Apple and Pear Tart

For a dessert that looks and tastes as if it came from a French bakery, serve this flaky-crusted delight, left. Spoon warmed preserves on the tart for an appetizing sheen.

Makes 9 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cold unsalted butter, sliced
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons ice-cold water
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 7-ounce container pure almond paste
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, cored and quartered
  • 1 Anjou or Bartlett pear, cored and quartered
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon and sugar mixture
  • 1 tablespoon coarse sugar
  • 1 6- to 8-ounce jar apricot or peach preserves

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. To prepare tart shell, in a mixing bowl, combine flour, confectioners’ sugar and salt. Cut cold butter into the flour mixture until pieces are the size of peas. Add cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing with a fork after each addition just until the dough holds together.

Lightly spray an 81/2-inch square tart pan with nonstick cooking spray. Evenly press dough into pan, making neat edges. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, for filling, in a bowl combine almond paste and butter with an electric mixer until smooth. Beat in egg white. Evenly spread almond filling on the warm crust.

Slice apple and pear quarters crosswise into 1/8-inch slices, keeping each fruit piece intact. Arrange pieces, core-side down, on almond filling. Fan apples and pears and lightly press into filling. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar mixture and coarse sugar.

Bake in 350°F oven until apples and pears are tender, about 25 minutes. Remove tart from oven. Warm the apricot preserves in microwave oven and spoon over fruit on tart. Cool completely before serving.