocolate sauce. Store any leftovers in refrigerator.

NOTES : This elegant desset is easy to make; the crust can even be rolled out and fitted into the tart pan the day before.

Recipe by: Country Living (January 1998) Posted to recipelu-digest by "Nesb2@..." <Nesb2@...> on Mar 24, 1998

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