Pear and Almond Tart recipe

I developed this recipe one day when I found myself with a glut of pears that were rapidly approaching going rotten. For any of you who regularly read the recipe posts, you’ll be aware that I’m diabetic so this kind of dessert takes some care. There is quite a lot of sugar in the pears, particularly when they are very ripe, so the rest of the ingredients need to have the sugar cut back as far as they’ll go and still have the recipe work.

I can’t claim that this is perfectly diabetic friendly, but a small slice – this recipe should give you 8-10 portions – is a nice treat. I’m now regularly requested for one when I go to visit people!

Ingredients

Pastry case – you can use sweet pastry or reduce the sugar by using ordinary shortcrust. I’m not giving a recipe for the pastry here because, frankly, it’s easier and as cheap to buy the case and most supermarket chains produce them

2 or 3 pears – reasonably thinly sliced. You can reduce the sugar by using them at the crunchy stage or use very ripe to save waste, both work

2oz butter

¾ oz caster sugar

4oz ground almonds

1 desert spoon almond essence 

One desert spoon almond liqueur – optional, but if you don’t use increase the almond essence or the milk. I use Disaronno

2 egg yolks

2oz self raising flour

½ level teaspoon baking powder

Splash of milk

2 egg whites

 

Peel, core and slice the pears and arrange them on the bottom of the flan case so that it is completely covered.

Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the ground almonds, almond essence and liqueur, and the egg yolks. Beat the mixture together until it’s well blended. It will be reasonably thick and not runny.

Combine your flour and baking soda either by sifting or just by stirring through and then fold this into the mixture. The resultant mix is very dry and stiff but should all come together well. Once you have got things well combined, stir in the milk. You can easily end up splashing a lot of the milk away so stir with care! What you’re aiming for here is a mixture that is still stiff but not totally dry.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they are stiff enough to come to a peak but not dry and then fold them into the mixture.

Spread the mixture over the pears ensuring that they are completely covered.

Bake at 180c (160c for fan ovens) for about 30 minutes. You should have a nice golden brown colour when it is baked.

You can serve immediately while warm or keep for 3 or 4 days. When warm it’s wonderful with cream but it is a great slice of cake when cold.

Tip: I would recommend using an electric hand-whisk to cream the butter and sugar as the reduced sugar requires more work to get the mixture to go light and fluffy. I find that using a food-processor doesn’t work as the quantities are small enough that you lose too much of it in the bowl.

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