This is my Thanksgiving weekend gift to ya’ll. We’re less than a week away from the big day and I don’t know about you, but the pumpkin consumption has already been somewhat astronomical this year. I’ll barely mention it here, but we all know pumpkin and pumpkin spice is everywhere these days. And I won’t complain, I do love it and will be wholeheartedly enjoy a slice of pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving Day. However, after the obligatory pumpkin treats, I still want to enjoy a sweet and seasonal dessert. And that’s where this tart fits in…next Friday afternoon, with a cup of coffee, sun streaming through the window, and (here’s the Choose Your Own Adventure part) either online Black Friday shopping or catching up on your Netflix queue. It’s a simple and enjoyable ask, so really no reason to not participate.
I’ve been making versions of this tart for 4 years and this year, when I wanted to share with the internets, I knew I needed to lock the specifics down. I haven’t mentioned it before, but of course another primary purpose of B&B is to actually document these recipes so I can repeat them. Selfish and delicious motives. This tart went through 3 iterations this year (rough life for the taste testers). The kinks have been worked out and I think we’ve arrived at the perfect rustic and subtly sweet tart. It doesn’t look half bad either.
Enough with these words, time for gratuitous tart pics and then giving away all the recipe secrets.
Pear, Cranberry, & Almond Tart
Wildly adapted from Real Simple November 2010
Time: 20-30 min prep time, 50-55 bake time
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus a bit more for greasing the pan
1/2 cup raw almonds (not roasted or salted)
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp pure almond extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 pears (I’ve only used Bartlett pears, but other varieties will likely work as well). Also, fun fact, one of Chris’ names for me is “Bartlett”. I don’t know why and I’ve learned to just not ask questions anymore.
1/2 cup fresh cranberries, rinsed and patted dry
1 TBS fresh lemon juice (from 1/2 lemon)
2-3 TBS honey
1. Heat oven to 350 F. Butter a 9-inch removable bottom tart pan. You could also use a 9 inch springform pan. If you don’t have either, maybe a cake pan?
2. In a food processor, process the almonds and 1/2 cup of the sugar until finely ground. Add the butter, egg, Greek yogurt, and almond extract and process until smooth. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt and pulse a few times to combine. This is a very moist dough
3. Cut your pears into 8th’s. Pears are quite soft, so I cut straight through the core to quarter the pears. Then use a paring knife to core the pear slices and then slice the quarters in half to get 8 pieces slices per pear.
4. Combine the pear slices, cranberries, lemon juice, and 1 TBS sugar. Gently stir and let rest for a few minutes.
5. Remove the pear slices from the bowl, so only the cranberries remain. Add the cranberries to your prepared dough and stir.
6. Spread the dough in the prepared pan.
7. Arrange your pear slices in a fan shape and press the slices gently into the dough. I like to put the thinner end of the slice in the middle.
8. Bake in the preheated oven for 50-55 minutes. Start checking the tart around 40 minutes to ensure it does not burn. If you notice too much browning, loosely cover the edges or the whole tart with foil for the remaining time.
9. Immediately upon removing the tart, heat 2 TBS honey for 10 seconds in the microwave, and brush over the warm tart. Let cool on a baking rack.
Serving suggestion: Another small drizzle of honey. I’ve also done a dollop of freshly whipped cream. You really can’t go wrong. Also, the aforementioned cup of afternoon coffee. That part is a requirement.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving week with friends and family!