Gluten Free Easy Pear Almond Tart Recipe

by Carol Kicinski on January 18, 2011

Post image for Gluten Free Easy Pear Almond Tart Recipe Sometimes we need a fancy-schmancy dessert but just don’t have a lot of time. If you are in need of something to end a meal with a lot of “WOW” factor but don’t have hours to spend in the kitchen, this is the dessert for you.

On top of a crazy schedule I decided at the last minute to throw a good-bye party for my dear friend Jude who is returning to her homeland, Australia. I had a bowl of lovely Bosc pears on the counter and a can of Solo Almond Paste in the pantry and thought, “Almond Pear Tart”!! I have made delicious Almond Pear Tarts in the past that require poaching pears, grinding almonds and pretty much lots of time and effort. So I decided to try a short cut and let me tell you – I will never go back to the old way again. This easy version has all the amazing taste with just a fraction of the effort!

The Solo almond paste already has almost everything needed to make a great tasting tart base and I always keep a few cans in the pantry for dessert emergencies. It stays way fresher than the stuff that comes in tubes and is a staple in my gluten-free pantry as it provides good structure to baked goods, often without having to add any additional flour.

I happened to have some Bosc pears on hand which turned out to be the perfect pear for this tart – they have a dense, fragrant, honey-sweet flesh with a smooth texture and they hold their shape very well when baked.

The crust comes together in minutes with the help of the food processor and it is a breeze to work with. Rolled between sheets of parchment or plastic wrap, it doesn’t get the flour all over the place and is very forgiving – if it cracks or splits just pinch back together. The dough can be made well ahead and sit there waiting for you until you have a few moments to throw the rest of the tart together.

For the base of the tart I just blitzed a can of almond paste with some powdered sugar, melted butter and a couple of eggs in the food processor and I did not bother poaching the pears, I simply peeled and cut them and brushed with a little lemon juice then into the oven and about 40 minutes later – sheer bliss!

While I am sad my friend is leaving and will miss her terribly, I am grateful that I discovered an easier way to prepare this lovely tart. Jude had two pieces and said she didn’t even feel guilty about it! So when you need major “WOW” factor with minimal effort – give this tart a try!

Gluten Free Easy Pear Almond Tart Recipe

Gluten Free Easy Pear Almond Tart Recipe

Ingredients

Crust

1 cup superfine white rice flour
3 tablespoons potato starch
1 tablespoon tapioca starch
½ teaspoon xanthan gum
(Or you can substitute 1¼ cups of all purpose gluten-free flour for the above ingredients)
½ teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
Up to ½ cup ice cold water

Tart

1 – 8 ounce can Solo Almond Paste (not marzipan)
¼ cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 large eggs
3 large Bosc Pears
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon apple, pear, or red currant jelly, melted – optional

Directions

Crust

Place the flour, starches and xanthan gum (or all purpose gluten-free flour) in the bowl of a food processor along with the salt. Pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter and process until the mixture looks like coarse meal with a few larger pieces of butter in it. With the machine running add the water, a little at a time, just until the dough starts to form a ball around the blades. The dough should be soft but not sticky.

Gather the dough into a ball and wrap with plastic wrap. Flatten the ball into a disk and refrigerate for an hour. Can be made several days ahead at this point and stored in the fridge. If refrigerated for more than an hour, remove the dough from the fridge about 10 minutes before rolling to let it soften a bit.

Spray a 10 or 11 inch tart pan with removable bottom lightly with gluten-free, non-stick cooking spray.

Roll the dough between two pieces of parchment paper or plastic wrap to about ¼ of an inch thick and a little larger than your tart pan. Remove the top piece of paper and flip the dough into the tart pan then remove the other sheet of paper. Gently push the dough into the pan to fill it and remove any excess. If the dough splits, just push it pack together.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare the filling.

Filling

Crumble the almond paste into the bowl of a food processor and pulse several times to break it up. Add the powdered sugar, melted butter and eggs. Process until the mixture is smooth. Pour the mixture into the tart crust and smooth the top with a spatula.

Peel the pears, cut them in half and remove the core and the bottom end with a melon-baller or paring knife. Lay each pear half flat on a cutting board, cut side down, and cut into ½ inch slices. Gently push the slices down with your hand to fan them out a bit. Slide a large spatula under the sliced pear half and place it on the filling with the top of the pear half facing the center of the tart. Repeat with remaining pear halves. Brush the pears with the lemon juice and sprinkle the granulated sugar on top.

Bake for 40 – 45 minutes or until the filling is set. Brush the tops of the pears with melted jelly if desired. Let cool in the tart pan them remove the outer ring and serve.

Servings

This gluten free recipe serves 8 – 10 people.

Need a quick meal?

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Ready for dessert?

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Categories:    Dessert

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Nancy @ The Sensitive Pantry January 21, 2011 at 1:55 pm

Carol -what an elegant dessert! Definitely something to grace the table after dinner with friends or family. Thanks!

Reply

Wendy@Celiacs in the House January 21, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Easy and beautiful. I’m talking about the tart, of course. Love your simple, yet elegant style on this one, Carol. And I must admit I never have used canned almond paste. Where do I find it?

Reply

Lisa (bakebikeblog) January 21, 2011 at 1:57 pm

Such a beautiful dessert Carol :)

Reply

Carol, Simply Gluten-free January 21, 2011 at 1:58 pm

Wendy – regular grocery store, usually in the baking aisle oe else where the fruit pie filling would be.

Reply

withoutadornment January 21, 2011 at 1:59 pm

That first picture is amazing. It makes me wish that the tart was right in front of me instead of on my screen!

Reply

Ellen January 21, 2011 at 2:00 pm

I’ve wondered whether the Solo almond paste is GF. Now I don’t have to wonder any longer. I’ll be stocking my pantry as well, and your tart will be the first thing I use it for. Thanks!

Reply

Carol, Simply Gluten Free January 21, 2011 at 7:27 pm

Yes, it is gluten-free, yay! Can’t vouch for the other brands but Solo brand is gluten-free.

Reply

Maggie January 21, 2011 at 2:00 pm

This looks so gorgeous Carol. And you make it sound so easy!

Reply

InTolerant Chef January 21, 2011 at 2:01 pm

Very fancy-pants indeed! What a nice elegant end to a meal. Yumm…

Reply

Peter and Amy January 21, 2011 at 2:02 pm

Hey this was a GREAT dessert, SO tasty; you would never think there was a completely healthy list of ingredients. All the food that night was wonderful and Carol really proves that you don’t have to give up any taste to have food that is nutritious and healthy, very well done, and thank you!!!!

Reply

Carla January 21, 2011 at 2:02 pm

Not only do the ingredients sound absolutely wonderful, but your presentation is amazing! Thanks once again, Carol!

Reply

Juanita January 21, 2011 at 2:05 pm

That looks lovely – truly tasty.

Reply

Judy January 25, 2011 at 10:01 pm

Sounds so good, can’t wait to try the recipe

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