So the other day I posted about the “simplest shortcrust in the world”, but I didn’t tell you about what I thought you should fill it with!
I’ve had this recipe I’m about to share in the back of my mind since spring, although I didn’t really feel like it was the right time to make it until fall. Mmmm… pears and almonds — they totally remind me of clear, crisp days, crunching leaves with my boots, and breaking out the scarves and gloves. This tart is a little time-consuming, what with having to make the crust beforehand, but it’s totally, totally worth it — I even got a random text from my friend’s sister about it, in which she described the tart as “magically” delicious.
Yep, it’s that good!
It’s so easy, it’s so lovely, and when it bakes it smells like you’re baking brown sugar and maple syrup right in your oven. It took all my will power to not keep opening the oven door and peeking inside (because we all know that those damned oven windows are too thick and murky to give you a good look at anything)! One of the best recipes ever. Seriously.
Pear and Almond Custard Tart
*adapted from Cooking Light
- prepared pastry crust (see shortcrust recipe)
- 4 soft Anjou pears, peeled and cored
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- pinch of salt
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup half & half cream
- 1/3 cup 2% milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons chopped toasted almonds
Prepare a pastry shell. Preheat your oven to 400°F (or 205°C).
Peel and thinly slice your Anjou pears. Remove any seeds and bits of core. The pears I used were a little under-ripe, since this is the way I like to eat my fruit — but in hindsight it definitely would have been better to grab some softer, slightly overripe pears, just so they were a little easier to break with a fork after baking. Arrange your pears in layers in the prepared pastry shell, fitting them in together snugly, but leaving just enough room for custard to sneak between them.
Slowly pour your custard mix into the pastry shell, taking care to cover all of your pears. Fill the shell right to the brim with custard. It’s okay if you have a few pears peeking out of the top of the custard mixture, as long as they’re not completely exposed.
Next, mix together 2 tablespoons brown sugar with 2 tablespoons of chopped toasted almonds, and sprinkle generously over the top of your pears and custard.
Grab a timer. Place your tart on a baking sheet and carefully slide it into the oven; bake at 400°F for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350°F or (175°C) and bake for another 40 minutes, until crust is golden brown and the custard no longer wiggles in the middle when you jiggle the baking sheet.