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, “Pear Almond Tart!” I have made delicious Pear Almond 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!
- 1 cup superfine white rice flour*
- 3 tablespoons potato starch*
- 1 tablespoon tapioca starch*
- ½ teaspoon xanthan gum*
- 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
- 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
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 back together.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare the 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.
*Or you can substitute 1¼ cups of all purpose gluten-free flour for the above ingredients.
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